Enhancing the Union of Body, Mind, and Spirit
Yoga, which means “union” in Sanskrit, an ancient language of India, is a practice that utilizes a series of breathing techniques and postures to create harmony on the levels of body, mind, and spirit. Though commonly used as a form of stretching and meditation in the United States, yoga has far more therapeutic benefit than simple exercise.
Yoga therapy developed in relation to Ayurveda, the five thousand year old traditional medicine of India. Yoga therapy, like Ayurveda, emphasizes the re-establishment of balance in mind, body, and spirit that is lost in those suffering from addiction. The physical movements of the yoga are often combined with lifestyle changes and other holistic therapies, such as acupuncture and orthomolecular medicine, and talk therapy, to give the yoga greater effect.
Yoga therapy is a holistic therapy that takes a whole-body approach to health. Yoga therapists use yogic breathing and stretching techniques, chosen based an individual’s health care needs, to help the body heal. Individual assessments are critical, as two individuals presenting with the same medical issue could have very different complicating factors or histories and thus require different yoga practices.
Like the “Stages of Change,” yoga is noncompetitive, seeking to meet a person where he is at the levels of body, mind, and spirit. One of the greatest challenges of yoga, and of addiction recovery, is the letting go of ego to create an understanding that everyone is simply doing the best they can on any given day.
Yoga therapy has been used with great success as a therapy to help those with depression, anxiety, eating disorders, and drug dependency. The physical and mental benefits of yoga are a great accompaniment to more traditional therapies that one finds at Cliffside Malibu.