Almost everyone is at least somewhat aware of yoga. You often see it in movies, TV shows, and ads. There are many different yoga varieties and ways of using the related philosophy to increase your mental or physical health. Most people do not know that yoga is a helpful method for managing substance use and mental health disorders. Controlled breathing and mindfulness are built into standardized yoga exercises, making them ideal for anyone with high stress or anxiety levels.
A 2018 review of the research by the National Drug Dependence Treatment Centre in India looked at over three hundred separate studies into the connection between yoga and managing substance use disorders (SUD). They found that “yoga and related therapies appear to be an effective tool” in treating various addictions and co-occurring chronic conditions.
Yoga originated in India and has been used for thousands of years to improve mental, physical, and spiritual well-being. Some people believe yoga originated in religious sectors, but this is not the case, and the practice of yoga has been around for much longer than any religious system. In India, the Ministry of External Affairs addressed the popular misconception by saying, “yoga does not adhere to any particular religion, belief system or community; it has always been approached as a technology for inner well-being. Anyone who practices yoga with involvement can reap its benefits, irrespective of one’s faith, ethnicity or culture.”
Definitive data shows that yoga can be beneficial in the following areas for people recovering from substance use disorder:
Yoga is easy to learn, does not take a lot of skill or physical fitness, and can provide a whole host of health benefits. However, not everyone enjoys yoga or is physically capable of practicing the different postures. If you have questions or concerns, you can always reach out to a trained yoga instructor to find out more about the specific physical requirements, and you can speak with your doctor to get their advice.
Some studies indicate that if you have pre-existing conditions that cause chronic pain in your arms or upper body, you may want to avoid using yoga. You could also take part in yoga but severely limit the amount of time you spend doing certain poses that may exacerbate your pain.
Yoga does not require any tools to get started. All you need is some open space. However, you may want to use some equipment to make the exercises more comfortable and easier to complete. There are accessories like foam blocks for people with disabilities, injuries, or trouble with mobility to help them achieve more advanced postures. Some tools you might want include the following: