Yoga first came to prominence in the United States in the 1970s. The practice of yoga originates in early texts of Hindu philosophy, but in the Western world, it is largely non-religious. One of the reasons that yoga has become so popular is that it is not only a type of physical exercise, but also a way to focus and relax the mind. The mind-body connection makes yoga a perfect basis for therapeutic applications in the field of substance abuse and mental health treatment. Yoga therapy training can have many benefits for clients in recovery from substance use disorder or mental health conditions.
What Is Yoga Therapy?
Yoga, in its original Sanskrit, means “yoke” or “union,” referring to the connection between the mind and the body. Therefore, in yoga therapy, physical actions and mental exercises are combined in order to help clients repair and strengthen the mind-body connection, promoting a state of holistic health. Some things that are part of yoga therapy are:
- Body positions, also called asanas
- Breathing techniques and exercises, also known as pranayama
- Guided meditations and visualization exercises
- Application of yoga techniques for daily living situations
Three Benefits of Yoga Therapy
The benefits of yoga for people living with various physical and mental conditions have been studied by researchers extensively, especially over the last decade. The positive effects of mindfulness and gentle body movements are well-established in general, but in the case of substance abuse and mental health treatment, there are even more specific benefits to yoga therapy.
- Homeostasis of the brain’s neurotransmitters – When a person is dealing with substance abuse or mental health conditions, the brain’s system of communicating becomes altered, even damaged. Studies that have been done suggest that yoga therapy can help bring neurotransmitters back to a state of proper balance, called ‘homeostasis’, which can help clients more easily regulate their moods and symptoms.
- Reducing symptoms of stress and anxiety – Yoga therapy can promote a state of calmness and well-being on its own, but clients who participate also develop strategies that will help them in their daily life.
- Greater awareness of the mind-body connection – This may not seem like a huge benefit, but most people are not as aware of how their emotional and mental state can impact their body’s health and vice versa. Yoga therapy can help clients gain a greater understanding of this process, which can, in turn, allow clients to discern triggering situations more easily and correct their course.
Yoga Therapy Is Established and Proven to Help
Even though most people think of yoga as a form of exercise, yoga therapy has actually been practiced since the 1980s. Over the last 40 years, practitioners and therapists have been able to hone their techniques, and researchers have been able to measure benefits on health. Yoga therapists are specially trained to administer this kind of therapy and may hold certifications from professional organizations that maintain standards for the field. When beginning yoga therapy, each client will be assessed, much like any other type of therapy, to ensure that treatment goals are established and that the client can safely participate.
Serenity Grove Offers Yoga Therapy in Athens, Georgia
Our treatment programs offer a wide variety of therapies and treatments designed to help our clients heal from substance abuse and mental health conditions. At our treatment center in Athens, Georgia, our highly trained clinicians work with you to develop an individual treatment plan that will help you maintain your recovery over time. If you or someone you care about has been struggling with substance abuse and mental health conditions, don’t hesitate. Reach out to us today at 844.904.3485 and let us tell you how we can help.