Yoga is a healthful alternative treatment method that, according to the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health, has been found to “maintain… health and well-being, improve physical fitness, relieve stress… enhance quality of life,” lower heart rate, lower blood pressure, and relieve anxiety, depression, and insomnia. In addition, it can also be a major component of inpatient rehab for drug and alcohol addiction.
How Is Yoga Helpful During Inpatient Addiction Rehab?
Yoga has been found to be extremely beneficial to many individuals undergoing addiction rehab. For example, it creates an activity that is both healthful and enjoyable, something that increases the life satisfaction of those in inpatient rehab, which can often feel isolating at times.
Other ways in which yoga is helpful during inpatient rehab for substance abuse include:
Its ability to keep patients active where they might normally become sedentary
Its philosophy of mindfulness, which helps patients learn how to better reflect on the actions that led them to inpatient rehab and increase the effectiveness of that reflection
Its tendency to encourage patients to interact with one another in a way that is not based in talk therapy but instead in physical activity
Its nontraditional approach that many patients appreciate, especially those who struggle with traditional behavioral therapy and other methods commonly used in inpatient care
How Does Yoga Prepare Patients to Leave Inpatient Addiction Rehab?
Yoga can relieve anxiety.
It is always important that patients are ready to face the world again once they leave inpatient care, however gradually that may be. Though aftercare programs are often essential to a patient’s continued recovery, yoga during inpatient care can also, in many ways, help a patient be better prepared to leave the facility when the time comes.
The teaching of mindfulness in inpatient yoga is one of the most helpful parts of the program, and it can benefit patients even after they leave treatment. Mindfulness is a state of awareness that allows a person to see and accept their thoughts and feelings without judgment but to be conscious of them. According to the journal of Complementary Therapies in Medicine, “Addictions are born as a result of ‘mindless’ states involving escapist attitudes, automatic thinking, emotional reactivity, and social isolation.” Having the skill of mindfulness that was built during rehab allows former patients to better avoid relapse as they avoid the mindless states that helped lead to their addictions in the first place.
In addition, yoga studios and programs exist in almost every community, whether free or not, and people can often continue to attend yoga classes after their treatment. They may decide to continue to set their intention on recovery and avoiding relapse, and the yoga they learned in inpatient care can be a strong foundation for that which they may decide to continue afterward.
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