Yoga therapy

Many people practise yoga daily as exercise or for relaxation, but how can it help overcome addiction? Yoga therapy uses a combination of poses and breathing techniques to help you reduce stress and improve physical and mental wellbeing.

We will examine how yoga therapy can contribute to your healing, how it benefits you, and how to seek help if you feel like a loved one needs it.​​


Yoga therapy

What is yoga therapy?

Yoga therapy is part of a holistic approach to addiction recovery. Yoga therapy helps by introducing healthy routines into your daily life, which help manage stress, cravings, and anxiety. This promotes your overall wellbeing and enables you to get the most out of rehab.

Another core aspect of yoga therapy is its usefulness in developing greater self-awareness and balance. You will be guided through exercises to help you focus on the moment and yourself. You will also learn breathing techniques which can be used at any time to help reduce stress and centre yourself.

Will yoga work for me during addiction treatment?

Incorporating yoga therapy into your daily schedule is beneficial regardless of your history of substance abuse. Yoga reduces symptoms of mood disorders such as depression and anxiety, which often coexist with substance misuse and behavioural addictions. For people going through rehab, yoga can provide an alternative way to channel and focus their stress and energy.

Individuals often find yoga effective in their rehab programme and incorporate it within several other treatments. Additionally, yoga can help ease withdrawal distress for individuals going through the first stages of detox. At Oasis Bradford, you can incorporate yoga to reflect on your future goals and build up your emotional, physical, and psychological strength.

How does yoga therapy work?

Living with addiction can take away your sense of agency and control. Part of the healing process with rehab is about rebuilding your independence and control.

Many elements of yoga can help you to establish this balance, some examples being:

Living in the moment…

Yoga therapy incorporates the ancient healing practice of meditation to focus on stillness. If you have been battling substance abuse for some time, you’ve likely swung between feeling out of control and extremely anxious.

Yoga allows you to live in the moment without getting lost in the past or future. Practising mindfulness lets you see you are enough without hiding behind your addiction. Through yoga, you can move past your judgments about yourself, the pain of past experiences, and the fear of tomorrow.

Reconnect with your inner self…

The noise and distraction of addiction can cause you to lose sight of who you are. When you cease to use substances or detox from behavioural addictions, you can question who you are at your core.
You can begin to heal the relationship with yourself and make amends through yoga. Without this growth in your person and self-respect, sustaining long-term recovery can be extremely difficult.


Yoga therapy - setting up


Commitment to your health…

Certain areas of your physical and mental well-being were likely neglected during your dependency, as physical exercise and nutrition are low priorities when an addiction is in the picture. By taking up yoga, you can build your health back in a reliable, safe way.

Yoga is adaptable to all abilities, which means in the early days of recovery, you can participate in gentle, healing practice when you are regaining your strength. As you progress through your treatment, you may focus on more vigorous yoga styles, increasing your fitness and strength.

Many people find that through yoga, they regain a sense of self-worth and value, encouraging them to stay committed to recovery.

Does yoga therapy reduce withdrawal symptoms?

Withdrawal symptoms during rehab can be extremely distressing, with mood disruptions such as depression, anxiety, and aggression being common. Yoga is known to balance the production of stress hormones such as adrenaline, which can help decrease these negative symptoms and calm the central nervous system, relieving stress throughout the body.

Yoga offers a unique avenue to experience the calmness and joy many seek in drugs without the negative repercussions.

What treatments can I expect at rehab?

At Oasis Bradford, we use a range of treatments to treat all kinds of substance and behavioural addictions. In many cases, yoga therapy helps complement and enhance these treatments used at rehab.

Here are some examples of treatments used within rehab:

  • 12-step therapy – Yoga therapy is an effective complementary approach to 12-step programmes. The increased focus and self-awareness can be invaluable when taking a look back on your past actions in promoting self-reflection and personal growth.
  • One-to-one and group therapies – While taking part in one-to-one and group therapy at rehab, you can draw upon the coping skills you have learned in yoga therapy and develop bonds with the people in your yoga class.
  • Experiential therapy – This type of therapy is often more interactive and hands-on than traditional talk therapies, using creative activities such as art, music, or role-play. The increased mindfulness and emotional regulation that yoga therapy promotes allows you to engage more fully in experiential therapies and therefore get the most out of them.


Yoga therapy - person doing yoga

If you want to find out more information regarding yoga therapy for addiction treatment at Oasis Bradford, get in touch with us today and a member of our team will answer your questions.