Yoga to Overcome Addiction
Addiction is an interesting experience, because it comes in so many different forms. For many, it looks like drugs and alcohol, for others, sex and porn, or more discreetly, an addiction to the internet, social media, and even ways of thinking. In fact, an addiction is just that: it’s the self sabotaging mechanism of the ego that keeps us small and living in inner conflict. My journey with addiction has been sneaky, as I often say, the ego sneaks up on us like a shadow or a sly fox- we don’t often see that we are in it unless we experience an act of grace.
My experience with addictions started with obsessive clean eating to hardly eating at all, to excessive drugs, alcohol, and partying, to relationships, to radical travel, and more- until my kundalini awakening brought me to face all of the emotions I didn’t want to feel for all of those years. Addiction looks different for everyone, although the effect of trauma depends on the person. I grew up with many friends who struggled with drug and alcohol addiction, and saw that although some of their cases were more severe than mine (and thankfully they have changed their lives for the better now!), it was easy to think my situation wasn’t that bad. Comparison can often keep us in unhealthy addictive patterns by allowing the mind to rationalize its’ behaviors. Luckily for me, I found Sattva Yoga, in which the kriyas work to break addictive patterns and shift consciousness on a profound level. Combined with yoga therapy, these practices have worked for me to overcome addictive tendencies by dropping into a devotional practice of yoga that works on each subtle level of the energy field.
What You Can Expect During A Healing Process:
Yoga will not mask your journey with overcoming addiction. It isn’t a temporary fix- rather, it is a process of slowly opening up the physical body and the subtle layers of the energy bodies which hold stored emotions or memories, called samskaras in sanskrit. The process slowly opens up parts of our consciousness as we are ready to experience them. Often with this process, there is a release of stored emotions such as grief, rage, bliss, and more, as well as the masked thought patterns previously we were previously unaware of. The magical thing about meditation, kriyas, and yoga in general, is that it gives us a space to experience ourselves, and often, we find that what we have been living in has been totally miserable. During this process, it is easy to think you have lost your way, but trust when I share that these aspects of our psyche have been there all along, we simply weren’t aware of them.
Yoga asana will help to release the toxins and stuck emotions in the physical body, Kriyas will help to bring lost memories and emotions into conscious awareness, and meditation offers the tools to focus and be able to sit with everything that comes up. For those with addictive tendencies, even those that may be latent or hidden, this process can be challenging, but through surrendering and trusting the process, healing addiction with yoga is possible.