Yoga is an adjunct to the Recovery Process
More than a few friends have died this past year due to complications from excessive alcohol consumption. My first thought each time was, “I wish that they had gotten help”, not, “they should have practiced yoga”.
Like many living in long-term recovery, I thought that I wanted to be a social worker. Then I thought I wanted to become a chemical dependency counselor. After receiving a degree and certifications, the issue of burnout came into play and I turned to the yogic path.
Many humans that suffer from schizophrenia, major depression, ADHD, Bi-polar disorder self-medicate. When the chemical substances are removed from the body and brain, the human suffers to a point where the average yoga teacher is way out of her (my) league to help.
A Sanga, yoga community, is an amazing support system, but, in itself, cannot remove the disease of addiction the same as treatment, 12 step programs, counseling, etc. etc.
Yoga is the most beneficial adjunct (supplement) to the physical discomfort, emotional pain and spiritual emptiness that addicts (and alcoholics) feel once the substances are removed. However, I cannot stress the importance of steering all yoga students to professionals for help first, then easing them back into living through the yoga practice.
Great resources can be found at ufamichigan.org.