Yoga as Therapy for Addiction & Mental Health

As addiction treatment continues to evolve, patients are finding considerable value in additional body-centered therapies. The integration of yoga into rehab has become particularly widespread. Using yoga as therapy promotes heightened physical, emotional, and spiritual awareness and can help patients identify the physical and behavioral patterns that trigger substance abuse. Though it is not a substitute for counseling or other core aspects of addiction treatment, yoga can have an immensely positive effect on the mind and the body. Considering that very few facilities offer yoga therapy programs, our Lake Worth drug rehab is proud to say that we do.  

What Is Yoga Therapy? 

Addictive behaviors, such as substance abuse, are characterized by compulsive engagement in harmful and self-destructive behaviors despite the obvious physical and mental impact. With substance abuse and mental illness, an individual may seek out drugs or alcohol as coping mechanisms, isolate themselves from loved ones, and begin to neglect their responsibilities and themselves. 

Addiction stems from the feelings of pleasure, such as what people receive from using drugs or drinking. Many instinctively move towards things that feel good and make them forget about what doesn’t feel good. After a while, however, the body becomes tolerant of drugs and alcohol, requiring more and more of a substance to experience the same sense of “goodness.” Eventually, this cycle contributes to a full-blown addiction.  

Our Banyan Lake Worth rehab believes that using yoga as therapy for these conditions can help interrupt the cycle of addiction and worsening mental illness.  

Yoga therapy combines psychotherapy practices and yoga to improve mental, emotional, and physical health. Psychotherapy, or talk therapy, is a technique used to help people with a variety of mental illnesses and substance use disorders. Yoga is a type of exercise and muscle stretching activity that involves using the body in various ways.  

Our therapy programs focus on healing the mind, body, and spirit because addictions and mental health disorders are all-encompassing conditions that impact a person in various ways. Therefore, it’s important to offer well-rounded care to address all of these areas.  

Using yoga as therapy for substance abuse and mental health treatment is an effective holistic approach for many patients. The term holistic means “dealing with the whole of something.” This means that our yoga therapy program is designed to treat the whole person.  

Not only are improved fitness and balance typical benefits of yoga, but there’s also internal and spiritual healing that takes place. Benefits of yoga therapy for mental health and addiction include:  

  • Reduced inflammation brought on by drugs or alcohol 
  • Reduced stress and anxiety 
  • Improved self-confidence and awareness 
  • Improved energy levels  
  • Increased strength and stamina 
  • Increased flexibility 
  • Weight reduction 
  • Protection from injury 
  • Improved mental clarity and calmness 
  • Sharpened concentration and focus  
  • Improved physical and mental awareness 

Because addiction is just as psychological as it is physical, using yoga for therapy in addiction treatment is highly beneficial for clients’ mental clarity and healing. Not only does it have physical benefits, but it also focuses on targeting additional stressors that may otherwise encourage drug or alcohol use or contribute to mental illness.   

Our Yoga Therapy for Addiction and Mental Illness 

By the time addiction takes hold, the brain chemistry has been altered, and physical cravings have become so severe that they can seem to control an addict’s behavior, despite one’s best intentions. Although denial plays an enormous part in addiction, many individuals are unaware of how chemical dependency affects their bodies and the steps they can take to successfully pursue wellness. Simply put, they don’t know how to feel good anymore. 

When clients utilize yoga for therapy, they’ll learn how to do amazing things with their bodies and discover another form of relaxation and stress relief that doesn’t involve substance use. They’ll learn how to breathe properly, center their breathing, and manage stress and strain effectively. Yoga is an especially useful tool our clients can take with them into their sobriety to prepare them for coping with challenging situations.  

Physical balance and bodily cleansing are major features of our yoga therapy program in Florida. Yoga can be an invaluable supplement to medically monitored detox, helping clients relax and improve physically as their bodies adjust to functioning without drugs or alcohol. Different body positions can improve the condition and function of specific parts of the body and major organs, aiding to significantly quicken the detoxification process. 

Stress management is another major element of yoga physical therapy. Breathing and concentration exercises learned in yoga can help patients learn to process stress and adversity in a healthy and responsible way. Considering that many people originally turned to drugs and alcohol to cope with mental illness or other challenges, this is crucial. This serves patients throughout their recovery journey and is a practice they can take with them even after they leave treatment and encounter circumstances that make them vulnerable to relapse. 

Yoga also focuses equally on the alignment of the mind and body and is an ideal tool for patients looking to heal on all levels. It offers a combination of physical and emotional support found in no other type of exercise or therapy. Although yoga has only recently been incorporated into addiction treatment, many patients of all backgrounds prefer this form of additional therapy. 

Florida Yoga Therapy at BHOPB 

Our yoga therapy sessions are led by certified instructors who have the experience and passion for successfully guiding your recovery and motivating you to get the most out of your treatment. Patients form a series of poses that have been specifically designed to target different areas of the body and promote flexibility. The poses are held until the instructor directs participants to change.  

Although we conduct our yoga therapy on our state-of-the-art Palm Beach campus, patients who wish to continue yoga after they leave treatment can do it anywhere. Using yoga for therapy can help ease the tension, both physical and emotional, that you experience during times of instability in your life.  

If you or someone you care about wants to start their recovery, we’re here to help. Contact Behavioral Health of the Palm Beaches today to learn more about our addiction treatment in Lake Worth. 

For current patients, please consult your intake coordinator for more information about our yoga program. 


Related Reading:  

How Sobriety Changes Your Body 

How Anxiety Affects Relationships