What does yoga have to do with recovery from addiction?  With all the physical and psychological benefits that the ancient practice of yoga provides, many people are now incorporating yoga as part of their daily life in recovery.  During recovery from addiction it is common to have triggers and cravings to use, while also experiencing stress and an uprising of unfamiliar emotions.  Each and every individual has to find their own way to cope with triggers, cravings and emotions.  Yoga is one way to cope that just happens to be very effective.  And here’s why….

Psychological benefits of yoga

  • Concentration is improved
  • Attention and focus is improved
  • Memory is enhanced
  • Mood swings become stable
  • Social skills improve
  • Raising awareness and conscious choice
  • Mental relaxation

Physiological benefits of yoga

  • Sleep pattern is improved
  • Flexibility and strength develops
  • Energy levels increase
  • Immunity increases
  • Pulse rate decreases
  • Blood pressure decreases
  • Develop ability to control impulses

In the depths of one’s addictive behaviour they are driven to make choices despite the negative consequences involved.  The practice of Yoga can be the tool that provides conscious choice making.  The practice can allow one to develop the ability to choose a clean and sober life, day by day, moment by moment.  Yoga is about being present in the moment, on the mat, with your breath, within the physical posture one is holding.  Practicing yoga “off the mat” is about staying present and making conscious choices when it comes to both thoughts and behaviour. This can include the conscious choice to use a substance or stay clean and sober.  Yoga is not just a practice on a mat; it’s a healthy way of living life.  Yoga can help balance one’s body and mind, restoring one back to improved physical and mental health and hence, no longer needing to escape into the world of substance use.  CASON currently employs two certified yoga teachers who teach mediation, breath work, relaxation and physical postures with CASON clients and staff.  For more information about how to incorporate yoga as part of your recovery plan please contact Carol Cowan at ccowan@cason.ca or Eva Muraca at emuraca@cason.ca

Peace and Namaste.