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Is 12-Step Yoga Effective?


Yoga on mountain

Yoga is a holistic practice that came from India and has become more mainstream in the United States than ever before. Nearly 20.4 million people practice yoga in the United States, which consists of breath control, simple meditation, and specific postures and movements to promote health and relaxation. If you’ve heard of yoga before, you’ve probably heard of the many benefits it boasts: increased flexibility, enhanced muscle strength and tone, improved respiration and energy, weight reduction, cardio and circulatory health, improved athletic performance, and much more. There have been many adaptations made to yoga over the past few years to meet various needs – 12-step yoga is a form of yoga that appeals to those in addiction recovery.

Similar to traditional yoga, 12-step yoga incorporates breathing exercises and poses while also creating a safe space where trauma can be released and healing can begin. The type of program may occur simultaneously with a reputable treatment program – individuals attend meetings and work through 12 steps to achieve a higher mental, physical, and spiritual grounding in recovery.

A 2016 dissertation conducted by a researcher from Walden University sought to explore the effectiveness of yoga for individuals in addiction recovery treatment programs. One hundred voluntary and non-yoga participants were assigned to yoga exercise or no yoga as a comparison group – results from the study showed that yoga could be very effective for individuals hoping to restore their mind, body, and spirit in addiction recovery. In another study published in 2014, researchers assessed several studies that involved several types of yoga such as hatha yoga, nidra yoga, and cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) compared to medical interventions and found that yoga and CBT yielded much more meaningful results for those recovering from addiction.

If you haven’t already, speak with a professional from a reputable treatment center to learn more about 12-step yoga and how it can become incorporated into your treatment regime. It’s never too late to begin your journey to recovery.

Simple Recovery is a world-renowned, California state-licensed substance abuse recovery center. We offer dual diagnosis treatment, so if you are experiencing both substance abuse and symptoms of a mental disorder, call us today at 888-743-0490 so that we can work with you to restore your happiness, health, and well-being. You do not have to continue living this way; there are many people here ready to help you.