MOVEEEE your way into Recovery

By Sarah Fichtner MA Counseling - Kean University, Counselor at Relevance Recovery

With relapse rates greater than 40%, the treatment of substance use disorders is being questioned. Something isn’t working and therefore something needs to change! A multiple pathways approach to recovery is beginning to challenge the “status quo” of addiction recovery. Today, people with addiction are learning how to move into recovery…literally.

Yoga is an excellent practice to help people with addiction develop a positive relationship with their bodies, minds and souls. Addiction creates a chaotic way of life consisting of stress, anxiety, depression and poor self-awareness; a lifestyle that is far from comfortable. The practice of yoga addresses and corrects this chronic state of unease.

Yoga is a full body approach to healing and recovery. When practicing yoga, an individual is instructed to engage in “pranayama” or deep breathing, acknowledge and sit with uncomfortable thoughts or feelings, challenge his/her bodies physical limits, stay grounded in the present moment and let go of any negative energy. During an hour of yoga, a person completely surrenders to the practice. They move toward a meditative and mindful state, which connects the entire body as one.

Not to get too scientific! But research shows that practicing yoga significantly reduces cravings and withdrawal symptoms, helps with insomnia, decreases emotional reactiveness and provides a sense of community similar to that of AA or NA. Yoga also prompts the release of anti-depressive and stress-relief hormones such as dopamine, GABA and serotonin, which are the happy, feel good hormones! According to a National Health study conducted in 2012, more than 80% of people who practiced yoga reported lower stress levels and an overall better quality of life.

I don’t know about you, but I could use some more yoga in my life! Let’s all choose to MOVEEE!


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