It is important to use mindfulness practices, such as yoga, during recovery to create internal awareness. Through this self-awareness, we gain insight into the hidden reasons for either cravings, or our addiction, and by doing so we build inner resilience. Yoga and meditation help us to notice feelings, like pain or anxiety, so that we can recognize the discomfort with presence and compassion.
Researchers have found that yoga is an evidence-based intervention that is demonstrated to increase both self and emotional awareness. Here are just a few studies that have found how #YogaHeals:
A review of yoga and mindfulness, as complementary therapies, found that the skills and self-awareness learned through yoga can help change multiple psychological, neural, physiological and behavioral processes implicated in addiction and relapse (Khanna & Greeson 2013).
A study of trauma-sensitive yoga program found that yoga significantly reduced PTSD symptomology, by helping people to understand physical and sensory experiences and increase self and emotional awareness (van der Kolk et al 2014).
Analysis of case studies of a yoga program offered to youth overcoming trauma observed increases in the participants self-awareness (Spinazzola et al 2011).
How does TYP’s Yoga for Recovery programs cultivate internal awareness?
TYP’s trauma-sensitive, mindfulness-based yoga imparts self-awareness by using interoceptive languaging that invites our participants to discover what the poses feel like in their bodies.
Our Yoga for Recovery classes encourage participants to pay attention to their breath and how it influences how they feel, to notice their cycles of thoughts, and to pay attention to where there is tension or sensation in the body. By using the breath and practicing presence, participants are able to gain insight into themselves.
What do our Yoga for Recovery participants say?
“Yoga has supported a better opportunity for me to become self-aware and has been a tremendous tool to introspection and learning to calm my thoughts through meditation. I feel great!”
“I helps me to clear my mind, body, and soul. To concentrate on my breathing, clear my mind and totally relax my body. It helps me to connect mentally, emotionally and spiritually as well.”
“It calms me down emotionally and mentally. Physically makes my pain levels go down.”
What are some yoga or mindfulness practices to increase self-awareness?
Try Tree Pose: From a standing position (perhaps near a chair or wall for support), shift your weight into one foot. Bend your opposite knee, turn your knee to the side to open your hip slightly. Rest your heel on standing leg ankle, with your toes on the ground for support. Try bringing your hands to your hips, or place them together at your heart, or even try extending them to the sky. If you wooble or fall out of the shape, let yourself try again. Focusing on your breath and your gaze at one point that won’t move will help keep you steady.
Try Breath Awareness: Find a comfortable position, it can be in a seat or lying down. Begin to notice your breathing. See if you can feel air entering your nose on your inhale. Notice your exhale. Then try deepening your breath. As you breathe in, fill your lungs up from the bottom to the top. As you
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