Yoga is an ancient fitness art. Drug addiction is, relatively, newer. Can an ancient art help with a contemporary problem? Let us examine the issue in greater detail to arrive at the answer.
What is Yoga?
Yoga is a system developed by the aesthetics of India thousands of years ago to unite the three primary parts – body, mind and soul. It is easiest for most people to start with the first part; the body.
Yoga of the body involves keeping the body in prime condition. That does not mean working out to look like Mr. Arnold Schwarzenegger! It means keeping all the faculties of the body working at their best. These are the abilities which allow us to live. This includes breathing, digestion, locomotion and strength enough to survive in our surroundings.
Yoga of the mind involves developing the mind to its fullest possible potential through meditation and other such techniques. As cosmologists keep updating us with new information about our universe, we realize how small we really are and how little we know. Thus, the potential to know more is unfathomable.
Yoga of the soul is about immortal issues; matters such as justice, equity, harmony and balance. These issues were relevant even before the homo sapiens developed. And will be relevant even after we are gone. Karma is a popular word used to describe one of the main tenets of this discipline.
How Can Yoga Help?
So how is yoga relevant to recovering from drug addiction? Many drug rehab centers use various program to help patients to recover. Yoga blends perfectly with this 12-step recovery process, as it shares common goals and methods in achieving them. Even the first asana of the day in yoga, the Surya Namaskar, is a 12-step exercise to welcome the rising of the new sun and day, just as the new dawn will appear for a rehabilitated patient.
Yoga Helps in Achieving Peace
Patients’ emotions and nerves are usually on edge. The drugs coursing in their blood have terrible effects on their mind and body. They could also harbor guilt or anger against others. Even their initial attraction towards substance abuse could have been the result of a lack of inner peace, particularly when coping with trying circumstances. One of yoga’s strongest practices is Pranayama. This can be said to be the art of breathing. Yoga teaches to breathe with full awareness and concentration. Great energy and focus of mind can be achieved in this way.
Yoga Teaches New Coping Methods
Addiction to substance abuse is generally the last course taken when all else fails. The addict has lost hope in his own abilities to cope with difficult thoughts or emotions. Much of the counseling that will be done in their treatment will focus on helping them recognize this and identify or develop new ways in coping with these stressful situations.
Yoga Emphasizes Making a Spiritual Connection
To work well within society, participants have to be taught to ask others for help, where necessary. Thus, they become active members of the community. Yoga also teaches us that we are all connected and helps the participant build trust in themselves and others.
Yoga has become very popular in the last decade. It is common to hear celebrities crediting this ancient art in their rehab successes.
As you can see, yoga is of immense help to those who have been crushed by the weight of the world. It helps them stand on their own feet again and even begin to soar. The ancients can still talk to us…