In the steps that lead to letting go of addiction, the first would be to understand all the reasons why the addiction is bad for you. Once you have developed a strong will to let go, you are ready to move on to the next stage. This stage involves creating happy and positive memories that you can look back on whenever the going gets tough.
By using yoga, one can gradually reverse the negative effects of the addiction that has afflicted your mind and body. Regular practice makes the body stronger and fitter while the mind gains strength and focus.
8 Yoga poses to help fight addiction
- Paryankasana – the couch pose
Lie down on your back with one leg folded and placed by the side of the hip. With the knees together, make sure that your entire body is in a straight line. Maintain this position and breathe deeply. Repeat the same process with the other leg.
- Paschimottanasana – the seated forward bend pose
Sit on the floor with the back erect, stretch your legs straight and inhale deeply. While exhaling bend forward till your head touches the knees and you can hold your toes without bending the knees. Hold this pose for a few seconds before inhaling and returning to the original position.
- Matsyasana – the fish pose
While sitting in the Sukhasana or Padmasana, lie back with your hands bent over the head. Breathe normally.
- Garudasana – the eagle pose
Twist the right leg around the left while standing in such a manner that the toe is in contact with the back of the left leg. This has to be done while exhaling. You need to maintain your balance and gradually increase the pressure at the ankle. Twist the same arm as the leg around the other till the palms are joined together. This pose needs to be maintained before inhaling and returning to the original pose.
- Sarvangasana – the ‘all member’ pose
Lie down on your back and lift your legs straight up without bending them at the knees. Taking the support of your arms, lift your hips and lower back off the floor. The weight of the body is now resting upon the shoulders. Maintain this position till comfortable before returning to the original position.
- Halasana – the plough pose
While lying down on the floor, take the support of your arms and elbows and lift your body gradually off the floor. The knees must be straight while you lift your hips and lower back and your legs should also be straight till they touch the floor above the head. Hold this pose as long as you are comfortable and go back to the start pose when done.
- Yogendra pranayama 2
Stand in the erect but relaxed posture of Pranayama and put your hands on either side of your lower ribs. When you inhale, concentrate on expanding the intercostal muscles; start exhaling the moment inhalation is over. Make sure that the abdomen or the clavicular muscles are not used much. Feel the lungs expand under your hands. Initially you can do this for 2 seconds but later on build it up to 7 seconds.
- Yogendra pranayama 3
Stand in the erect but relaxed posture of Pranayama and inhale without moving the diaphragm or the intercostals muscles. Only the clavicular muscles will be in play. Make slight backward and upward motion with shoulders while inhaling. Exhale as soon as the inhalation cycle is over. The focus must be on the chest area and you should be able to feel the lungs expand. Start this practice with a count of two seconds and build strength to gradually do a maximum of five seconds.