Yoga in Recovery – Increasing Spirituality and Self-Awareness
Focusing equally on healing the Mind, Body, and Spirit, the Yoga class at Best Drug Rehabilitation can be highly beneficial in helping to overcome addiction
When the founder of Best Drug Rehabilitation, Per Wickstrom, sat down to develop the addiction treatment program at our recovery center, he decided that he wanted to take a different approach. After going through several different rehabilitation programs in overcoming his own addiction issues before finding one that worked for him, he realized that different modalities in treatment are helpful to different people. Instead of a one-track “cookie-cutter” method of rehabilitation, where each patient adheres to the exact same program, he decided to give the patients at BDR a choice in the direction that they wanted their recovery program to take them.
The ultimate goal is the same for all of our patients – finding the tools and ability to lead a substance-free lifestyle, and to face the stresses of daily life without resorting to using drugs or alcohol. While the goal is the same, there are many different paths to that goal, and each person will travel their own path at their own pace. In order to embrace people of all ages, races, genders, and spiritual backgrounds, Best Drug Rehabilitation offers several different options in treatment and extracurricular classes, which combine to form an effective and personalized rehabilitation strategy for each patient. Additionally, progress through the program is based on results instead of a timeframe, which allows our patients to explore all of our options at their own pace until they find what is most beneficial to their recovery, and to absorb as much of the concepts and ideas presented to them as they possibly can.
One of our extracurricular options is our Yoga class. Held every Tuesday and Thursday morning, this group is facilitated by yoga instructor Diana Bradley. Part of the excitement that she finds in her yoga class is the ability to introduce many patients to a completely new experience. “Some of them are hesitant in trying it,” Diana explains, “because they don’t know what it is, or they have this idea in their head of what it might be. It’s on a physical level, it’s on a spiritual level for some, and just having a little bit of exposure to it is very helpful in the beginning of your recovery.” As our treatment program helps the patient to heal as a whole, concentrating equally on the Mind, Body, and Spirit, the yoga class is one of the course options that places focus on all three of those aspects at the same time.
Yoga is a physical, mental, and spiritual practice that is derived from the Hindu discipline and Eastern philosophy. It involves controlled breathing and calming exercises, basic meditation, and stretching into and holding certain poses. Just the physically restorative properties alone are highly beneficial to our patients as a form of physical therapy. “Some are challenging, strength wise,” Diana points out, speaking about the different poses in yoga. “Some are balance. Some are trying to work on focus and concentration.” Regaining strength and toning muscles is crucial to reversing the damage that has been done to their bodies over months or even years of substance abuse.
Practicing yoga can also be quite an effective tool in repairing the altered thought processes that result from long-term substance abuse. It requires a great deal of focus and concentration, and meditation helps to clear the mind so that the patients can address the stresses of daily life and handle negativity in a positive and constructive manner. “It’s very calming,” Diana says. “They come in, and they’re in a building with people they don’t know, and they’re in an environment that they’re not familiar with. So, they take a class in the morning, and the rest of their day is a little less stressful.” Although the yoga class only meets twice a week, patients who participate in it learn new abilities that they can practice on their own when class is not in session, and coping skills that they will be able to use for the rest of their lives.
Yoga, being based on practices from the Hindu religion, can also greatly increase the level of spiritual awareness for many of our patients. In matters of spirituality, we do not adhere to any particular belief system, embracing people from all walks of life. Instead, we demonstrate how, just as each part of our body is connected to each other, we are all connected to one another, and to the universe around us. Finding inner peace and serenity is one of the biggest benefits found in yoga, and can be instrumental in the recovery of even those who have no religious background or preference.
Offering yoga instruction, and the many other treatment options and extracurricular classes at Best Drug Rehabilitation, is one of the ways that we strive to fulfill our commitment to providing the best in substance abuse treatment programs to our patients that we possibly can. Along with effective core program options, the Art and Music Exploration groups, Relapse Prevention, Life Skills Courses, and so much more, we help our patients to discover the most thorough and effective path to recovery that will be right for them.