Meditation is among the most studied options in assisting a person in addiction recovery. The practices in yoga for breathing and mindfulness are seen to be an alternative complementary approach in treating addiction and rehabilitation. Specific meditation poses have been identified as an essential part of the mindful holistic training that can be conducted in rehabilitation programs. These can counteract the magnitude of dysfunction of the mind, the body, and the spirit, and the disconnect in the functions of these aspects.
Addiction is Treatable
The Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services (OASAS) of New York reported that around 10% of Americans aged 18 and above who are suffering from addiction to alcohol and drugs are experiencing recovery. Recovery from addiction, may it be in form of substance abuse, alcoholism, and other forms of behavioral addictions are marked with recurring relapses and even recidivism. Current studies show that relapse is actually a part of recovery. Addiction treatments reveal that the relapse rate is between 40 to 60% which is similar to the relapse rates of other chronic diseases. The behavior’s compulsive nature drives a person to continually perform the activities and behaviors regardless of its negative effect which disrupts his or her normal functioning in the home, the workplace, and the community at large. The compulsion at times wins over and leads into a relapse, or worse, recidivism.
In this effect, the efficiency of using mindfulness-based therapy is being sought to holistically improve the living practices of an addicted person in recovery. The practices in yoga, particularly the meditation poses, help to foster discipline and peace as it directs the mind and the body to function harmoniously.
People in recovery from any form of addiction must first discover the 4 basic points in learning meditation poses: comfort, relaxation, alignment, and stillness.
Comfort is a necessary component in meditation. Meditation poses do not require any form of self-inflicted pain. Discomfort may help you win over sleepiness, but extreme physical suffering is not needed. Relaxation must be a part of the whole process. Your whole body, particularly your face, jaw muscles, neck, and shoulder, must all be relaxed during the whole process of meditation. The alignment of your back is the key to a perfect posture. Sit in a straight and comfortable position with your chin tucked in. And lastly, be still. Physical stability is necessary for maintaining your meditation poses regardless if you are walking, standing, sitting, or lying down. Even when you need to change position because of numbness or discomfort, do it mindfully and maintain stillness.
Meditation Poses for People in Recovery
Now that you know the basics of a meditation pose, you can start learning the top 10 meditation poses for recovery:
1. Sitting on a Chair Pose
Among the meditation poses, the sitting on a chair pose is most preferred by people in recovery who are new in meditation. It is the easiest and most comfortable meditation position because it aligns the spine. Use a chair with a straight back and do not lean on it. Instead, sit on the edge and firmly place your feet, a foot apart, on the floor. Feel free to use a cushion on the seat or between the chair and your lower back to make you feel more comfortable and relaxed. Breathe and meditate.
2. The Seiza Pose
This meditation pose is the most convenient for those who cannot cross legs. Kneel on a mat and support your buttocks with a cushion, a meditation bench, or a yoga props and you can start meditating.
3. The Burmese Pose
Also known as the easiest among the meditation poses, the Burmese position is another sitting position on a floor or a mat. Tuck the left leg in and the right leg in front of it with the top side of your feet on the floor. You can also use a cushion for additional comfort. Breathe in, breath out, meditate.
4. The Lotus Pose
The full lotus position is the hardest amongst the three lotus positions. The right foot is placed on the left thigh and the left foot on the right thigh. Once accustomed to, this position is the most natural meditation poses in terms of alignment allowing you to meditate fully. The half lotus is also half the task. The left foot is placed near the pelvis while the right foot is placed close to the trunk while it rests on the left thigh. The quarter lotus is the easiest. Sit on a cushion, a pillow, or a mat with crossed legs wherein the right foot is placed on the left calf.
5. The Sitting Mountain Pose
Kneel on the floor pointing your knees forward and your feet fully stretched behind you. Sit back on your heels with your back upright. You can opt to put a pillow on your buttocks or your knees for cushion. If it is uncomfortable to kneel, sit on a chair with a straight spine and relaxed shoulders. Open your chest as you breathe slowly and deeply. Imagine yourself as a mountain and let the energy run to your spine making you feel strong and serene at the same time.
6. The Child’s Pose
The child’s pose meditation position promotes the feeling of safety and security, releasing every tension in the body. Start in a sitting mountain position. Sit back on your feet, touch your toes, and slowly separate your knees as you inhale. Exhale as you lay your torso to the floor, down your thighs. For 5 minutes or so, hold the position while breathing and meditating.
7. Seating Forward Bend Pose
Sit on the floor and extend your legs in front of you. Sit straight while rotating, flexing, and stretching your ankles. Flex your feet, inhale, and lift your arms over your head. Exhale and bend at your hips while lowering your chest to your knees. Keep your spine straight. Comfortably reach out your hands on your calves, then your knees, and then your feet, holding each pose for 10 breaths. This type of meditation pose helps you stretch your hamstrings and your lower back while fostering a sense of calmness and release.
8. The Butterfly Pose
Sit straight and bring the bottoms of your feet together while pulling them to your groin. Form the butterfly’s wings with your legs where your knees are out in the sides. Exhale and lean forward. Clasp your feet as you press your forearms in your upper thighs, gently pulling your legs to the floor. Continue breathing.
9. Legs on the Wall Pose
Sit on the floor near a wall. Bend your knees and your left hip and side without touching the wall. Gently lie back and swivel your hips. With the support of your hands, slide your both legs up and press your buttocks by the wall. Relax your arms either at your side or your belly. Straighten your legs and breathe. Place a pillow under your lower back or your head for support.
10. Corpse Pose
This meditation pose relieves the tension in your body by gently lying on your back and slowly closing your eyes. Stretch out your feet and slowly move your legs apart. Put your arms along the sides of your body with palms facing up. Relax your jaw and slightly part your teeth as you take deep breaths. Lie still and let the energy heal and restore your mind and body with these meditation poses.
Sunshine Behavioral Health strives to help people who are facing substance abuse, addiction, mental health disorders, or a combination of these conditions. It does this by providing compassionate care and evidence-based content that addresses health, treatment, and recovery.
Licensed medical professionals review material we publish on our site. The material is not a substitute for qualified medical diagnoses, treatment, or advice. It should not be used to replace the suggestions of your personal physician or other health care professionals.
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