Written by Medhaavi Mishra

What characterizes an addiction? Quite simply this: you no longer feel that you have the choice to stop.

Addiction can be a challenging topic for those who have never gone through it. Addiction is a problem with a complex solution since it is surrounded by stigma and misinformation.

People suffering from addiction frequently put their well-being, financial stability, health, and relationships on the line to pursue their particular drug, which can range from gambling to cocaine use to alcohol. Even addictions that we might consider less severe—like smoking—involve sacrificing long-term health for a quick dopamine high (often because they are legal and don’t interfere with our day-to-day functioning). Although more challenging to measure and more difficult to conceal, problems like food addiction can be just as serious. All addictions can negatively affect the individual and the larger society.


Various forms of yoga exist, which include:

Bhakti: This spiritual form of yoga focuses on devoting love through mantra meditation to a higher power.

Hatha: This being the more common form of yoga in the US, the procedure involves meditation and posture exercises. These exercises aim to heal the mind, body, and soul through breathing techniques and poses.

Jnana: This form of yoga will use meditation to seek self-realization and wisdom. The exercise employs mental techniques like self-questioning, self-reflection, and conscious illumination.

Karma: This form of yoga will strive to reduce ego and illuminate self-centeredness. Forming through various body movements will help individuals learn to detach themselves from their actions.

Bikram: This form will compromise a series of 26 physically demanding poses. The mission of this activity, which takes place in a heated room of 100 degrees, is to cleanse the body through sweating and help release tension.


Yoga can be a beneficial component of addiction prevention and recovery, even though it cannot eliminate the socio-political causes of addiction. Yoga is one of many mindfulness-based therapies with strong conceptual foundations and increasing empirical support for improving addiction treatment, prevention, and recovery.

Yoga sessions are now frequently offered in drug rehabilitation facilities. Additionally, since anyone, anytime, anywhere, can practise yoga asanas (postures) and pranayama (breathing techniques), addicts can try to deepen their recovery even when neither a therapist nor sponsor is present. Several yoga poses are advised to help recovering addicts find serenity and calm in their daily lives. The following are other ways that yoga can aid your recovery:

It can also boost energy levels, motivate people to eat healthier, and enhance sleep quality that withdrawal symptoms from drugs or alcohol may compromise. People are better able to handle stress and everything else that may arise during the day when they are physically healthier. A clearer mind and less anger result from getting more sleep. In the same way, that good behaviour can enhance the appearance of the physical body; exercise can enhance one’s sense of self.

Improves focus and awareness

Yoga can assist recovering addicts in maintaining the focus required to be mentally strong and goal-focused. Additionally, yoga instruction emphasizes being aware of one’s thoughts and sensations without needing to “numb out” with drugs.

Reduces cravings

Yoga can significantly reduce cravings by assisting people in achieving a calmer state of mind. Yoga has also been proven to naturally raise levels of the pleasure-inducing neurotransmitter following withdrawal when the brain is practically starved of the chemical.

Stimulates the prefrontal cortex 

The prefrontal cortex, the portion of the brain responsible for self-control and one that is severely damaged by substance use, is developed with regular yoga practice. 

Helps conquer insomnia 

Better sleep results from the relaxation that yoga offers the neurological system. These positions will help you sleep better.

Physical benefits

Individuals report feeling more flexible and powerful after each yoga session. Additionally, withdrawal-related aches and symptoms will start to lessen. 

Reduces stress:

 People notice that their nerves have calmed down through gentle motions and relaxed breathing techniques. Yoga can thereby address trauma and psychological discomfort concerning addiction, as well as reduce cravings.

Emotional benefits 

Most people who practise yoga report feeling more at ease with themselves. As a result, people can learn to use their new, healthier, sober coping strategies.

Increased self-discipline

For people to deal with alone, addiction is a huge burden. Yoga can help you develop the discipline of knowing when to say no. yoga is a discipline-intensive practice that can help you cultivate these qualities in yourself.

Inner Peace

People experience a great deal of inner tranquilly thanks to yoga’s spiritual benefits. Thanks to yoga’s medical applications, people can connect with a deeper aspect of themselves and the environment around them.


1. Spinal Breathing Pranayama

To encourage intuitive mind-body connections, most yoga practices begin with a simple breathing technique. Starting a pranayama practice can assist in maintaining mental peace and present-moment awareness, which will be beneficial in altering addictive habits.


Begin your workout on the floor, on a meditation cushion, or in a chair in a relaxed position 

Close your eyes and place your hands on your knees with the palms facing downward. 

Imagine a white light at the base of your spine. As you breathe in, start slowly pulling the light up your spine. 

Imagine the light descending your spine and toward your tailbone as you exhale. 

Maintain this breathing pattern for a minimum of ten breath cycles.

2. Fish Pose

The thoracic spine, chest, and shoulders are significantly stretched in the fish pose, which is also wonderful heart-opening. Fish Pose, also known as Matsyasana, is a yoga pose that eases anxiety and stress and is once referred to as the “destroyer of all ills” in ancient literature.


Lay on your back, legs stretched, and feet firmly planted. 

Lift your shoulders and chest while resting on your forearms; keep your hands flat. 

Start bringing your hips closer to your elbows to bend your spine and place your head on the mat. 

Place your left hand under your left hip after lifting it and placing your right hand below it. 

It’s your goal to touch your pinky fingers together right below your glutes. 

Hold this position for 5–10 complete breaths.

3. Yogi Bicycles

Yogi Bicycles are an excellent exercise to increase body heat and prepare the muscles for the subsequent yoga poses that emphasise muscle stretching. Additionally, Yogi Bicycle poses are a fantastic method to stimulate our solar plexus chakra, which controls our sense of confidence.


Starting on your back, bring your elbows wide and interlace your hands behind your head. Keep your left leg loose and extended on the mat while bending your right knee and squeezing it against your chest. 

Focus on the twist here as you exhale and bring your left elbow to your right knee after lifting your head, shoulders, and chest off the ground with an inhalation. 

Inhale, focus yourself, and swap legs so that the right elbow touches the left knee as you exhale. To feel the connection in your body, move slowly while repeating this side-to-side motion.

4. Downward Facing Dog

 Great yoga poses for finding stability and reducing tension is downward dog. Downward Dog helps you loosen up physically and mentally by gently lengthening and strengthening your muscles and your physical body.


Start in the tabletop pose. Move your hands forward about six inches. You should make an upside-down “V” form with your body by tucking your toes, lifting your hips, and keeping your palms firmly planted. 

To relieve wrist pressure, squeeze through your thumbs and index fingers. You can draw your shoulder blades away from your ears by externally twisting your shoulders and spiralling your biceps toward the front of your mat. 

Let your heels fall toward the ground to stretch your calves, ankles, and hamstrings. Unwind your mind. After holding for ten to fifteen breaths, slowly return to tabletop pose.


For addicts in recovery, especially in the first stages, yoga should be incorporated into their daily practice. Patients in recovery find that yoga is most helpful when they incorporate it into their regular therapy sessions, such as 12-step groups. Yoga instruction may work to naturally rebalance various bodily and mental regions that are disrupted by drug usage. Yoga has numerous mental advantages in addition to its physical ones. People who practise yoga become more aware of their bodies, develop breathing control, and learn to listen to their bodies truly. This might create a nonjudgmental self-awareness of how things might make a person feel a specific way.

Mr. Harish Singh Pawali aka Hari Pawali

Owner and Founder of Shree Hari Yoga School

About the author

Medhaavi Mishra