The benefits of yoga are many, and in recent years there has been a growing movement to use yoga for rehabilitation and therapy.
But what is rehab yoga? And what can it be used to treat?
It’s well known that yoga is a fantastic exercise, offering a full-body workout as well as a mental cleanse. This focus on cleansing the body and mind has been used for therapeutic purposes in India for centuries and is now being recognized for these benefits across the world.
WHAT CAN REHAB YOGA BE USED TO TREAT?
As the name suggests, yoga for rehab can be used to treat drug and alcohol addiction, grief or physical trauma, and recovery from serious illness such as cancer or a stroke.
Yoga is one of the many practices that can be used for meditative purposes, also referred to as mindfulness. By allowing your body the time to slow down, de-stress, and refocus its energy, you give yourself the best chance of recovering.
As yoga is often part of a general change in lifestyle, this focus on health and wellbeing goes hand in hand with a therapeutic approach. Using yoga for rehab can help to improve mental facets like self-control, willpower, and physical control like balance and flexibility.
Often, trauma and addiction are symptoms of a deeper problem. So using therapeutic yoga for rehab purposes can be incredibly effective.
DOES YOGA FOR REHAB REALLY WORK?
There have been several studies on therapeutic yoga and its effects on the mind and body. And, put simply, yoga has been shown yo be a very effective tool to combat mental and physical disorders.
One study detailed in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine found that following a therapeutic yoga course for 12 weeks resulted in significant drops in GABA levels in the brain. GABA is a chemical messenger linked to stress and anxiety and lower levels of GABA in the body can lead to better self-control and recovery of brain function after strokes and addiction.
In layman’s terms, yoga releases chemicals in the brain that decrease cravings associated with addiction. The same chemicals also have a positive effect on other mental problems such as grief and stress.
FINDING YOGA FOR REHAB CLASSES
Any form of yoga can be used for rehabilitation, but it’s also becoming increasingly easy to find yoga for rehab classes in cities and towns around the world.
Wherever you are, there is most likely a yoga for rehab teacher near you. With the popularity of yoga as a healthy lifestyle change, you’ll most likely be able to find group classes or one- on-one lessons within a few miles of your home.
Or if you do struggle to find a yoga class near you, there are lots of rehab yoga classes online and on YouTube.
For anyone struggling with addiction, post-traumatic recovery, or other life-limiting issues, rehabilitation yoga is an option that should definitely be considered. As an accessible form of exercise with many health benefits, there are many reasons to do yoga, not just for rehab!