Picture of lower body and mat getting ready for a yoga therapy programYoga is a group of disciplines or practices that involve breathing exercises, meditation and poses to improve overall health. As a therapy, it encourages people to become one with their bodies, minds, and spirits. A yoga therapy program incorporates elements of mental and physical therapies to help people going through addiction recovery. Learning more about it can help you understand the treatment before starting.

History of Yoga as a Therapy

Yoga originated in India thousands of years ago. However, the practice didn’t spread to the United States until the late 1800s. It took another century or so for the disciplines to emerge as therapy to treat health conditions.

A study in the 1980s demonstrated how a healthy lifestyle could reverse cardiovascular disease. The resulting program was the first of its kind to highlight yoga and its benefits.

Yoga Therapy Program for Addiction Treatment

In the 21st century, many addiction treatment programs have recognized therapeutic yoga as an effective way to treat addiction. The practice has a positive impact on the areas of the body and mind that are vulnerable to the disease. Specifically, yoga boosts levels of gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA). According to statistics, people with addiction have low levels of this neurotransmitter.

People with anxiety and depression also have low GABA levels. Because of that, it makes sense that addiction and other mental illnesses share a connection. When co-occurring disorders are present, people need dual diagnosis treatment. A yoga therapy program is an excellent complement to the treatment since it can boost GABA levels.

Also, studies show that therapeutic yoga is a promising treatment for posttraumatic stress disorder and schizophrenia. These conditions may coexist with addiction as well.

Benefits of Therapeutic Yoga

Aside from treating addiction and other mental health problems, yoga has many other physical and mental benefits. The most significant advantage is that it teaches people how to calm themselves without relying on drugs or alcohol.

The meditative component of yoga can trigger changes in the mind that help people relax. It can lower adrenaline levels, blood pressure, and heart rate. In addition, it reduces levels of cortisol, which is the stress hormone.

Combined with guided relaxation, the meditation aspect can slow an overactive mind. The result is a restful calm that improves self-awareness. Furthermore, yoga postures increase physical strength and flexibility, which are beneficial for overall wellness.

What to Expect

When people participate in a yoga therapy program as an addiction treatment, they undergo an assessment first. Trained therapists perform the exam to determine clients’ health and physical capability. They’ll also discuss goals for the treatment and develop a program that meets client needs.

In most cases, the following therapy sessions will include several parts. First, therapists may guide people through pranayama or breathing exercises. They involve a series of balancing and energizing breaths.

Then, they could teach asana or physical postures. These are yoga poses, and different ones treat particular problem areas. Leg Up the Wall, for instance, can treat insomnia and anxiety.

Next, yoga therapists may teach proper meditation techniques that focus on relaxation and mindfulness. They may use guided imagery to help people achieve inner peace, as well. At the end of each session, they might instruct people to apply what they’ve learned in the yoga therapy program to their everyday lives.

Risks of Practicing Yoga

The only time that a yoga therapy program poses risks is when people don’t get guidance from well-trained therapists. The practices are low-impact and safe for healthy people overall. However, some rare possible side effects include pain from nerve damage. Adjusting or avoiding specific yoga poses can prevent these effects.

Holistic Care at Serenity House Detox Houston

Do you like the idea of participating in holistic treatments such as yoga during addiction recovery? Serenity House Detox in Houston offers several detox therapies, including holistic ones. Some of these therapies include:

At Serenity House Detox in Houston, we help you establish a foundation for ongoing addiction treatment. Through our evidence-based and holistic approach, you learn how to rebuild your life. Whether you have an addiction to cocaine, heroin, alcohol or opioids, we believe that you can overcome the disease of addiction.

Don’t let any drugs lead your life to ruin. Learn more about how a yoga therapy program can complement your recovery. Call 866-516-8356 to take your first step toward sobriety with the help of Serenity House Detox.