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Yoga Therapy for Addiction Treatment

Yoga is an ancient Indian practice, first used by Hindus to pursue a spiritual awakening. The Hindus would use different poses (asanas) to connect the body to the breath (pranayama) coupled with meditation (dhyana). Modern scientists in the western world found yoga to be spiritually beneficial and physically and mentally helpful.


Today we use yoga and meditation for a series of conditions and illnesses. Some include:



-Aches and pains

-Stress relief

-Menstrual cramps 

-Bipolar disorders

 And substance abuse

Yoga Asana

Yoga and Addiction Recovery

When you compare the health benefits of Yoga to the many addiction concerns, you can see a correlation between the need for addiction recovery and the benefits of Yoga.


For example, people struggling with addiction can be very anxious or depressed. Yoga can be a great mood stabilizer, helping yogi regulate their emotions and keep a positive outlook on life.

People in recovery may struggle with sleep, especially in the beginning. They can either oversleep or struggle with insomnia.

Yoga can be used to both energize and relax you. You can do specific asanas in the morning for more energy throughout the day. Likewise, different asanas available for sleep will help you sleep better at night.

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Ways You Can Use Yoga In Addiction Treatment


Community support is one of the essential parts of recovery. When you are in a community of people who can relate to your circumstances, you don’t feel like you’re fighting alone. Many people have turned to addiction because they felt alone. Yoga offers a community of like-minded individuals to pursue healthier, happier lives.

To be a sound support system for you, everyone in your yoga class does not have to be struggling with addiction. You can still receive support, encouragement, and comfort from one another despite your different struggles. By joining a yoga community for addiction, you are reminded that everyone has their battles they fight, and you are not alone.



Yoga for addiction treatment allows the yogi and recovering addict to try healthier coping options. The recovering addict may revert to drugs and alcohol to feel better before therapy because that’s all they know. The problem is that drugs and alcohol do not bring any lasting solution. Eventually, the addict will end up in worse circumstances than before the drug and alcohol use.

When Yoga is introduced in addiction treatment, the individual in recovery has new coping skills.



Self-discipline is an important skill to have. Some people aren’t struggling with an addiction and lack self-discipline. Before treatment, the addict will go with their impulsive indulges. They may lack any self-control or discipline. Unfortunately, anything we want to accomplish in life takes a lot of self-discipline, including sobriety.


Yoga is not an easy activity; it takes a lot of self-discipline and motivation to stick with it and master the art. You must show up to your yoga practices daily to see lasting results. Yoga also increases in difficulty the longer you exercise. Yoga challenges the body and takes it to its limits. Once you get used to a particular pose, the poses will get more challenging. It will take a lot of discipline and hard work to keep up with your yoga practices as they get more complex.

It will be hard but worth it; the benefits outweigh the challenges you will face.


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Medically Reviewed:


Rolling Hills Recovery Center

Expert Contributor

Dr. Williams presently serves on the board of Directors for two non-profit service organizations. He holds a Master’s degree in Human Services from Lincoln University, Philadelphia, Pa, and a Ph.D. with a concentration in Clinical Psychology from Union Institute and University. In Cincinnati, Ohio. He is licensed to practice addictions counseling in both New Jersey and Connecticut and has a pending application as a practicing Psychologist in New Jersey.

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How Can I Use Yoga for Addiction Treatment?

There are several different ways to get involved in Yoga for addiction treatment.


Join a recovery program that offers Yoga

Rolling Hills Recovery Center offers Yoga as a part of our care plan; These programs include outpatient and partial care.

Yoga Therapy is included in your treatment plan. All you have to do is speak with your primary counselor or therapist and let them know you are interested in participating in Yoga Therapy.

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Yoga and addiction recovery
Ways you can use Yoga in addiction treatment
How can I use Yoga for addiction treatment
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