Take a moment to think about what the word ‘addiction’ means to you.
First, notice how your body and mind react to the word—how do you judge the word ‘addiction,’ itself? Realistically, all of us have the tendency to be addicted to something, whether that means routinely brewing up our morning coffee to help us start the day, lighting up a cigarette or finishing the day with a glass or two of cheap merlot.
But the question is, when does a harmless habit become an addiction?
Stereotyping leads us to believe that an addict is someone who hides in a darkened room slobbering in a corner, his health shattered and his life in ruins or a homeless down and out nursing his cider on a park bench.
All to often, those who suffer from addiction issues are highly educated, warm, open hearted souls with a great need to please those around them, especially their family and friends.
Unfortunately, family and friends see the harsh reality of what life as an addict has to offer. They themselves need regular guidance and support to help them through these times, not to be underestimated or forgotten; they should be encouraged to seek effective regular support and quite often even as much support as the addict themselves.
For a number of years, I have worked with addiction, supporting and helping individuals empower their own lives. A number of techniques I use are based around Yogic philosophy.
However, since working in this field, I have gained invaluable knowledge regarding which techniques are more effective than others. Through research and with over 15 years experience of working and supporting addicts, it begins to become apparent what works and what doesn’t.
For me to achieve the necessary outcome, it is vital that each individual knows they have the power to heal their own self.
They have all the tools, deep within themselves, to master their own recovery. I act as a support, a reminder that they are capable, worthy and strong enough, mentally and physically to access their own inner strengths; this alone can be a wake up call or a gentle nudge, and is often strong enough to allow the healing to begin.
Healing Addictions through Breath Awareness.
The majority of people believe that they know how to breathe correctly; as a Yoga Therapist, I have found this not to be the case. We take the breath for granted, because not only do we rely upon it to survive but it is also an automatic action of the body. So why is it so important to pay the breath close attention?
A simple act, such as optimising the breath, can correct internal and energetic balance. Major psychological changes may occur through the increase of oxygen levels, which in turn has a powerful effect on all the body’s systems.
Stress is steadily on the increase and mental and emotional concerns increase stress levels whether you are an addict or not. In low doses, stress is necessary for survival, but when it reaches high/chronic levels it can be damaging. Lack of sleep, through addiction, creates more stress and can cause poor physical and emotional health. Even if you are one of those people who are rarely sick, learning to develop the breath can help you look better, feel more rested and can assist in increased longevity.
The Benefits of Breathing and Relaxation.
1. Empowerment and self confidence: Breathing helps to open the chest which facilitates with emotional balance, mental clarity and increased coping skills.
2. Oxygen increase: Increased oxygen brings more energy and vitality to the body helping to reduce mental and physical fatigue, which helps reduce the need for artificial stimulants.
3. Inhalation: Opens up the body bringing with it a natural sense of confidence.
4. Exhalation: Relaxes the body on all levels.
5. Improvement with circulation: Relieves congestion while oxygen and nutrients are increased to all cells, organs, muscles, blood and bones.
7. The whole body and spirit relax: A natural way to look and feel more rested, nurtured and accepted. With this sense of calmness it allows you to become more connected to your deeper self, opening up more to kindness and being loved.
The Physical Benefits of Breathing.
* Relaxes muscle spasm and assits in relieving and releasing tension.
* Helps to increase flexibility and strength in the joints—when you breathe easier you move easier.
* Body balance and awareness are maintained, as well as the ability to recover faster from stress and overexertion.
When allowing ourselves to breathe correctly, it gives us permission to relax, step back from our daily routine and then from a place of total awareness, we can move forward with our lives.
Ed: Bryonie Wise
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