Teaching Yoga and Addiction Recovery: Addressing Insomnia

By: Virginia Iversen, M.Ed. Can Yoga be used as an adjunct therapy for addiction recovery? According to the National Sleep Foundation, roughly 60 million Americans have difficulty with some form of insomnia on a regular basis. Insomnia can take the form of problems falling asleep, staying asleep throughout the night and waking up too early. [...]

The Transformative Power of Shiva – Emotional Clarity

Many Yogis and Yoginis also experience the deep peace of dropping into Shiva's formless field of energy thought chanting or repeating his divine name is a concentrated fashion. Repeating the mantra 'Om Namah Shivaya', either silently or audibly, will quickly harness Shiva's energy. Many Yoga practitioners like to use a japa mala to help focus the mind while repeating a mantra, or enlivened phrase.

Yoga for Transforming Stress Into Positive Energy

The very first stress management method suggested on the website of the Anxiety and Depression Association of America is to practice yoga. Focusing on yoga or exercise allows you to free yourself from whatever is causing your negative feelings.

About Yoga for Releasing Anger

If you need to let your steam release slowly and evenly, instead of blowing your top forcefully and powerfully, you may want to try yoga. Yoga implements a combination of techniques, which combine beautifully as an effective anger coping mechanism.

How Does Yoga Stimulate Your Brain?

Another group of researchers found a connection between yoga and the neurotransmitter GABA. Neurotransmitters are the chemical substances released to the brain to create communication between the brain and the body. GABA is one of the inhibitory types, which are responsible for calming the brain.

About Yoga for Your Mind

Ruminating about the past and worrying about the future isn't just mentally draining; it's unproductive, too. One of the best ways to break this all-too-common habit is by occasionally emptying all thoughts from your mind. Meditation is a great way to do this, but learning how to meditate effectively is easier said than done. Yoga offers the perfect solution for busy people who want to evacuate pointless, anxiety-provoking thoughts from their minds. Breathing exercises, or pranayama, are integral parts of the discipline. As you learn to perfect them, you'll find that it becomes easier and easier to enjoy the present.

About Yoga Training and Releasing Anger

Another view holds that expressing fury prevents the emotion from festering inside. While anger can be beneficial in certain ways - perhaps alerting us to where we need to speak up, take care of ourselves or protect another who might be harmed -- it still needs proper expression. Exploding and shouting whenever we're angry is hardly ideal, and it could become a habit that serves no one but the angry person.

Yogic Meditation with a Partner

Sit back-to-back with your partner, supporting each other equally. Take deep, slow breaths. Relax into a common rhythm. Experiment with one partner exhaling as the other inhales, and vice versa. Paul and Marie Jerard also do a supine head-to-head variation of this, with the lower legs elevated on a folding chair (blankets are on the seats and a blanket may be under the head, depending on the natural tilt of the cervical spine). The knees and hips are set at 90 degrees and your crown chakra is about six inches away from your your partner's crown chakra.

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