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10 Yoga Poses That Aid in Addiction Recovery

Addiction Recovery

Addiction happens to be a complex condition where a person deeply desires a certain thing and would often go to any length to acquire it. Addictions can be of various types – alcohol addiction, drugs addiction, gambling addiction, sex addiction and more. When a person who is addicted to a certain thing is banished access to it, he/she would soon start to search for ways to get to that thing, get violent at times, express irritation and show other types of behavior that doesn’t necessarily resonate with that person’s character. The condition may worsen over the course of time and self-harm becomes a big issue.

But, it is important to keep in mind that, there is always a chance to come out of addiction and lead a happy, healthy life. There are plenty of examples of people who were heavy addicts at some point of time in their lives but they followed the ray of light at the end of the tunnel and came out as better human beings.

Numerous addiction treatment centers recommend yoga as an effective treatment method. Yoga is an amalgamation of different practices – asanas, meditation, pranayama which has a profound effect on the practitioner in ways, physical, mental and spiritual. However, the important thing to keep in mind is willpower. As long as there is a will to get rid of addiction, yoga will act as the ideal guide towards recovery and a fruitful life. So, here a look at some of the yoga poses to start the transformation towards a better self:

Matsyasana (Fish Pose)


  • Lie on your back with the feet together and hands placed beside.
  • Lift the shoulders and chest and rest on your forearms with flat palms.
  • Create a bend by moving the hips closer to the elbows.
  • Now gradually lift the hips and place the hands below.
  • Remain in the position for five to ten breaths.

Baddha Konasana (Butterfly)

Baddha Konasana

  • Sit straight on the mat.
  • Now touch the feet bottoms and push them towards the groin.
  • The knees should point outwards.
  • Clasp the feet, press the forearms on the thighs and simultaneously press the legs to the floor.
  • Relax in the pose for a minute and breathe deeply.

Paschimottanasana (Seated Forward Bend)


  • Sit with legs extended in the front.
  • Maintain a straight posture and the keep the feet flexed.
  • Inhale and lift the arms above the head.
  • While exhaling, bend from the hips towards the knees.
  • Place the hands on the feet preferably or else you can keep the hands on the ankles or calves.
  • Take ten deep breaths while in the position.

Vajrasana (Sitting Mountain)



  • Kneel down on your mat.
  • Keep the feet together and the knees pointed outwards.
  • Sit on your heels with the hands stretched in front.
  • Keep a straight position with the chest open.
  • Relax the shoulders and breathe slowly and deeply for about one minute.

Viparita Karani (Legs-up-the-Wall Pose)

Viparita Karani

  • With knees bent lie close to a wall.
  • Now gently slide your legs up the wall.
  • The buttocks should touch the wall and the hands should be placed beside your tummy.
  • Straighten the legs and breathe deeply for at least a minute.

Sarvangasana (Shoulder Stand)


  • Lie on your back.
  • Slowly lift the legs and keep them straight.
  • Gradually lift your hips.
  • Now lift the lower back slowly and support them with your arms such that the elbows remain on the mat beside your body.
  • Keep the pose as long as possible and release.

Virabhadrasana I (Warrior I)

Virabhadrasana I

  • From standing position extend the right leg in front so that both the feet are ¾ feet apart.
  • The right feet should point towards the front of the mat whereas the left feet should outwards.
  • Bend the right knee such that the ankle creates a 90 degree angle with the floor.
  • Raise the arms such the palms face each other.
  • Keep straight and breathe deeply.

Adho mukha śvānāsana (Downward Facing Dog)

Adho mukha śvānāsana

  • From table top position walk your hands in the front to about 6/7 inches.
  • Keep the palms on the floor.
  • Lift the hips such that your body forms an upside down ‘V-shape’.
  • Keep the heels planted and stretch hamstrings, calves and ankles.
  • Hold this position for about 10 breaths.

Halasana (Plough Pose)


  •  Lie on your back on the mat.
  • Gradually lift the legs without bending at the knees.
  •  Lift the hips and the lower back and maintain balance with the arms.
  •  Take the legs towards your head and try and touch the ground above your head.
  •  Maintain the pose for 30 seconds.

Savasana (Corpse Pose)


  • Recline on your back.
  • Keep the legs extended in front.
  • Rest the arms beside your body.
  • Close your eyes.
  • Focus on the breath and remain in this position for about 10 minutes.

This infographic was created by Symetria Recovery, an outpatient substance abuse treatment center

Though addiction is hard to let go off but with commitment and willpower, it is possible to overcome it and heal. Be true to yourself and focus on the sensations of the mind and the body with these yoga asanas. Gradually you’ll see the changes with daily practice.

Author Bio : Bipin Baloni is a passionate Yogi, Yoga Teacher and a Traveller in India. He provides Yoga Teacher Training In Rishikesh. He loves writing and reading books related to yoga, health, nature and the Himalayas. 

Website: https://www.rishikulyogshala.org/