Serenity Promotes Yoga During Recovery For National Yoga Month

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This September Serenity Recovery encourages the use of yoga to aid and speed recovery from drug and alcohol addiction

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In celebration of National Yoga Month, events are being held nationwide: free yoga classes, yoga education by trained instructors, and family yoga events, to name a few.

September is National Yoga Month, as designated by the Department of Health and Human Services. We at Serenity Recovery Center are observing and celebrating by promoting the use of yoga to assist in recovery from drug and alcohol addiction.

Addiction is a disease that affects more than just the body. A holistic approach to recovery that involves addressing the physical, emotional and mental needs of an individual, we feel, has the best chance of assisting with long-term recovery. Yoga’s unique approach to wellness and exercise overlaps with the very factors necessary to beat addiction and therefore compliments a traditional rehab program very well.

Of course, Yoga is exercise. For many years researchers have known that exercise produces positive, mood enhancing hormones in the brain. This “natural high” can also aid in recovery, assisting in the restoration of healthy brain and hormone function. Exercise often also boosts optimism. The exercise portion of yoga, especially when practiced regularly, serves this function as well as or better than other forms of exercise.

One of the most difficult components of treatment, for many addicts in recovery, is effective pain management. While therapeutic pain management techniques with medication provide a useful stepping stone for many with substance abuse disorder, many others would rather a non-medical approach to pain management. Particularly for those who have already struggled with addiction to pain medications or illicit opiate drugs, non-opiate pain management and alternative pain therapies are preferred. Yoga can be adjusted to the skill level of each participant and has been proven effective for pain relief, particularly for long-term easement of physical discomforts.

Yoga includes meditation. A growing number of effective addiction recovery programs utilize meditation and mindfulness practices as an additional approach to therapy. While meditation does not supersede talk therapy, focusing attention on the present moment and calming the mind support constructive, conscientious thinking and decision making. Addiction is a disease that specifically affects the reward centers of the brain, so the portion of yoga surrounding mindfulness and meditation can alleviate mental anguish in temptation, thereby assisting recovery. Through mindfulness and meditation techniques mental “noise,” body sensations and desires are examined, acknowledged, and accepted.

It is not unusual for an addict, particularly during recovery, to engage in self-critical, nihilistic or negative self-talk. Offsetting such negativity with peaceful mindfulness activities can take practice, but demonstrably improves attitude. In many cases, as part of an overall counseling program, those who practice mindfulness learn to curb negative self-talk entirely, learning to recognize such sensations when they first begin and ameliorate self-perception.

Even the word used to describe a yoga workout, a yoga “practice”, speaks to the healthier way of thinking that Serenity Recovery advocates. “Practice” involves learning to do our best, but not expecting perfection. “Practice” acknowledges the persistence involved in long-term change, and that an instantaneous reward may not be available for every situation. “Practice” teaches us patience.

In celebration of National Yoga Month, events are being held nationwide: free yoga classes, yoga education by trained instructors, and family yoga events, to name a few. We at Serenity Recovery will be practicing yoga on our beautiful campus. As we practice at our facility, we encourage you to participate in at least one of three ways: practice yoga yourself in honor of recovery, encourage friends and family to practice, or encourage an addict in your life to get care in a facility that includes regular yoga practice and holistic recovery from addiction to drugs or alcohol.

Serenity Recovery is committed to assisting the community in both substance abuse education prevention and successful recovery. Through National Yoga Month, Serenity further promotes the message that recovery is possible. As we participate as a community we share the value of holistic rehabilitation programs. For more information, please visit the Serenity Recovery website, or call them at 1-855-218-3775.

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Derry Hallmark
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