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Addiction is often an escapist behavioral set that the addict adopts in order to be mentally somewhere else; therefore, the emphasis of yoga will help the addict to be in the here and now.
Yoga requires a calm set of thinking patterns and behaviors that are considered to be a mindfulness technique.

This label may seem lofty, pretentious, or just silly – how can mental processes be anything other than mindful? The particular way of thinking which is assisted by yoga allows those with substance abuse and other addiction or compulsion problems to overcome their own limited thinking patterns and reach back toward sobriety.

There is a great deal of evidence in the last two decades that yoga, which most cultures share as an aspect of worship or lifestyle, is a way to engage parts of the body’s systems that help with pain, for example. Doctors who treat cancer are now recommending yoga as a treatment plan for their patients. Addiction is often an escapist behavioral set that the addict adopts in order to be mentally somewhere else; therefore, the emphasis of yoga will help the addict to be in the here and now. This is something that can help the addict transport themselves away from escapism and back into the present tense.

Addicts are, by and large, extremely intelligent people. The higher functioning and more long-term the addiction is, the more likely the addict is to be quite smart. After all, they spend their entire days planning where the next fix is coming from, while still managing to hold down jobs, raise families and enjoy many normal social relationships. Putting that level of mental power to use in recovery is one of the tasks that a treatment professional has to accomplish. Appealing solely to the emotional aspects of the addict is not sufficient to help the addict achieve their desired level of sobriety. The addict may be smart; they are also clever and experienced at manipulating emotions. The intellect and the heart of the addict both have to be harnessed; and the intellect can be quite tricky to get ahold of. The addict’s flexible thinking and repeated justifications are one way in which they are too mentally flexible for their own good.

The trained, experienced and professional recovery treatment therapist can teach the addict to bring that intelligence to a fine point – focusing it on just the moment at hand. This is a skill that becomes part of an overall coping mechanism, which the addict can harness when out in the world and challenged by an emotional trigger. Yoga is one of the best treatments for anxiety, confusion, pain and addiction. When executed successfully, yoga can bring peace to the addict, which is not a typical state of mind for an addict. The feeling of being at center with the world can give an addict a spiritual high unlike any they ever received as a result of abusing illicit drugs or alcohol. Yoga requires the patient to meditate, which helps to cleanse the mind and bring clarity to thoughts. Many addicts who participate in yoga stay abstinent for substances for a longer period of time after leaving treatment because of the stress-relieving utilization of yoga in a daily life. 

Distributed by Client Initiatives

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