Stretch for Sobriety: Yoga for Addiction Recovery

Woman doing yoga on the floorYoga is much more than stretching and twisting on a mat. This ancient practice centers on the union of the mind, body, and spirit. Yoga boasts a range of benefits, such as weight loss, fitness, better posture, and better sleeping patterns, among many others.

Other than its bodily benefits, though, yoga can help improve one’s emotional well-being. It can even go as far as being a complementary therapy for substance abuse.

In fact, the folks at, a rehabilitation center in Southern California, claim that yoga can enhance other therapeutic methods used to treat substance abuse. And the evidence lies in the success stories. Recovery patients who practice yoga regularly generally have a more positive view of their lives and personal relationships.

Yoga for Substance Use Control

A 2013 study by Khanna and Greeson claim that yoga and meditation are promising tools for substance abuse recovery. As addictions may stem from a sense of loss, individuals with an addiction can turn to Yoga to enter a state of mindfulness. The skill of self-regulation helps patients control substance abuse impulses and recover themselves.

Yoga for Stress Regulation

According to Sat Bir Khalsa of the Kundalini Research Institute, high amounts of stress hormones adrenaline and cortisol are harmful to one’s body. Imbalances in these hormones have links to depression, anxiety disorders, and substance abuse. Some people who suffer from addiction, therefore, resort to alcohol or illicit substances because they are unable to cope with the stress in their lives.

Practicing yoga can help regulate these stress hormones and help people suffering from substance abuse.

While yoga is not the be all and end all of addiction recovery, it can be a part of a holistic treatment.

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