Can yoga therapy alone cure your addiction? No, it can’t. However, it compliments other evidence-based modalities that can help you turn your life around. Here’s how and why it works.

High-Quality Rehab Facilities Include Yoga Therapy in Holistic Care Modules

A closeup of a man rolling up a yoga mat after a yoga therapy session

There used to be a time when talk therapy was the only treatment you received at an addiction treatment center. Experts believed that psychotherapy was enough to make lasting changes. While it’s true that this form of care has spectacular short-term results, it would benefit from complementary therapeutic elements for long-term sustainability. That’s when researchers developed other relapse prevention protocols.

They learned that people needed more than methods like cognitive behavioral therapy to overcome substance abuse problems. For example, individual therapy doesn’t address how to deal with stressors in the moment. That’s where adjunct therapies such as holistic care and yoga therapy can make a difference. As an anxiety treatment, stress reliever, and sleep enhancer, it works well in combination with individual therapy.

Stress can be a primary contributor to alcohol and other drug abuse. It negatively impacts sleeping patterns and eating habits. It also jeopardizes your decision to quit using alcohol and other drugs. Yoga, as a natural stress relief tool, can be the answer.

Integrating Yoga with Holistic Care

Forward-looking treatment centers provide a sizable menu of holistic care options. Examples include:

  • Yoga therapy as a means of focusing on relaxation and movement
  • Fitness therapy that gives access to a personal trainer and late-model workout equipment
  • Meditation, which deepens your understanding of breathing techniques for stress relief
  • Group therapy activities that include ropes courses for team building, confidence, and exercise
  • Nutritional counseling to help you make positive lifestyle changes with a far-reaching impact on your health

There is ample proof suggesting yoga can be instrumental in helping program participants with co-occurring mental health conditions such as depression and anxiety. Harvard Medical School researchers note that yoga practitioners more successfully regulated stress and pain responses.

Santé Center for Healing piloted Y12SR in 2016 and made it permanent part of the residential programming in 2017 after patients responded in such successful ways.

It’s important to note that you don’t have to be in tip-top physical shape to take part in yoga classes. While some forms appear more acrobatic in nature, standard yoga poses are accessible for almost everyone. For older participants or those with physical limitations, there are modifications to the poses and assistive technology. A good example is chair yoga for those with limitations.

Rehab Must Include Evidence-Based Treatments

It’s not enough to practice yoga for stress relief and hope that your substance abuse problem goes away, too. Sobriety and recovery don’t work like that. Instead, you need to start with medical care, like drug detox. After you break the physical hold the substances have on your body, you move on to clinical care.

Behavioral treatment assists with explaining why you use or abused alcohol and other drugs. You uncover areas of dysfunction. Next, you learn and use coping skills and make changes that eliminate your perceived need for substances. Gradually, you learn to deal with situations and life without using substances and other associated compulsive behaviors.

These steps are instrumental in overcoming addiction. Without it, you’ll be high-risk for relapse when returning home and facing trigger situations. By learning coping mechanisms, life skills, and mindfulness techniques that work for you, it’s possible to eliminate a dependence on alcohol and other drugs. Moreover, holistic care boosts your ability to put these mechanisms and skills into practice.


Santé Center for Healing was one of the first treatment centers in the United States to adopt and utilize Y12SR (Yoga of 12 Step Recovery). Y12SR combines the wisdom of yoga with the practical tools of 12 step programs.

Since addiction is often understood as a physical, mental, and spiritual disease, yoga is a powerful adjunct to 12 step programs.

A Santé client practice and experience since 2016, Y12SR has offered a rich and powerful framework for addiction recovery (behavioral or process addictions and substance abuse) and relapse prevention. 

Find Out How Yoga and Other Holistic Treatments Can Help You Overcome Addiction Today

Do you feel powerless over a substance abuse issue? You aren’t alone. Get help today by contacting Santé to learn what you might experience with traditional evidence-based modalities and innovative Y12SR yoga therapy. Contact Santé Center for Healing at 866.238.3154 to learn more about your options.