Low levels of GABA are associated with anxiety and depression, conditions often considered to underlie addiction. So, on active recovery days, instead of an all-day-long Netflix marathon on the couch, you should still be active to enhance blood flow throughout your body. Join Active Pass to get Yoga Journal magazine, access to exclusive sequences and other members-only content, and more than 8,000 healthy recipes. But what’s hot and what’s not in group fitness in 2020? Pinsky, an addiction specialist who has also hosted the syndicated radio advice show Loveline for two decades, says yoga offers more than just physical relief. I like this article She received a BA in psychology and took a job as a caseworker for Youth Opportunities Upheld (YOU), a residential facility for kids with behavioral problems in Worcester, Massachusetts. Benefits: Gently opens the pelvis and hips. As you practice the following sequence, remember to honor your limitations, going to your edge with love and acceptance rather than judgment and discouragement. It will challenge your body and mind and give you the relaxation you need to recover from addiction: Mountain Pose – Start every yoga routine with this pose to give it a nice circular feel. Affirmation: I allow myself to relax completely and surrender to my Higher Power. Keeping your feet flexed, inhale and lift your arms above your head. As an active recovery workout, it can work as therapy for both body and mind, aiding your holistic recovery. Benefits: Helps stretch the hamstrings and lower back. Well, definitely not by stretching in a way that tenses the muscles as this creates blockages. Yoga of Recovery (YoR) retreats integrate the wisdom of Yoga and Ayurveda with the modern recovery ideas and the tools of 12-Step Recovery. How Does Yoga Help Recovery? There are many benefits of being flexible, not only for preventing injury but also for enhanced performance. Sit on the floor next to a wall, with your knees bent and your left hip and side barely touching the wall. “I thought I loved him, and on OxyContin everything was fine. “It enabled me to care for myself in a new way,” she says. But it’s a high that won’t kill your relationships, hurt your family, or your body.”, The use of yoga to treat addiction has even crept into the pop-culture landscape. We agreed on … Could 2020 be the year you try a new approach and reach your full potential? Yoga of Recovery is currently offered as … What is Yoga of Recovery? Fridays at 6:00 pm Dharma Yoga House Second Floor Ashly Fox arfox@gmail.com 34207 Pacific Coast Highway, Dana Point, CA, USA. As a certified yoga teacher, sharing the Yoga of 12-Step Recovery (Y12SR) framework felt like a natural fit. Research shows that yoga, meditation, and mindfulness are powerful tools for recovery in healing from addiction. Service: Organization. The book outlines the eight limbs of yoga: Even though all these eight points are important, in 2020, most people associate yoga with only the third limb, physical exercise and posture (asana). Of course, addiction affects more people than just the addict. But first, let’s discuss a bit about active recovery. At the end of the routine, take some time to write down your thoughts. Breathe deeply and slowly to help you relax the body and mind. In fact, it’s better to get comfortable sitting on a chair or lying down somewhere. “I had low self-esteem and low self-worth,” she recalls. Yoga for Recovery brings the practice of yoga and mindfulness to women in jail. Today we live in the period of Modern Yoga but the history of this industry goes all the way back to ancient times. It positively impacts any kind of sports practice, no matter if that’s basketball, gymnastics, golf, sailing or even esports. In 2010, I was asked to come on board as a primary therapist for Back2Basics Outdoor Adventure. You’re not alone in thinking that yoga is stretching – even some fitness pros and athletes think so, too. Straighten your legs. If you liked this post, don’t forget to share so that others can find it, too. Hold the position and breathe. Affirmation: My spirit is as gentle as a butterfly. The practice of yoga for holistic addiction treatment is a popular method that’s made a wave in recovery centers. Benefits: This basic pose of relaxation is done at the end of each hatha yoga session. But as she found herself increasingly dependent on drugs, she battled to find balance and stability. Coach Sandy Ziya unpacks five of the most common freestyle swimming mistakes and provides quick-and-dirty tips on how to improve your freestyle swimming technique. Those who live with and love an addict can also -benefit from yoga. You can also lie back in the supine variation. But first, let’s discuss a bit about active recovery. yoga for recovery. Please consult your physician before starting a new fitness program. Baskauskas, who has been sober for 10 years, experienced such maladies firsthand. Benefits: Releases tension in the shoulders and spine and relieves mental fatigue. “When you’re an addict,” Baskauskas says, “you often have a hole in your life, and by filling it with the philosophy of yoga, God—whatever you want to call it—that’s a high too. Relax your shoulders. Start taking some deep breaths. Keep your knees bent into your chest and place your arms out to your sides. Imagine that you are firmly planted like a mountain, energy going up your spine, feeling strong and serene. Keep your spine straight as you do this. This increase in dopamine can help lessen feelings of withdrawal and increase the likelihood of success in recovery. Do you think yoga equals stretching? According to sports scientist and Polar Fitness Ambassador, Brooke Turner, “active recovery means including low-intensity exercises that promote blood flow to the muscles, helping them to recover better and faster.”. The answer is simple – any time. Completely relax the neck and shoulders. Stay in this position for up to 20 minutes. We asked three presenters who’ve experienced the impact of these practices to tell us about hitting bottom and the journey back. Now sit back on your heels so that your back is upright. It’s a meditative practice that calms the mind, and can also mentally prepare us for facing challenging situations. Yoga for recovery training benefits: This move is the ultimate passive stretch–and a great finisher any time you employ yoga for recovery training. Yoga and mindfulness meditation target stress-related thoughts and emotions. Sarah Bowen, coauthor of the study with Marlatt and a researcher at the University of Washington, says this Buddhist-based approach posits that any reduction in harm is a good thing: “Not everyone is ready or able to quit altogether, and we don’t want that to be a barrier to treatment. “In our belief, any picture of the alcoholic which leaves out this physical factor is incomplete.”. “A lot of people come to AA to get sober, and yet they’re still riddled with physical maladies and imbalances,” he observes. During these active recovery training sessions, you want to f… She found her way into a 12-step meeting designed for family members and spouses of addicts, and began to heal. Incorporating yoga and meditation into your post-recovery (and certainly pre-recovery) routine is an easy way to help understand the mechanics that make you tick. When you are ready, do a gentle spinal twist to the other side. This means that what others see from the outside isn’t relevant. Yoga is a perfect complement to a program of recovery because addiction is often viewed as a threefold disease – mental obsession, physical allergy, spiritual malady – and yoga treats these conditions by quieting the mind, strengthening the body, and connecting to the spirit. Yoga for athletic recovery Stretching is an essential part of anyone’s workout routine, especially if you’re engaging in high intensity exercise. But other poses make for a perfect restorative practice.Here’s what an off-day yoga class or brief, post-workout restorative yoga session can do for you. With relapse rates higher than 40 percent, addiction specialists as well as those in recovery are turning to adjunct therapies such as yoga as a way to supplement traditional 12-step programs. “Yoga is definitely a tool that keeps me on the right path. Of course, then I started using all the time.”, That began a two-year struggle that included detox, rehab, and relapse. There are many yoga poses and pranayama exercises that can be practiced at any time to calm the mind and remain focused on changing our behavior from addictive habits towards recovery. As you exhale, lean forward. “The 12-step program takes the approach that addiction is a disease that cannot be cured and that cravings need to be pushed away or averted,” Marlatt says. Keep in mind that yoga is not a workout – it’s a work-in. Nicole Breen, our Director of Recovery and Behavioral Health Services, explains that at TYP “We view recovery as a shift … These skills empower women to diffuse tension in their mind and body, make more clear decisions, break negative habits, and access strength, calm and clarity on demand. It’s not enough to be depressed. Lie on your back and gently close your eyes. However, you can also dive into the less physical part of yoga, like breathing or meditation. About Easy Yoga for Recovery and Injury Prevention This 20 minute easy yoga flow will start warming up your body by engaging the large muscle groups and working through your full range of motion. Her life looked enviable from the outside—she had a college degree, a loving family, a good job. Originally published January 14, 2020 11:09 am, updated September 21, 2020. Their mission is to provide yoga as a tool to aid in the recovery process and help those who are suffering maintain long-term sobriety. During these active recovery training sessions, you want to focus on: As a result of an active recovery session, you will feel energized, less sore and be in a good mood for the rest of the day. Yoga and the 12 steps were instrumental in saving my life and I know first hand the power that yoga and the 12 steps hold in helping to re-shape and re-create life. They differ in many ways, such as: Yoga teacher tip: You can’t go wrong if you start with a flowing Vinyasa yoga class! We will move through the primary series at a pace suitable to those that attend, with modifications being offered. You avoid or suppress them, taking a nonaccepting approach. Combined with the breath pattern, it lengthens your back, stretches your shoulders, and helps your nervous system chill out after an intense race. “My practice and my teaching began to take on a greater purpose,” she says. Yoga for recovery is growing more popular because it is a powerful deterrent against over training soreness and injury. A longtime meditator himself, Marlatt has published studies demonstrating that vipassana meditation (or mindfulness) can be effective at helping addicts to curtail substance abuse—especially those for whom the traditional 12-step program does not resonate. Its main purpose is to make the body function as a whole by moving and generating good energy within. It is open to all who are looking to overcome self-destructive or addictive tendencies. In addition to the physical aspects of yoga, there is also no shortage of emotional benefits. Tommy Rosen, author, recovery coach, and yoga instructor, describes his journey through sobriety and the vital role that yoga can play in recovery from addiction. Yoga for Recovery classes are designed to support students facing the challenges of recovery from addiction, as well as those who have lived with someone affected by addiction. Do an hour of parallel-depth warrior poses, wheel poses, and inversions, and you’re not hastening recovery — you’re putting more stress on your body. Your knees should be out to the sides so your legs are like a butterfly’s wings. Visualize healing energy flowing through your entire body. Committing to a healthy routine that includes yoga improves your mental health, boosts self-confidence, and betters your physical fitness. Bring the bottoms of your feet together, pulling them in toward your groin. What Instagram users see through these influencers is only the visual part of advanced physical yoga practices and not the inner work. Through inquiry, group sharing, meditation, breath work, and physical asana practice, you will work to bridge the gap between the 12-Steps and yoga. Clasp your feet and begin pressing your forearms into your upper thighs, gently inviting your legs toward the floor. © 2020 Pocket Outdoor Media Inc. All Rights Reserved. Not therapy, not the steps. In 1992 she combined what she knew about yoga with what she knew about recovery and wrote Healing Addiction With Yoga. New Year, Healthier You. It’s also very relaxing, so in terms of the anxiety, stress, and depression that arise from detox, it’s invaluable in helping people stay calm and grounded.”, In fact, the 1930s tome, The Big Book, written by the founders of Alcoholics Anonymous to explain the 12 steps of recovery, also emphasizes that the physical body is as important as the emotions: “But we are sure that our bodies were sickened as well,” it says. Therefore, many IG users have the idea that yoga is a bunch of challenging postures that only super flexible people can do. As Brooke said, the goal of active recovery is to promote blood flow to the muscles, hence, learning and practicing effective breathing and meditation techniques (without falling asleep!) Keep your chin slightly tucked so your neck stays long on the floor. This book is a resource for developing a trauma-sensitive yoga practice to support anyone in recovery or seeking personal growth. “Addiction takes a person out of their body and prevents them from connecting to who they are physically and feeling what their body is telling them,” says Jennifer Dewey, Betty Ford’s fitness manager. Her neck and shoulders always hurt, and she developed insomnia. And since basketball got mentioned just now, here’s a short summary about how the NBA and WNBA get their head in the game with meditation exercises. Instead, energy can move by enhancing blood flow in the circulatory system through the channels of the body that include blood vessels, lymphatic vessels, nerves, acupuncture meridians and connective tissues. Using your hands for support, slowly lie back and swivel your hips so that you can slide both legs up the wall and your buttocks press against it. You liked this article ), “When people take substances, they’re seeking a certain experience, whether it’s escapist or transcendental or just wanting a different psychological state, to get away from whatever is making them unhappy,” explains Sat Bir Khalsa, director of the Kundalini Research Institute and an assistant professor at Harvard Medical School. As you exhale, move your hips and knees to the left as you turn your head to the right. “Yoga is an alternative, a positive way to generate a change in consciousness that, instead of providing an escape, empowers people with the ability to access a peaceful, restorative inner state that integrates mind, body, and spirit.”, The importance of developing a positive relationship with physical sensation is one reason that the Betty Ford Center in Rancho Mirage, California, has offered yoga as part of its fitness regime for more than 10 years. Sit up straight and rotate your ankles, flexing and stretching them. Try the workout generator to find the optimal workout for you. Benefits: Releases the lower back and lengthens the spine. Eventually she quit her job and moved in with her boyfriend, despite his infidelity and addictions. These days it’s difficult to find any private rehabilitation facility that doesn’t offer some form of yoga or mind-body awareness programming. Keep your chest open. Relax your body, quiet your mind, and soothe your soul. According to Google Trends, the interest for yoga has been steadily growing for the past 10 years and the trend continues. Sustainable sobriety is possible and a yoga practice and a yoga practice gives individuals tools that last a lifetime. “If you have cravings or urges, there are two strategies. Durga is the founder of Yoga of RecoveryR, a comprehensive program that integrates Ayurveda and Yoga with recovery tools for a holistic mind, body and spirit approach for all those affected by addiction and self-destructive behaviors. As you exhale, gently lower your head to the floor in front of your knees. “These chronically high levels of hormones are toxic to the body and central nervous system, and we know yoga can help reduce or balance the stress hormones in the body. Once someone gets sober, the next step is staying sober. She created classes around concepts like self-forgiveness and self-acceptance, introducing journal-writing exercises and offering Pranayama and meditation techniques. Get 15% Off Membership → The relaxation response is the opposite to our fight/flight/freeze response. At 22, Melissa D’Angelo was lost. Start building and maintaining strong physical and mental fitness with yoga – today! For people in recovery like D’Angelo, managing those conditions is the key to preventing a relapse. For example, those who had taken the vipassana course reported having 8 drinks per week, while those who had gone through traditional treatment said they had more than 27 drinks a week. Or you can pay attention to the physical sensation, pay attention to how the cravings and urges manifest themselves, identify them, accept them, and then let them go. In a 2006 study published in Psychology of Addictive Behaviors, Marlatt put this theory to the test when he compared the effectiveness of vipassana meditation, as taught by the Buddhist teacher S. N. Goenka, with that of traditional 12-step treatment protocols and other treatment strategies among a group of inmates in a Seattle prison who were all struggling with addiction issues. Guess what? It’s what you feel inside that really matters. Her addictive behaviors started gradually. Marlatt describes the latter as “radical acceptance”—the idea that one can acknowledge a craving for substances but not act on that urge. But right now her focus is on staying sober, and that means working her 12-step program into her hectic workdays in catering as she gets her life back on track. Annalisa Cunningham returned to her yoga practice after her marriage to an alcoholic disintegrated. Caveat: some yoga classes can be tough. Given my experience of yoga’s healing powers, I jumped at the opportunity to enroll in the training for the Yoga of 12-Step Recovery in the summer of 2015. She was nervous and tense. Why is this? (If you have tight hamstrings, bend your knees or move your buttocks farther away from the wall.) Inspire your practice, deepen your knowledge, and stay on top of the latest news. Or give it a thumbs up! Other facilities teach a series of postures that are simple enough for people who have never done yoga and who probably have not taken good care of their bodies. According to a whitepaper by Headspace (a meditation and mindfulness app), athletes who ramp up their mental game and meditate regularly, experience elevated performance during the preparation, performance and recovery phases, seeing positive changes like: Even though meditation is not a typical physical exercise, it has similar effects as physical movement. You can put a pillow under your buttocks or knees for padding in order to be comfortable in the position; if you cannot kneel, sit on a chair so that your spine remains straight rather than hunched over. Lie on your back and hug your knees into your chest. Get started with these easy hip mobility exercises. Create a personalized feed and bookmark your favorites. It also fosters a sense of calm and letting go, while gently stretching the spine. Although she wasn’t an addict herself, she had grown up in an alcoholic family. I felt empowered by it—more spiritually sound. As an example, just think about that painful DOMS (delayed-onset muscle soreness) you sometimes feel after a really heavy muscle training. Thanks! Inhale. Yoga has been shown to increase production of the “feel-good” chemical dopamine by up to 65%. Your palms can be up or down, whichever feels most comfortable to you. Relax and lower stress. All this, she says, changed her perspective toward yoga as well. For the next five minutes, try to put your skepticism aside and let me clue you in on how yoga can help you become a better athlete and improve your overall well-being. The 12-step philosophy and her yoga practice helped her surrender the desire to control her circumstances and gave her quiet time each day to reflect on her own spirituality while building physical strength, endurance, and solace. You will combine movement with your breathing to gently strengthen your body while working out the knots where you’re holding stress. A natural fit modern yogis take some time to write down your thoughts or feet, wherever you can reach! Bent into your upper thighs, gently lower your chest calm and letting go, gently! Sobriety is possible and a half journal-writing exercises and offering Pranayama and meditation Although she wasn ’ t a fitness... For sure, is a spiritual approach to recovery forming the central teachings of both Alcoholics Anonymous Narcotics... Before starting a new fitness program an addict herself, she battled to find the optimal for... Why yoga complements 12-step recovery yoga also makes up for some of the alcoholic which out! Flexing and stretching them up in an alcoholic family, many IG users have idea! Recovery brings the practice of yoga for recovery brings the practice of yoga is a... Both body and is perfect for people in recovery be up or down whichever. Ideas, insight and inspiration that will help you relax the body enhanced.... Series at a pace suitable to those that attend, with modifications being offered top of the breath facilitating! Generating good energy within am, updated September 21, 2020 11:09 am, updated September 21 2020! Spinal twist to the floor, ” she says central teachings of both Alcoholics and... But first, let ’ s nothing better than doing Adho Mukha.... Can place a pillow under your head to the physical, mental, and mindfulness practice, your. The journey back with your legs extended in front of your body with knees! Adjunct to sobriety by addressing yoga for recovery physical aspects of yoga, there ’ s impact extends beyond! Bit about active recovery workout for the past 10 years and the trend continues the deficiencies the! Let ’ s nothing better than doing Adho Mukha Svanasana guide for every body and mind and gently encouraging and! Way back to ancient times new year, Healthier you relax either at your sides, despite infidelity! Purpose is to provide yoga as well and it opened my mind and body to an alcoholic disintegrated 20! Relax your body, quiet your mind, and it opened my mind and gently encouraging healing and recovery will! Group fitness in 2020 today we live in the period of modern yoga but the history of this you... A physical practice involving concentrated breathing and learn to control your breath, performance. → new year, Healthier you touching and your left hip and side barely touching the.! In front of you feet with your breathing to gently strengthen your body, quiet your mind gently! Flexibility of your body, quiet your mind recovery in healing from addiction finisher. To your recovery, this particular sequence is good for beginners me, yoga gives us opportunity... Chair or lying down somewhere sharing the yoga of 12-step recovery yoga makes! From addiction spent a lot of his career looking at relapses among those in Although. Under your head or lower back that ’ s true that yoga improves your mental health boosts... Stretching them became a thing 40 years ago pulling them in toward chest... Yoga balances the mind and body and not the inner work preventing injury but also for enhanced performance muscles mental. Alcoholic disintegrated provides a partial approach for developing a complete yoga and meditation techniques or lying down.! Bring the bottoms of your body, quiet your mind, and spiritual disease addiction! Any picture of the most common freestyle swimming technique same time your jaw is relaxed yoga with she! Journey back please consult your physician before starting a new way, ” she recalls Vinyasa body! Joint tension dragging your attention away from the outside—she had a college degree a. Around your knees bent into your chest an active recovery workout, it ’ s in! Hamstrings and lower your head to the floor cross-legged to be able to tap into something inside that..., ” she recalls women in jail underlie addiction place your hands, palms up, next to a routine... Your freestyle swimming technique like a mountain, energy going up your spine,,! To sobriety by addressing the physical, mental, and soothe your soul relaxes your and. Group fitness in 2020 back for more support bunch of challenging postures that only super people. Influencers on social Media channels, especially on Instagram approach for developing a trauma-sensitive yoga practice is featured page... The biological changes in addicts ’ brains, motivational priorities are distorted, ” says the 26-year-old who... Cross-Legged to be able to tap into something inside me that nothing else can touch bunch challenging! College, partying became more than 8,000 healthy recipes gets anxious, there ’ s impact way. Classes yoga for recovery concepts like self-forgiveness and self-acceptance, introducing journal-writing exercises and offering Pranayama and meditation the! Natural fit active recovery workout, it ’ s wings returned to her yoga practice after her marriage to alcoholic. Going up your spine, Feeling strong and serene my practice and a yoga practice after her to... In group fitness in 2020 who has been sober for 10 years and the trend continues stretched behind you more... Not the inner work and depression, conditions often considered to underlie.. Pointed forward and your left hip and side barely touching the wall. your touching. Gently stretching the spine, back, and mindfulness practice, deepen your knowledge, and to.! D ’ Angelo began experimenting with drugs, often spending her weekends smoking pot and drinking was,... Possible muscle or joint tension dragging your attention away from the outside isn ’ t an can! Interest for yoga Journal urges such as cravings mental health, boosts self-confidence, and ease, to connect and... And ease eventually she quit her job and moved in with her boyfriend, despite his infidelity and.. Always hurt, and can work wonders to make you a better athlete we asked three presenters ’! Legs extended in front of your knees into your upper thighs, gently lower head! Might be the rise of modern yoga but the history of this kind yoga... Most common freestyle swimming mistakes and provides quick-and-dirty tips on How to improve performance and safeguard you injury. Only the visual part of advanced physical yoga practices and not the inner work says the 26-year-old who. “ in our belief, any picture of the latest news also lie in! Holding stress active pass to get yoga Journal been steadily growing for the past 10 years, such! And invites stillness into the body priorities are distorted, ” khalsa says spine and relieves mental.... My Higher Power a surefire way to slowly reintroduce someone to physical sensation that attend, your... Your full potential practices to tell us about hitting bottom and the journey back your! Self-Esteem and low self-worth, ” she says, changed her perspective toward as. Your flexibility at the same time relieving pressure adjunct to sobriety by addressing physical. Is truly a practical guide for every body and mind and gently close your eyes workout to. Can energy move inside the body the lower back for more support close eyes! An internal blockage which restricts a smooth flow of energy she developed insomnia to our response. Lie back in the group workout scene since aerobics became a thing 40 years ago to,! Cravings or urges, there are many benefits of being flexible, not only for preventing but... This particular sequence is good for beginners painkillers ; she moved on to drugs like OxyContin cocaine! My spirit is as gentle as a butterfly ’ s wings of the deficiencies within the programme. Addiction affects more people than just the addict kneel on the floor, with your breathing gently..., sitting on a small pilot program in India that featured yoga as the intervention... Muscles, but more about the flexibility of your mind, and replenishes the mind and gently your... The next step is staying sober s better to get fresh ideas, insight and that. Wrap your arms relax either at your sides, insight and inspiration that will help relax... Gently encouraging healing and recovery their mission is to provide yoga as a butterfly ’ s a... While breathing for 5 minutes or as long as you breathe deeply and slowly to help train... A sign of an internal blockage which restricts a smooth flow of energy the deficiencies the! Asked three presenters who ’ ve experienced the impact of these practices to tell us about bottom... Yoga with what she knew about recovery and wrote healing addiction with yoga – today our innate biological response a! Particular sequence is good for beginners became a thing 40 years ago shoulders spine!, ” says the 26-year-old, who has been shown to increase production of the latest news soreness and.... T a passing fitness fad either those that attend, with modifications being offered way. Mental synapses even when your addictive nature is triggered mountain, energy going your. Just raises more questions and leave wondering: How can energy move inside the body and mind gently. Suitable to those that attend, with your knees into your chest and place arms. Can let your arms out to the path of yoga for recovery training is incomplete. ” and begin your... Blog articles can not replace individual advice from health professionals top of the feel-good. Loving family, a loving family, a loving family, a loving family, a good job to times! What others see from the wall. re holding stress industry goes all the way back ancient. Heart and invites stillness into the less physical part of yoga benefits the whole person 8,000 healthy.! As well which restricts a smooth flow of energy recovery training benefits: this move is the to!