yoga and addictions

Can Yoga treat severe addictions like alcoholism or drug abuse?

Addiction of every kind has its manifestation in the mind. In simpler yogic terms an individual has lost his/her balance. Alcohol or drugs give temporary changes in mood and a false sense of wellbeing. The deadly chemicals reach the brain and begin disturbing its normal function. Abuse of drugs and alcohol percolates to the bloodstream through the stomach and your small intestine.

Any kind of alcohol or substance abuse leads to compromised body systems and function. Lowers judgment and increases reaction time. Alcohol damages the liver and the urinary system adversely and depending on drugs taken and brain function is deeply compromised.

When an addict wants to quit their body goes into withdrawals. The withdrawal symptoms are dreary and challenging, and the fear of this experience often stops people from quitting. The individuals start to sink into a vicious cycle of a fabricated world of denial and distortion.

How Can Yoga Help such Addicts?

Yoga is a way of life. It is a holistic approach taking care of the four fundamentals pillars that help to manage a happy and contented life.

At The Yoga Institute, many pioneering techniques such as Nisphandabhava, Pratipakshbhavana, Relaxation techniques help to let go and live in the present. Yoga is a gentle form of exercise that teaches individuals to cope with life better and modify their own behaviour to overcome psychological & emotional upheavals.

Today, professional rehabilitation centres and medical facilities understand the need for holistic and complementary treatment options. Today Yoga is recognized as one of the best options.

Practical Effective Tips-

Ways Yoga can help any addict recover from food, drug, and alcohol addiction:

1. Diet plays a crucial role – Sattvik organic diet with ample fresh fruits and local seasonal greens are suggested. Pratyahara yogic technique draws an individual to his/her true nature and encourages searching for answers that lie within. It helps to curtail the senseless feeding of the senses externally and directs us to our true consciousness –a powerful reserve everyone is born with.

Over time, this practice of “turning in” to our innate awareness teaches us to become more self-reliant on the peace within and less dependence on the material outside. Occasional chasing after your favourite chocolate and coffee for a temporary high is okay, but with yoga and meditation practice you get a long lasting high which becomes more permanent as you practice.

2. Smt. Hansaji affirms that “Yoga teaches us to act and not keep on reacting. We cannot change others it is one of the most common mistakes we make. We need to change ourselves and not the world.” Reactiveness is harmful. Acting with positivity is the only solution in any given situation. At the Institute Yoga asana with correct bhavas and breathing techniques helps to keep body, emotions and mind in control.

3. Mantra Chanting and Guided Mediation plays a crucial role. It ensures a deep rest and quality sleep patterns. Meditation infuses alpha brain waves configuration to overcome emotional blockages.

4. Kriyas such as Jalaneti, Dhouti and Sutraneti help to detox the body. It internally cleanses the system and improves immunity.

5. In any kind of addiction, target is to strengthen the nervous and immune systems.

  • All dynamic asanas help such as Paschimottanasana, Surya Namaskar, Sarvangasana, Bhujangasana, Pravatasana, Yoga Mudra and provide a great stretch for the thoracic spine, upper chest region and the shoulders. Earliest yogic texts, mention Matsyasana as the “destroyer of all diseases.” All these Yoga asanas help to relieve nervousness and stress when done with proper breathing and correct bhavas.
  • Pranayamas or breathing exercise- They help to stop the mind chatter and de-stress. Recommended are Yogendra Pranayama I, II, III and IV. Also, Anulom-Vilom Pranayama helps to purify and detox the body systems.

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