Most of us are addicts. It could be as simple as game addiction or as dangerous as substance abuse. In simpler terms, addiction is dependency on some activity or substance.
Here is where yoga can de-addict you, if you choose to take it up. Your progress depends on the teacher you choose and the will power you put behind it. But it works.
How addiction happens
The human brain practises positive reinforcement and rewards pleasurable activities by producing dopamine — the feel-good chemical. It strengthens the desire to repeat the experience which can be anything from sex to eating favourite food or indulging in hobbies.
Alcohol/substance abuse also raises dopamine levels but it’s much higher. Long periods of abuse alter the brain’s production and processing of dopamine.
Physical dependence manifests itself in the form of sustained abuse to keep you from experiencing withdrawal symptoms. Therefore, your daily routine starts revolving around substance-intake activities. Withdrawal symptoms surface if the baseline amount of substance isn’t consumed.
How Yoga can act as an intervention
Addictions are usually coping mechanisms gone wrong. People start it as a temporary escape from their problems, emotional, physical or mental. Addiction treatment should therefore help the person in learning new ways to deal with their issues in a healthier manner.
Yoga can prove to be an excellent adjunct in addiction treatment. Meditation, an important part of yoga, teaches to be in the present unlike addiction which reinforces past experiences. Meditation pushes towards self-awareness, self-acceptance, realisation of a higher energy, oneness of universe and universal love. It lets your mind and body heal themselves naturally.
Yogic breathing facilitates endorphin release. They’re the body’s natural feel-good chemicals. It helps in resisting cravings while the brain returns to healthier dopamine production and processing.
Meditative practices have proved to relieve stress. During de-addiction, meditation develops will power to desist from temptation and craving. It helps reclaim control over mind and body.
Yogic cleansing or shatkriya/shatkarama consists of specific practices for body detoxification. This technique cleanses the body of toxins and diseases, and enhances prana flow through the body.
Irrespective of religious beliefs, yoga offers a spiritual experience to everyone. It encourages more mindful choices for healthier mind and spirit. Regularly practising yoga gives impetus to recovery.
Yoga can be customised to everyone’s fitness level and goals. Check out your nearest yoga center depending on what suits you.
And if you live in Santa Clara, Esha Yoga is where you should head to. We offer classes to suit various types and regimes. It’s a place where you can commune with your soul and start life afresh. Come. Be a part of a world where worries go out the window. Because de-stressing is just a stretch away.