By Valerie Martin, LCSW, RYT, Trauma Therapist and Yoga Instructor at The Ranch
With the explosion of yoga in the west over the past two decades, it’s clear that this ancient tradition is shedding its old reputation as an esoteric practice exclusively for the spiritually devout. It’s also not just for those who consider themselves flexible or interested in eastern spirituality.
Research shows that yoga asana practices (the physical aspect of the tradition that most of us think of as just “yoga”) increase flexibility and muscular strength, improve respiratory and cardiovascular function, support addiction recovery, reduce stress, anxiety, depression and chronic pain, improve sleep patterns, and enhance overall well-being and quality of life.
At The Ranch, yoga is used as a tool to help in the recovery process. While a yoga practice is not appropriate for people in early stages of drug detox or withdrawal, once they are more medically stable, yoga can support them in regaining a sense of groundedness, strength and vitality, both physically and mentally.