Using Yoga in Residential Addiction Treatment


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While going through a residential addiction treatment program, you will participate in various types of therapy. At Magnolia Ranch Recovery, we offer several holistic therapy options to help individuals learn coping skills and implement healthy activities into their lives.

One of the most effective types of treatment that we offer at our residential addiction treatment center is yoga. Individuals who are going through addiction treatment can benefit significantly by implementing these mind-body practices into their daily schedules. Yoga, in particular, has been shown to decrease anxiety and stress, which is common during the recovery process. In addition, individuals who utilize yoga can benefit from an overall improvement in their sense of well-being. 

It is important to understand how yoga can be an effective tool when it comes to overcoming an addiction.

Combating Addiction With Yoga

It is undeniable that being exposed to stressful situations increases the chances of a person relapsing. Due to this fact, it is critically important to be able to help those struggling to overcome substance use disorders with the ability to manage the stressful situations that they face in a healthy way.

Even though many traditional therapies, such as medication and counseling, are helpful when it comes to treating individuals who suffer from addiction and co-occurring mental health disorders, the use of yoga has been shown to provide positive reinforcement to individuals who are inside residential addiction treatment programs.

Yoga allows individuals to calm down and focus. They are able to develop healthy coping skills that can help them better deal with overwhelming mental health problems, such as stress or anxiety.

What Is Yoga in Residential Addiction Treatment?

Yoga essentially involves combining conscious and controlled breathing with various physical postures. This combination helps individuals by improving their concentration, dramatically promoting patients, and increasing their flexibility. While in drug and alcohol rehabilitation, it helps individuals who struggle with addiction strengthen their controls. This is incredibly helpful when it comes to learning how to calm down, dealing with cravings, and combating the consequences of co-occurring disorders.

An Overview of the Benefits of Practicing Yoga

Practicing yoga comes with an array of benefits for both the mind and the body. Some of the many benefits that individuals will receive by practicing yoga frequently include:

  • Improve sleep quality
  • The ability to manage their stress better
  • An increased amount of energy
  • Increased self-confidence
  • An improved sense of health and wellness
  • Pain relief
  • Strengths and emotional healing
  • Healthier eating habits
  • A significant increase in their physical strength
  • Reduction of fatigue

All of these positive benefits can help individuals struggling with substance use disorder continue forward on the path of sobriety.

The Science Behind Residential Addiction Treatment With Yoga

To understand how yoga can impact a person who is going through residential addiction treatment, it is first important to understand how addiction impacts the mind. Any type of substance use disorder can completely alter the way the mind functions.

As a person utilizes drugs or alcohol, it completely alters the reward circuit of the brain. As a result, the brain will release dopamine and create a sense of feeling euphoria or excitement anytime a person uses a substance. When a person is not using drugs or drinking, they will feel severe cravings for it.

Substances that are highly addictive tend to have higher levels of dopamine released, which increases the intensity of the feeling that a person experiences. Over time, the brain will adapt in a way that makes it seem like a person needs to use more of the substance in order to achieve the feeling of euphoria. In addition to intense cravings, substance use can result in compulsive behaviors, which can jeopardize a person’s health and well-being, their finances, and even their relationships.

Conversely, when a person does yoga, it causes the development of new connections in the brain. Yoga causes the brain structure and function to change as well. Individuals who frequently engage in yoga experience a significant improvement in their cognitive skills, such as their memory and their ability to learn. Additionally, yoga strengthens parts of the brain that are responsible for language, thoughts, attention, awareness, and memory.

Due to these findings, studies have provided evidence that suggests that the use of yoga during residential addiction treatment can significantly and positively influence a person’s ability to cope with cravings for substance use as it works by restoring balance within the brain. This is due to the fact that yoga helps individuals focus and make better decisions.

Yoga Is a Powerful Tool in Residential Addiction Treatment

Yoga provides people who are going through residential addiction treatment to feel more in tune with their bodies. Yoga enables them to build their resilience to physical strength. By combining yoga and mindfulness, those struggling with addiction are better able to cope with stressful situations.

Yoga allows people to better rationalize decisions that they make in their life. As a result, they are more likely to think about the consequences of turning to substance use rather than relapsing. Individuals who use yoga tend to feel more empowered and able to better manage their own addiction recoveries.

It is liable that yoga provides individuals with the ability to foster awareness and a calming and very nurturing way. For this reason, it is important for residential addiction treatment programs to continue to develop the connection between the physical self and the mind in order to successfully implement a yoga program as a therapeutic approach to helping individuals combat addiction.

Let Magnolia Ranch Recovery Help You

At Magnolia Ranch Recovery, we fully understand how important it is for individuals who are seeking addiction treatment to learn coping skills that they can carry throughout their recovery process. For this reason, we focus on helping individuals learn mindfulness, practice meditation, and implement yoga into their daily lives.

Learning how to remain calm is one of the most effective ways to help individuals overcome their addictions and continue on their path to sobriety. If you are interested in seeing how yoga therapy can help you overcome a drug or alcohol addiction, feel free to reach out to our team at Magnolia Ranch Recovery today.

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Picture of Esra Ahmed - MS, NCC, LPC, MHSP
Esra Ahmed - MS, NCC, LPC, MHSP

Experienced Clinical Director with a demonstrated history of working in the hospital & health care industry. Skilled in Anger Management, Healthcare, Medicine, EMDR, and Life Transitions. Strong healthcare services professional with a Masters Degree focused in Psychology from The University of Memphis.

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