6 Ways Yoga Helps With Depression and Addiction

6 Ways Yoga Helps With Depression and Addiction
  1. 6 Ways Yoga Helps With Depression and Addiction
    By Valerie Martin, LCSW, RYT, Trauma Therapist and Yoga Instructor at The Ranch With the explosion of yoga in the west over the past two decades, it’s clear that this ancient tradition is shedding its old reputation as an esoteric practice exclusively for the spiritually devout. It’s also not just for those who consider themselves […] The post 6 Ways Yoga Helps With Depression and Addiction appeared first on The Ran…

By Valerie Martin, LCSW, RYT, Trauma Therapist and Yoga Instructor at The Ranch

With the explosion of yoga in the west over the past two decades, it’s clear that this ancient tradition is shedding its old reputation as an esoteric practice exclusively for the spiritually devout. It’s also not just for those who consider themselves flexible or interested in eastern spirituality.

Research shows that yoga asana practices (the physical aspect of the tradition that most of us think of as just “yoga”) increase flexibility and muscular strength, improve respiratory and cardiovascular function, support addiction recovery, reduce stress, anxiety, depression and chronic pain, improve sleep patterns, and enhance overall well-being and quality of life.

At The Ranch, yoga is used as a tool to help in the recovery process. While a yoga practice is not appropriate for people in early stages of drug detox or withdrawal, once they are more medically stable, yoga can support them in regaining a sense of groundedness, strength and vitality, both physically and mentally.

Below are some of the ways yoga can support recovery from both substance abuse and co-occurring depression and anxiety.

  1. Putting the body in motion. Studies show that just getting the body moving is extremely helpful with depression and addiction recovery. Rather than focusing on burning calories or building muscle, yoga classes offered at The Ranch are at a level and pace that are accessible to most people, and add an important dimension of mindfulness that is often missing from other types of exercise.
  2. Encouraging mindful presence. Yoga supports clients in developing an important skill called interoception, which is the internal sense of body functioning and ownership. This skill allows people to pay closer attention to what’s going on in the body and adjust as needed. Developing interoception on the yoga mat can help people in early recovery learn to notice the subtle emotions, moods and needs in their day-to-day lives. It can also help them become more sensitive to emotional fluctuations and urges, and take action to intervene before they become overwhelming. For example, an unhelpful thought or an urge that passes through the mind can be noticed as something merely passing through.
  3. Connecting mind to body. In depression and many types of addictions, people often become cut off from the neck down, with little to no sense of embodiment. The body and mind each run on their own autopilot with no communication between the two. Even the most simple yoga movements, like moving the arms up with the inhale and down with the exhale, can begin to re-establish the mind-body connection. On a physical level, people learn how to find comfort within their own skin. Mentally, this helps to open intuition and carve a deeper connection to our wise mind — the place within that helps support good decision-making.
  4. Creating awareness of all sensations in the body. Because of the brain’s negativity bias, sometimes the first things noticed by a new yoga practitioner are uncomfortable sensations or frustration with things like limited flexibility. But as practitioners continue to develop their ability to interocept, they also begin to notice other sensations: This stretch feels nice in my left hip, or my legs feel nice and grounded. Eventually, awareness of discomfort can become an indicator to listen to the body and adjust accordingly, instead of just “muscling through” or comparing to the instructor or the person on the next mat.
  5. Helping to regulate emotions. Yoga is an excellent tool for self-soothing. One of the most important tools is the a…
male and female sitting doing yoga pose
  1. Jimmy Kimmel has 4th graders read Trump's overseas speeches, sees who read it better

    Theweek.com - Lifestyle
    05.26 / 05:22 theweek.com
    President Trump has landed in Sicily for a G7 summit and the final leg of his eight-day trip abroad, and he's been giving a lot of speeches on this tour, Jimmy Kimmel noted on Thursday's Kimmel Live. Trump has been reading from prepared scripts, which is a good idea, he said. "I've noticed, though, it sounds like a fourth-grade book report. He speaks very slowly and simply, not too bigly, he just stays in the middle and uses vocabulary even a child could understand. And to highlight that,…
  2. kentuckyderby2017live posted blog posts

    Gofishtalk.com - Lifestyle
    05.26 / 05:09 gofishtalk.com
    kentuckyderby2017live posted blog postsBlues vs Chiefs Live StreamLive Streaming Online Free TvLive Streaming Online Free…
  3. Cranberry Cultivation in Various States

    Bellaonline.com - Home and Garden
    05.26 / 05:07 bellaonline.com
    The cultivation of cranberries was a gradual process that evolved at different times in different…
  4. Hannity decision

    Communities.usaa.com - Lifestyle
    05.26 / 05:06 communities.usaa.com
    I'm appalled to learn that USAA has pulled its advertising from Hannity's program, not so much because I'm a Hannity fan but rather because this decision was obviously made because of a campaign orchestrated by Media Matters and other like groups.  That campaign evidently was intended to suppress media coverage of questions surrounding the murder of DNC staffer Seth Rich.  The timing of the decision gives the game away, and the lame excuse that "we don't sponsor opinion shows"…
  5. Mike Franceschini — 1932-2017

    Laketahoenews.net - Lifestyle
    05.26 / 05:06 laketahoenews.net
    Mike Franceschini, a 32-year veteran of Lake Tahoe Unified School District, died May 24, 2017. He was 85. In 1956, Mike moved to Lake Tahoe. He taught grades four, five and six at Al Tahoe, Bijou, and Tahoe Valley elementary schools in South Lake Tahoe between 1956 and 1988. He was president of the South…
  6. African-American Female Political Leaders Demand DNC Invest in Their Leadership

    Goodblacknews.org - Lifestyle
    05.26 / 05:03 goodblacknews.org
    by Sameer Rao via colorlines.com The Democratic Party relies on Black women to be the most consistent and engaged progressive constituency, but rarely supports their political leadership. A group of 27 Black female political advocates and leaders released an open letter demanding that Democratic National Committee (DNC) chairman Tom Perez stop taking them for granted.”We…
  7. Outstanding 17 Year-Old High School Student Jahmir Smith Offered 33 Full-Ride Scholarships

    Goodblacknews.org - Lifestyle
    05.26 / 05:03 goodblacknews.org
    by Zahara Hall via huffpost.com As a kid, high school junior Jahmir Smith never had a dream college. But for a number of universities, he’s their dream student. The 17-year-old North Carolina native has already been accepted into all eight Ivy League schools and has received 33 full-ride scholarship offers, according to ABC 11 Eyewitness News. While [&#…
  8. Could You Benefit from Whirlpool's 14.8 Cu. Ft. Chest Freezer?

    Friedmansapplianceblog.com - Lifestyle
    Whether you love to store excess produce and prepared foods, or you are simply finding that the freezer in your current refrigerator is too cramped, it may be time to purchase a stand-alone freezer from the appliance store. The 14.8 cubic foot chest freezer from Whirlpool is a great addition to any family kitchen. This attractive, white freezer is easy to clean and maintain, and will preserve all of your food items with its consistent freezing performance. The manual…
  9. Designer Partners With Artists For Showcase

    Bernews.com - Lifestyle
    05.26 / 05:02 bernews.com
    Bermudian designer, Catherine Quin announced a collaboration with local artists for her fashion showcase which will take place at Hamilton Princess on June 12th during the America’s Cup. The immersive event will launch Quin’s pre fall collection through an innovative, large scale art installation. The Hamilton Princess marina will be transformed into a unique and […](Click to read the full art…
  10. Video: Berkeley Institute ‘Omega’ Fashion Show

    Bernews.com - Lifestyle
    05.26 / 05:02 bernews.com
    The Berkeley Institute hosted their annual Senior Fashion Show ‘Omega’ this past weekend, putting style on display in order to raise funds for their graduation ceremonies. According to the show’s program, Group ‘A’ models included Jakayla Roberts, Starr Rogers, Latifa Smith, Diamond O’Connor, Tamiyah Durrant, Zariah Amory, Allanna Jones, Jaylaka Jayathunga, Qwezi Savory, Jahdeja Regis, Jahkyah Belboda, Marley Saggar, Rashai Tucker, […](Click to read the full article)…
  11. Speaking to the Soul: Blocking revelation

    Episcopalcafe.com - Lifestyle
    05.26 / 05:02 episcopalcafe.com
    by Maria Evans   AM Psalm 85, 86; PM Psalm 91, 92 Ezek. 1:28-3:3; Heb. 4:14-5:6; Luke 9:28-36  …
  12. Comey cleared Hillary 3 months after Obama said she should be cleared

    Worldtribune.com - Lifestyle
    05.26 / 04:49 worldtribune.com
    Special to WorldTribune.com Excerpts from the Rush Limbaugh show, May 17, 2017 Here’s what Trump is alleged to have done here vis-a-vis the Comey memo. Comey memo says that Trump asked him to let it go. Let the Flynn investigation go. I can hope you see your way to let this go. He didn’t do [&#…
  13. Wanna Get Away? Making the Case for Time in Nature

    Workingmother.com - Lifestyle
    05.26 / 04:47 workingmother.com
    Natalie's Tips There are plenty of reasons to consider nature as a way to…
  14. Mike Seidel still at the center of the weather

    Salisburyindependent.net - Lifestyle
    05.26 / 04:44 salisburyindependent.net
    Watching Mike Seidel knee deep in an ocean turned rough by a hurricane can be a little unnerving, but the veteran meteorologist isn’t concerned. “I never put myself in danger. The only thing that worries me is lightning. Hurricanes, snow storms, don’t bother me. If a hurricane is going to be that bad, we evacuate. [R…
  15. Today's Impeach-O-Meter: Not Randomly Attacking People Is Apparently Not His Gianforte

    Slate.com - Lifestyle
    05.26 / 04:43 slate.com
    In the tradition of the Clintonometer and the Trump Apocalypse Watch, the Impeach-O-Meter is a wildly subjective and speculative daily estimate of the likelihood that Donald Trump leaves office before his term ends, whether by being impeached (and convicted) or by resigning under threat of same. Montana's suddenly violent special House election appears set to end with victory for Republican and amateur wrestler Greg Gianforte. From what we know so far, though, Gianforte is probably only…
  16. The Moroccan Gallery Defying Fancy Fine Art

    Ozy.com - Lifestyle
    05.26 / 04:38 ozy.com
    Specializing in art brut, this gallery is bringing obscure Moroccan artists to the international art…
  17. Where Man and Machine Combine To Improve Manufacturing

    Ozy.com - Lifestyle
    05.26 / 04:38 ozy.com
    In Kariwa, Japan, the human touch is essential in making a more accurate 3D-printed…
  18. Why We Should Reward Imperfect Attendance

    Ozy.com - Lifestyle
    05.26 / 04:38 ozy.com
    Schoolkids should not be rewarded for perfect attendance. They should be ostracized for…
  19. How Advertising Can Make Brazil Less Sexist

    Ozy.com - Lifestyle
    05.26 / 04:38 ozy.com
    Sex sells, especially in Brazil. But the country's $10 billion ad industry is getting a…
  20. Can This Southern Spitfire Fix America's Prisons?

    Ozy.com - Lifestyle
    05.26 / 04:38 ozy.com
    Louisiana's youngest legislator wants to reform our prisons - but can…