Practicing yoga in sobriety can be one of the most wonderful, daunting, and cleansing practices for recovery individuals. A yoga treatment program allows individuals to learn to stop, breathe, and quiet that negative voice in their minds. There is a different type of yoga for every day, mood, emotional state, or weather outside. Actively pursuing a healthy practice of yoga in sobriety is something that literally everyone can do. At Harmony Hills, we believe in using evidence-based treatments and holistic therapies in our substance abuse treatment programs so individuals can get the most out of our programs and lay the foundation for a lasting recovery.
A Little Yogic History
Originating over 5,000 years ago in northern India as a part of the spiritual works practiced by Vedic Priests as a form of worship and preparation of the body for meditation. Over time, the Brahmans and Rishis (spiritual seers) collected the practices, mantras, and chants and collected them into the Upanishad (collection of texts). The most renowned of these was the Bhagavad-Gita, which took the idea of ritual sacrifice from the Vedas and internalized it, teaching the ego’s sacrifice through self-knowledge, action (karma yoga), and wisdom (jnana yoga). Eventually, yoga was adapted and molded into what Westerners know it as today, Hatha Yoga. It has branched off into many different types of yoga.
This is all about the basics, where each pose will accompany slower movements and getting comfortable in them for a few breaths. Generally speaking, all yoga practices are hatha because they are physical yoga. Many studios will offer hatha yoga classes for beginners and intermediates because it is the form of yoga that most others are based on.
- Challenge level: Easy to Moderate
A little more eccentric, featuring constant movement and invigorating poses. The fluidity of Kundalini’s movements (which means serpent) is intended to uncoil the tensions and energy stored at the base of the spine, resulting in a lighter, more balanced physical and mental state.
- Challenge Level: Easy, lots of cardio!
This is a three-part practice, encouraging the yogi to know, accept, and learn from the body. The main idea is that the practicer will learn how to body behaves in certain postures by using periods of long holds and meditation inside each pose.
- Challenge Level: Moderate to Hard
Bikram yoga is a form of Hot Yoga, where the room is kept at a steady 105 degrees and 40% humidity. It usually goes through 26 poses, each performed twice. This practice is not necessarily recommended for beginners or people who have bad joints (any previous knee, shoulder, or ankle injuries should be cautious during Bikram). While it does bring many benefits for well-practiced and strong people in their yoga routine, it can be intense for beginners.
- Challenge Level: Hard
For those looking for active and upbeat practice, vinyasa is a good choice. This practice was created in the ’80s to satisfy the “aerobic crazed Westerners” and doesn’t stick to the same routine of 26 poses. In fact, depending on where practiced, each vinyasa or flow class will probably be very different. They generally consist of pretty fluid movements from one pose to the next.
- Challenge Level: Easy to Hard
This is a great practice for people who suffer from many body aches and pains. This is more relaxation-based, with 20 minutes spent between 4-5 poses, and many teachers will encourage the use of props like blocks, towels, and bands to help each person find just the right spot in the pose.
- Challenge Level: Easy
Yoga Treatment Program
For beginners, this list may seem daunting. Many people have preconceived notions about who yoga is for, yet the practice is open to anyone.
Practicing yoga in sobriety allows individuals to learn to focus, calm their minds, and reduce stress and anxiety. It allows many people to tune into the needs of their bodies and learn to meet those needs. A yoga treatment program can be made a part of relapse prevention therapy or any mental health treatment.
Need Help for Substance Abuse? Reach Out to Harmony Hills
Addiction is a complex disease with both physical and mental aspects. Individuals struggling with drug or alcohol abuse need to have various options so their specific needs in recovery are met. Here at Harmony Hills, we understand this and offer a broad range of programs and treatments.
If you or a loved one has been struggling with getting a firm grasp on sobriety and need substance abuse treatment, reach out to Harmony Hills today at 855.494.0357. We offer a variety of programs such as:
- Drug Detox
- Residential Treatment Program
- Partial Hospitalization Program (PHP)
- Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP)
- Aftercare Program
- Alumni Program
Discover how we can help you or a loved one heal from the disease of addiction.