Yoga, while an ancient practice with deep spiritual roots, is now a widespread, popular form of physical exercise. It has taken on various forms in Western culture. Yoga is so prevalent that nearly every gym offers it as an exercise program. This kind of yoga focuses less on the religious or spiritual aspects of the practice and more on the physical side. Typically, these exercise and not a proper yoga therapy program. Gym yoga emphasizes stretching, movement, postures, and breathwork for the purposes of increasing strength and flexibility. However, these programs either disregard or downplay the meditative and spiritual side of the practice.

But, the yoga therapy program at Integrative Life Center isn’t the same practice you’ll find at your local gym. We design our program to address the specific needs of our clients. It’s a centering, grounding, trauma-sensitive exercise. Our yoga therapy program helps individuals physically release trauma where it’s stored – in the body. Harnessing the meditative aspects of yoga, our yoga therapy program allows clients to learn and improve their control over their thoughts and feelings. When it comes to dealing with substance use disorder or mental health issues, this kind of therapy is invaluable.

Yoga and Trauma Therapies

When paired with other trauma-centered therapies yoga therapy is extremely beneficial. For example, some trauma-centered therapies our yoga therapy program compliments include:

  • EMDR:  Eye movement desensitization reprocessing or EMDR work on how an individual’s brain stories memories attempting to change it for the better. 
  • CRM: Combining several ancient practices with neuroscience, the Comprehensive Resource Model address individuals with severe trauma.
  • Psychodrama: A very active and creative approach to treatment for substance abuse and mental health issues. In this therapy, individuals literally act out their issues in a variety of roles to come to terms with them.

It can activate areas of the brain involving self-awareness. By doing so, yoga therapy works to alleviate the symptoms of traumatic stress. For many clients, it feels as though they are befriending their body after years of being estranged. When it comes to substance use disorder and mental health issues, individuals routinely have sacrificed their body. Often, this is done through disregard. One of the benefits of yoga therapy is the mindfulness and full awareness of one’s body it brings. Incorporating trauma-sensitive yoga in the treatment of addiction and mental health struggles allows an individual’s body to use its own resources to heal. 

Yoga Therapy Program in Recovery

Also, it is a practice thanks to its popularity that can be continued once clients leave rehab. This means they’ll have a practical tool for building relationships and maintaining their sober health in recovery. Once back to their regular, daily lives the techniques and tenets of yoga therapy gives clients a means to overcome triggers. Further, yoga can be both a solitary practice and a collective one. It provides clients the opportunity to meet others in a healthy, sober setting. This is vital because building or becoming a part of a supportive community makes living sober that much easier. Clients who embrace yoga therapy reduce their risk of relapse while at the same time improving their overall physical health.

Some Evidence-Based Benefits Of Yoga In Treatment Include:

  • Decreased stress and stress management
  • Improved mood
  • Relief from anxiety
  • Reduced fatigue
  • Promotes sleep quality
  • Improves flexibility and balance
  • Increased strength
  • Self-empowerment