I recent article on Yahoo Sports focused on how the use of yoga can aid in the journey to recovery.
It is reported that one in three Americans suffer from some form of addiction. Addictions break up families, destroy communities and can take on many forms: alcohol addiction, drug addiction, eating disorders, gambling addiction, sex addiction, smoking addiction, to mention a few. Put simply, addictions are habits that have spiraled out of control.
The use of the chosen substance becomes a necessity, as the brain and the body's chemistry changes and develops a physical and/or mental craving. Quite often the person suffering from the addiction is completely unaware that there is a problem and, even when it is pointed out to them, they will be in a state of denial.
Addiction can be treated. By uncovering the underlying causes and taking action, one can move from the darkness of addiction back into the light of recovery. All aspects - be they mental, physical or spiritual - need to be addressed. Twelve-step programs of recovery are being used globally to help people recover from addiction.
Many people with addiction problems find it very difficult to be present and will commonly 'act out' or use their substance of choice in order to change the way they feel. They may have low self-esteem and body image issues and will be looking outside of themselves to fix this situation.
The use of yoga to help break addiction patterns is growing. Body centered treatments such as yoga, acupuncture and massage; along with traditional therapy are on the increase and are being used in many treatment centers.
Yoga cultivates bodily awareness in a kind, nurturing way. It allows students to start connecting with the body and breath and learn to sit and look within. Compassion for oneself arises and with it, a new ability to deal with stressful situations, leading to positive change.
New coping strategies and changing patterns start to emerge, bringing about change both on and off the mat. A gentle physical yoga practice will bring steadiness to the mind and help to detoxify the body.
Many of the poses have a positive effect on the areas of the body that are most often affected by abuse.