If you’ve never practiced yoga or meditation before, you may be opening this blog with a bit of skepticism. You want me to sit and stretch quietly… and you think that can cure my addiction? Those feelings and doubts are completely normal. However, both of these practices can hold incredible power to break the cycle of addiction.
Read on to learn more about yoga and meditation, including key meditation and yoga benefits and some testimonials from real recovering addicts who have used these practices in their journeys to a successful recovery.
What is the difference between yoga and meditation?
Although yoga and meditation often get lumped into one holistic health category, they are actually two different practices that carry unique benefits for your journey to recovery.
Meditation is a mind and body practice that focuses on the relationships between brain, mind, body, and behavior. Meditation typically includes sitting or lying comfortably in a quiet area with minimal distractions. Then, you focus your attention on a single thought or idea with an open mind and attitude, letting feelings or thoughts come and go without judgment.
Yoga has been referred to as “meditation in motion.” While meditation involves sitting or lying very still, yoga is an opportunity to move your body while still strengthening that mind-body connection. As you move through different stretches and poses, you can experience a restoration of balance through the relationship between body and breath. Many of our clients enjoy afternoon yoga under palm trees and walk away feeling more centered and serene as a result.
What are some meditation and yoga benefits?
People all around the world practice meditation and yoga for their mental and physical benefits.
Meditation benefits include decreased blood pressure, strengthening of the immune system, natural pain relief, anxiety relief, stress management, better sleep, a reduction in symptoms of depression, and more.
Yoga benefits include increased flexibility and muscle tone, improved energy, weight loss, cardiovascular health, stress management, better body awareness, better concentration, and more.
What are the meditation and yoga benefits that help with addiction recovery?
As you can imagine, the benefits listed above can enhance anyone’s life, regardless of an addiction. However, there are also meditation and yoga benefits that specifically aid in addiction recovery.
For example, many people abuse drugs or alcohol in order to disconnect from unwanted feelings, both physical and emotional. Meditation and yoga offer gentle pathways to reconnecting with one’s self in a healthy way.
Substance abuse also wreaks havoc on your physical health. Yoga provides a safe avenue for exercise, even for beginners. Many clients walk away from yoga sessions with a greater appreciation for their bodies and all they can accomplish.
In yoga and meditation, you’ll learn to recognize thoughts or feelings, accept them, then let them go and move on. This practice becomes extremely powerful when applied to unwanted cravings or desires.
Finally, many drug and alcohol addicts suffer from underlying anxiety disorders or depression. Yoga and meditation serve as an important part of a treatment plan for a dual diagnosis. Both practices provide a natural way to regulate stress hormones, such as cortisol or adrenaline, instead of relying on addictive drugs to do so.
Meditation and Yoga Benefits Real Recovering Addicts
If you’re still unsure if meditation and yoga can benefit you in your journey to recovery, consider these testimonials from real recovering addicts who have gone before you.
Melissa D’Angelo told yogajournal.com about her experiences using yoga as part of a treatment program for her drug addiction. She shared,
“I absolutely loved it. It was an hour where I could relax with my thoughts. I felt empowered by it—more spiritually sound. And it gave me a grip on my life, an inner strength that allowed me
to accept who I am and where I am and be OK with that.”
Irina Gonzalez shared on the Headspace blog,
“Letting my mind be free as I sit with myself for 10 uninterrupted minutes has allowed me to get in deeper touch with some of my addiction triggers and find additional success in my sobriety.”
Yoga and Meditation for Addiction Recovery in Hawaii
There is no better place to escape the stress and distractions of daily life than the beautiful state of Hawaii. The Big Island provides the perfect tranquil environment to practice yoga and meditation and establish a healthy mind-body connection.
To learn how you can practice yoga and meditation in Hawaii as part of your well-rounded treatment plan for addiction, call Hawaiian Island Recovery today at 877-721-3556