We all know that there are different forms of addiction: alcohol addiction, drug addiction, eating disorders, gambling addiction, sex addiction, smoking addiction, to mention a few. Besides, we also know that addiction is a symptom and can be treated. By uncovering the underlying causes and taking action, one can move from the darkness to light.
Here are some poses (asana) that are useful in addiction recovery:
- Paschimottanasana (seated forward bend): Lie on your back, legs straight, arms overhead, hands together, palms facing up. Sit up, take hands overhead, back straight, then bend forward to hold the big toes, head between arms and touching the knees. This asana reduces abdominal fat. Removes wind from the intestines and increases appetite.
- Balasana (child’s pose): Kneel on the floor, and then sit directly onto your heels. Shift your knees until they are a little more than hip-width apart. Bend forward at the hip; bring your chest to rest between your thighs. Keep your buttocks in contact with your heels and rest your forehead on the floor. If this is uncomfortable, rest your forehead on a cushion or folded blanket-make sure it is high enough for you to be comfortable. Stretch your arms out in front of you on either side of your head. Lengthen the muscles as far as you can, really give a good stretch! Then slide your arms back to your sides, palms up and relax. Remain in this pose for as long as possible. Breathe deeply and relax into the posture.
- Adho Mukha Svasana( Downward Facing dog): Make sure that your feet are inline with your hands and the same distance apart. Raise both heels. Stretch your legs, then lower your heels to the floor. Stretch your arms fully. Consciously stretch stretch each leg from heel to buttock, and from the front of the ankle to the top of the thigh. Raise your buttocks, stretch your chest, and push your sternum toward your hands. Exhale, then rest your head. Press your hands down, extending your arms fully. Stretch your spine and expand your chest. Keep your throat soft and elongated. Relax your eyes and keep your brain passive.
- Ustrasana (Camel pose): Come up onto your knees. Take padding under your knees if they are sensitive. Draw your hands up the side of your body as you start to open your chest. Reach your hands back one at a time to grasp your heels. Bring your hips forward so that they are over your knees. Let your head come back, opening your throat.
- Viparita karani (shoulder stand variation): Helps increase circulation and space in the pelvis. Lie on your side with your buttocks close to wall. Slowly inhale and exhale, then when you are exhaling turn your body and move your legs up to the wall at the same time so that you create a 90-degree angle at your pelvis between your legs and body. Stay in this pose for a few minutes inhaling and exhaling slowly.
These poses have a positive effect on the areas of the body that are most often affected by abuse. Internally, the organs are gently massaged and the heart and lungs can be used more efficiently. The practice of deep breathing (Pranayama) fills every cell in the body with rich oxygenated blood.