Yoga Therapy & Addiction

NewsletterYoga Therapy & Addiction:  Since the early 1970s, ongoing studies have demonstrated the overall health benefits of yoga. Some of these are alleviation of stress, anxiety, and relief from addictive tendencies. The support a person can receive from this practice when it is presented in a mindful, therapeutic manner will positively affect their physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual condition. When yoga is integrated into addiction recovery, it tends to mirror the larger trend of treating disease holistically. Most addiction specialists agree that yoga can complement the therapy of choice. They also agreed that yoga is a way to learn to stop mistreating the physical body and to deepen the spiritual aspects of recovery.

Impulse control is a core issue in overcoming addiction. Just as working with the mind can affect the body, working with the body can change the chemistry of the brain. Regular yoga practice that incorporates relaxation and meditation in addition to asana (postures) helps reduce cravings, anxiety, and fear.

Yoga Therapy & Addiction

Yoga Nidra is a relaxation technique that we offer at Williamsville Wellness. The practice has been widely studied and is currently is being used as a balm for U.S. Veterans suffering from PTSD. [1] Stanford University has done studies showing positive effects of yoga nidra on dopamine production, the chemical that plays a major role in addictive behavior.[2] This type of instruction is helpful in keeping the roaming mind quiet and focused. It is usually presented as a 30-minute group practice, but some patients also enjoy receiving individual instruction. Williamsville’s yoga educator has over 25 years of personal recovery and 20 years teaching experience.

Our holistic approach to addiction treatment provides an opportunity for people to experience a variety of therapeutic modalities.  Thus, this gives patients a wider selection of tools to use when they make the transition back into their daily lives.


[1] http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/05/02/AR2008050203426.html
[2] http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U4P6rNmvwII