Yoga can help individuals suffering from alcohol addiction in a number of ways. Most people look at yoga as a form of exercise; however, yoga is essentially a way to control one’s thoughts and be more mindful. There are a number of yoga techniques that can enable patients into learning how to curb their urges for alcohol.
Yoga as provided in a rehabilitation facility teaches patients to cope with their condition. The inability to cope with one’s thoughts, urges, and indulgences is at the heart of substance addiction, and yoga allows individuals to focus on the breathing and movements of the practice. Yoga teaches different ways to monitor breathing as a way to take control of ones’ thoughts and emotions. “Asanas” or postures help engage the mind, and keep focus and concentration on the practice.
Another strong attribute of yoga practices is self-discipline. Yoga teaches individuals to act against impulsiveness and control “instincts”. Yoga teaches a patient to think before they act. There are a number of postures that allow the individuals to understand the onset of negative impulses, to overrule these negative impulses and to be patient with their own self. These Yoga-postures allow the patient to look at the brighter side of giving up alcohol and keep him/her on track for his/her rehab program.
While all this may sound obscure to those who have not been exposed to the world of yoga, yoga actually helps you establish a spiritual connection between your mind and soul. With enough practice and corrective measures, you can feel that you would be able to gain more control of your impulses and thoughts. This spiritual connection helps you overcome the “void” that may occur especially during the beginning stages of rehab. Most patients feel that a vital part of their lifestyle has been taken away when they abstain from drinking. Yoga can help patients overcome this feeling of depravity by shifting focus onto the practice.
The most vital part of successful abstinence is stabilization after the rehab program is over. Most patients are unable to find happiness without alcohol after they have undergone a rehab program. This leads to a lot of mental stress and may cause some patients to relapse. By making use of breathing techniques taught by Yoga-gurus (teachers), one can feel they can find happiness and balance without resorting to drinking alcohol. Most de-addiction efforts fail in the first 6 months of abstinence simply because the patients are used to a particular lifestyle. Yoga helps patients focus their energies on the more productive things in life. This essentially moves the patients away from the life they once desired. Over a period of time, the alcohol-free life becomes the new normal for the patient and the patient learns to live without alcohol.
Yoga also comes in handy if the patient relapses. It helps the patient from drifting into the negativity of a relapse and to resurface stronger. Yoga breathing techniques, coupled with the right medical attention and meditation can help alcohol addicts make their rehab process a lot easier and smoother.