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Alternative Treatment Methods (Part 1): Yoga

April 25, 2012
Women doing yoga

“Quick” and “easy” are two words you’ll never hear during treatment. But one of the greatest hopes of many brown sugar, prescription drug and any variety of drug addicts remains that treatment would be just that: quick and easy.

Because a cure doesn’t exist for drug and alcohol addiction, treatment centres are forced to use a variety of treatment methods as they break the nasty cycle of addiction. Methods like detox, counselling, 12 steps and aftercare are common in many Indian treatment centres.

But the list isn’t limited to four or five methods. In fact, there are many alternative methods of treatment — and I’d like to talk briefly about one of them: Yoga.

What Exactly is Yoga?

Yoga comes from ancient Indian philosophy and literally means “union” — or to have a “one-ness” between your soul and the universe. Yoga encourages body, mind and spirit to morph together usually through a series of postures, poses, controlled breathing and meditation.

As you do yoga, you are encouraged to “find your own path,” and keep an open mind to allow for a unifying of body and spirit. Yoga is commonly practised in our country by young and old, sick or well — and has shown to develop concentration, and significantly reduce stress.

How Does Yoga Help in Recovery?

Imagine you’re an addict about to enter the first day of rehab. Most likely, more than just your addiction is on your mind — you’ll be thinking about your family, your job, your friends and other things you leave behind.

And on top of that, your addiction has eaten away at your body. You’re sick, not eating enough and suffering from withdrawal—a multitude of other possibilities could also be plaguing you as you step into the rehab centre. How are the counsellors going to deal with all the baggage of addiction?

With Yoga.

Many De-Addiction centres use yoga to help decrease the initial stress and insanity that comes with addiction. The therapeutic effects of yoga are very useful for a recovering addict. Here are a few reasons centres use this treatment technique :

  • Physical benefits: As I mentioned earlier, many addicts aren’t doing well physically when they enter rehab. Yoga quickly develops physical discipline and naturally strengthens an addict’s drug-influenced body.
  • Helps with detox: Because yoga decreases stress levels and boosts the body’s natural systems of detoxification, it can help speed up the detox time during rehab.
  • Helps with mental aspects of addiction: While recovering from addiction, discovering alternative ways to soothe your mind instead of returning to the substance is important. Yoga supplies an addict with a natural alternative—helping to break the established pattern of addiction.
  • Helps deal with stress: Yoga helps people regain control over their body and their mind.

Yoga and De-Addiction

Listed on are over 600 centres that offer yoga as a treatment option.

Continue learning about alternative treatment methods by reading our second post about Meditation!