An outstanding support to sobriety
A system of holistic healing can be a valuable ally to persons in recovery who are struggling to regain their equilibrium. Self-induced and self-practiced, yoga brings balance, greater awareness, acceptance of self, personal growth, and calm; lessens anxiety and depression and heightens self-esteem; and creates a positive social activity in an insightful context.
Studies over 30 years have consistently concluded that meditation enhances recovery therapies and dramatically reduces relapse, as well as diminishing anxiety, stress, and depression. Furthermore, if we assume Abraham Maslow, creator of the “Hierarchy of Needs”, was right, and happiness lies in self-actualization, it is interesting to note that in a recent study on therapies that lead to self-actualization, meditation techniques yielded extreme effectiveness, showing substantial positive gains in virtually every category of self-actualization, and in just two months (Williams, P., 2002).
An outward reflection of mind, spirit and potential
The Taoists say, “the wrong path is by its nature self-punishing.” Though pain is often necessary to gaining a clearer path in life, and recovery is certainly no exception, yoga gently cushions the struggle toward self-awareness by providing a context of compassion, and a set of directions for inward exploration without judgment, regret, or anxiety. It teaches people to honour their bodies as the outward reflection of mind and spirit, and of their enormous potential.
Instead of feeling powerless to overcome a substance or a compulsion, yoga highlights a person’s innate ability to manage his or her thoughts, emotions, and behaviours. By looking inward in meditation, yoga practitioners gather awareness of the workings of mind and personality, and knowledge is power.
Using natural abilities to proactively seek calm
Many are the yoga treatises that speak to a person’s responsibility for his or her own happiness, and the ways of learning to direct thoughts and emotions – using natural abilities to proactively seek calm, tolerance, detachment, and compassion.
From physical, to mental, to spiritual empowerment, studies consistently demonstrate that the practice of yoga and yogic meditation create an outstanding support to sobriety, and therefore, should become a usual referral source for counsellors who are looking to proactively support those clients who are struggling to remain abstinent in general, and especially those in need of an effective adjunct to post-inpatient treatment.