Stress is a major trigger of substance misuse for many women. Chronic pain, trauma, loss of employment, or marital problems — and sometimes just everyday problems — can women to turn to drugs and alcohol as a way of coping. Giving them ways to relieve their stress is therefore an important component of addiction treatment.
Yoga is a way of clearing the mind and relaxing the body, which makes it a natural therapeutic tool in addiction treatment. At Avery Lane, our program includes yoga classes that are designed to help women relieve and control stress, thereby removing a possible trigger for relapse. Yoga also strengthens the body, which provides additional health benefits.
Yoga also helps in the development of mindfulness. Women who are dealing with addiction are often unable to focus on the moment. Guilt about their past and worries about their future can rob them of life in the present. When experienced all at once, the problems of life can seem overwhelming. The practice of mindfulness trains women with addictions to let go of their pasts and futures so they can be fully present in the now. When they focus only on the present, their problems becomes more manageable, and they are able to learn to control stress. This can be an important component to achieving and maintaining sobriety.