Yoga is a common form of relaxation and exercise. People enjoy it for a variety of reasons, not least because it can satisfy the interests and needs of beginners and experts alike. Yoga therapy is the use of yoga techniques and practices in ways that target the alleviation of physical and mental health conditions. This formulation makes it a valuable component of rehab programs and mental health treatment regimens.
How Yoga Therapy Helps Mental Health
Both yoga for rehab and healing addiction with yoga has become commonplace practices these days. That’s largely due to the many ways yoga therapy supports improved mental health. Not to mention its baseline physical benefits, which themselves aid in proper overall functioning. Three reasons why yoga therapy can help your mental health are described below.
1. Relieves Anxiety and Stress
Mental health disorders make dealing with anxiety and stress challenging. This can be intensified for people struggling with an anxiety disorder since stress and anxiety go hand-in-hand. Yoga’s reputation as a stress reliever is well-earned and backed by multiple research studies.
2. Helps Fight Depression
Rehab Yoga is also believed to be helpful in fighting depression. Practicing yoga regularly reduces cortisol, one of the body’s primary stress hormones that also influences serotonin levels. Serotonin is the neurotransmitter most often associated with depression. Thus, reducing cortisol can boost serotonin, which in turn can remediate depression and relieve symptoms.
3. Improves Sleep and Overall Health
Bad sleep quality is linked with a range of physical and mental ailments. A lot of mental health disorders also interrupt sleep. Not to mention that medications used in treating mental health disorders also sometimes cause insomnia or difficulty sleeping. This all adds up to sleep being a critical component of overall health. Studies have found that yoga therapy helps the body produce melatonin, a chemical used by the body for regulating sleep. Rehab yoga also:
- Strengthens the body
- Improves flexibility and balance
- Supports healthy breathing
- Relieves migraines
Healing Addiction with Yoga
With yoga being so beneficial to mental health, it is no surprise that addiction treatment providers would incorporate yoga as part of an integrative treatment plan. Rehab yoga’s benefits on mental health make it an ideal inclusion in dual diagnosis treatment that simultaneously addresses substance abuse and mental health.
Moreover, implementing yoga in a clinical setting need not mean it is disconnected from its spiritual element. In fact, the spiritual nature of yoga fits well with the practices of 12-step programs. Many aspects of the 12 steps are grounded in spirituality and try to connect people to a mind-body wholeness.
This mind-body connection is part of what makes rehab yoga so powerful. Practicing it may naturally rebalance peoples’ mental and physical health in addition to supporting self-awareness and forming a positive identity. Both of those things are critical to recovery and healing addiction.
Yoga for Rehab
Using yoga for rehab is often just one piece in a larger treatment plan. Care plans also commonly include behavioral counseling, family services, group therapy, medications, and life skills training. The goal of recovery is sobriety and preventing relapse. In this regard, rehab yoga can be practiced over the long term and be a key element to aftercare planning. Yoga for rehab requires very little in the way of equipment, with even a mat optional to an extent. While rehab yoga is conducted by a licensed professional, yoga itself is something people in recovery can take with them beyond intensive treatment as a regular practice.
Contact Santé Center for Healing at 866.238.3154 to learn more about healing addiction with yoga and what all comprises an integrative approach to recovery.