Yoga and Recovery

January 1st, 2011

By: Kiersten Mooney, owner of Bala Vinyasa Yoga

Yoga can be a powerful and supportive tool for people who are going through major life changes and recovery. Increasingly, yoga and meditation are being embraced as ancillary modalities because they parallel and complement many recovery programs.

When strong urges or cravings come up due to addictions or major life crises they create extreme emotions and even physical reactions in our body. Through awareness-based yoga practices we are able to increase the gap between a stimulus and our ability to choose how to respond instead of reacting to the sudden urges and emotions.

Yoga teaches individuals in recovery to:

  • Heal from the inside out.
  • Stay through pain, urges and cravings with patience, grace and tolerance.
  • Focus on their breath and relax into the moment without reaction.
  • Create self-awareness for where we are in the present moment.
  • Recognize when we react compulsively versus respond with honesty and compassion.
  • Coordinate our breath with the movement of our bodies and to flow with what is without resistance.

The only constant in life is change, it is inevitable. We can choose to resist change or we can flow with it, but what we resist persists. Accepting change is awakening to our inability to control the natural flow of the universe. Yoga can help individuals in recovery let go, have faith and open themselves up to receive the love and support that is around them.

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