How does yoga enhance recovery and prevent relapse?
From a yogic perspective, there is the belief that our life experiences, both positive and negative, are logged into the tissues of the body. Our experiences create patterns or grooves called Samskaras, which are embedded not only in our bodies, but in our psyche as well.
It can explain why, when we relapse, we’re right back where we left off. The patterns are always there. The brain doesn't forget.
Samskaras are our behaviors and thought patterns to which we default. We can hold on to our wounds, our traumas, big and small, and our disappointments our entire lives unless we bring awareness to how they affect us in our daily choices. Our tendency to reach outside of ourselves to soothe results in addiction.
Much of the work in the 12 Steps is inquiry. Look at why we do what we do. What happens in the mind, the body, and the spirit. This connection of all aspects of ourselves is what makes us whole. From that perspective we can open up with vulnerability to accept ourselves wholeheartedly. The true path of recovery is the path of discovery. Yoga allows us to discover where we're stuck, tight, constricted, and blocked in our bodies and in our spirits. We have the ability to move through the blocks on our path to smooth out the grooves of Samskaras when we connect our breath to our body. Yoga poses were designed thousands of years ago to calm the mind and create overall wellbeing but the deeper practice of yoga isn't all about the poses. It's about connecting to the breath in the present moment. Through breath and movement, yoga physically releases stuck energy and brings our mind into focus. If we practice breathing into whatever discomfort is there instead of reacting to it, we loosen its grip. Acknowledging our patterns and habits allows us to make better choices for ourselves than we did in the past.
Belief in our divine wisdom within, trusting the struggles, surrendering to what we can't control, and being grateful for all the abundance that we have in our lives right now is relapse prevention. Add yoga and we discover we have the power to replace old patterns, no longer be a prisoner of the past, and live a life that we love.
By Julie Bertagna; All Rights Reserved @2017