Yoga is the practice of focusing the mind and linking the mind, body and spirit by using the breath. Proper utilization of the breath allows the practitioner to stay in the present moment which is very beneficial for the nervous system. Through yoga you will become more aware of your mind and body, better able to focus on healthy activities that you enjoy and feel less attracted to your addiction.
Yoga teaches slow, controlled movements instead of reactive, automatic behaviors. In gaining these skills you will experience increased focus, concentration and impulse control. You will become more aware of your self-defeating thoughts and addiction triggers. Through yoga you will achieve greater self-mastery and self-control.
Yoga is an excellent opportunity for those struggling with compulsions to learn how to quiet the mind through a moving meditation and experience the feeling of letting go into the flow of asanas (postures).
The will and determination yoga requires helps people regain control over their body and mind. Yoga uses physical postures and controlled breathing to lengthen and strengthen the spine, increase flexibility, calm the mind, improve concentration and promote patience. This ancient Indian practice provides those with substance use disorders with an effective method for dismantling compulsive behaviors and triggers, achieving self-confidence, regaining physical health; and learning physical and mental self-control when experiencing cravings, insomnia, agitation, fear, anxiety, etc.
Benefits of Yoga:
PTSD is a disorder involving dysregulation of the stress response system, and one of the most powerful effects of yoga is to work on cognitive and physiological stress.
One common symptom of PTSD is the dissociation of mind and body, feeling disconnected from oneself and one’s surroundings, as well as an experience of time displacement. While yoga is an ancient practice with many known health benefits, including stress relief, TSY is a relatively new modality. In 2003, the TSY practice was born at the Trauma Center in Brookline, Massachusetts, as an adjunct therapy for trauma.
David Emerson, founder and director of yoga services for the Trauma Center, is known for coining the term “trauma-sensitive yoga.” He created the curriculum and was part of the first-of-its-kind, NIH-funded study, conducted with Bessel van der Kolk, which found that trauma-sensitive yoga can significantly reduce PTSD symptoms in those with chronic post-traumatic stress. PTSD is a disorder involving dysregulation of the stress response system, and one of the most powerful effects of yoga is to work on cognitive and physiological stress.
Incorporating yogic principles and practices, the goal of this type of yoga is to support stabilized emotions and increased tools for those dealing with emotional and behavioral issues, including trauma and post-traumatic stress. It focuses on integrating breath and meditation with a set of physical postures much like the basics of hatha yoga, with more attention to gentle movements and fewer hands-on adjustments.