Using Yoga to Become Spiritually Fit in Addiction Recovery
By: Cumberland Heights
Spirituality is what brings many in addiction recovery from a place of loneliness, isolation, shame and desperation to a place of gratitude, connectedness, community and vitality. We all experience pain, and sometimes that pain takes us far beyond what we would have imagined. We become entrenched in this endless loop of negative thinking, drinking, criticism and more, which holds us back from truly living a life of recovery. If you’ve been ready to make a change in your life – one that is truly transformative – focus on spirituality.
In 2018, Very Well Mind, a website that provides information on disorders, self-improvement and more, identified several components of spirituality that is truly discovered by each person in their own recovery journey:
- Understanding the faults, mistakes and weaknesses that we have as part of being human
- Respecting oneself and others
- Learning how to use a moral compass to guide oneself through life’s situations
- Gaining perspective on one’s problems
- Letting go of pride and asking for help when it’s needed
- Receiving and giving support to other people
- And so much more
12-Step programs, such as Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) and Narcotics Anonymous (NA), help people become more “spiritually fit” through weekly group discussions, sponsorship and community support. Other holistic activities, such as yoga, provide a beautiful blend of mindfulness meditation, breathing, exercise and balance to those in recovery. A 2016 study published in the journal Life Science Global noted that yoga practice, meditation and self-reflection are all excellent spiritual activities to build one’s sense of self-awareness, improve behavioral responses to stress, increased mindfulness of emotions and more.
Holly Glenn Whitaker, a yoga and meditation instructor has been working diligently in her recovery from addiction for many years. In her blog, Hip Sobriety, she mentions that yoga has helped her replace “artificial highs” for more natural ones, become more engaged in a community, establish more control over her mind and discover an incredibly healthy coping mechanism that she can use virtually anytime, anywhere.
If you haven’t already, look into attending some yoga classes alongside your 12-Step program. The possibilities – and benefits – are endless.
Cumberland Heights is a nonprofit alcohol and drug-addiction treatment center located on the banks of the Cumberland river in Nashville, Tennessee. On a sprawling 177-acre campus, we are made up of 2 12-Step immersion campuses, 12 outpatient recovery centers and 4 sober living homes. We believe that each person has a unique story to tell – and that’s why we always put the patient first.