Yoga, Ayurveda and 12 Step Recovery Washington DC

Many who desire to stop their addictive/compulsive behaviors turn to the numerous 12 Step Programs available nowadays. The most remarkable aspect of these 12 Step Programs is the fact that only the first of the twelve steps makes any mention of the addictive substance or act. Find out more about the "12 Step Programs".

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Yoga, Ayurveda and 12 Step Recovery

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Yoga, Ayurveda and 12 Step Recovery

Durga B.A., Clinical Ayurvedic and Pancha Karma Specialist, Certified Yoga Instructor.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Many who desire to stop their addictive/compulsive behaviors turn to the numerous 12 Step Programs available nowadays. The most remarkable aspect of these 12 Step Programs is the fact that only the first of the twelve steps makes any mention of the addictive substance or act. Sobriety is described as a "daily reprieve contingent on the maintenance of our spiritual condition". Our opportunity for genuine spiritual fulfillment is strengthened when we weave together the ancient wisdom of Yoga and Ayurveda with the practical tools of recovery programs. Together they offer us a truly empowering personal program of recovery.

"To Thine Own Self Be True" is commonly used in 12 Step Programs, this directly relates to the basis of health described by the Sanskrit word "Svastha" which means 'to be established in the self'. Ayurveda, like 12 Step recovery work, is designed for those who are ready to take responsibility for themselves. Ayurveda views the each individual as a unique expression of the five elements, refined into 3 essential doshas (Vata, Pitta and Kapha - biological humors). Knowledge of your Ayurvedic constitution can be of great benefit in recognizing your addictive behaviors and the needs and vulnerabilities that underlie them. Vata types are prone to addiction and they are the most easily and severely damaged by them. They usually become addicted to substances that reduce their pain, worry, anxiety and insecurity. Pitta people adopt addictions that keep them at the high level of intensity and activity that they associate with success. Pitta people tend to be self-righteous and have a hard time recovering unless they are convinced it is in their best interest. Kapha people may use substances to stimulate them as they tend toward lethargy and often fall into food addiction because of poor eating habits. These individuals have the strongest systems and can take more abuse from bad habits. Consequently, they have the hardest time recovering.

By understanding your Ayurvedic constitution, you can learn the areas in which you may become vulnerable when you are under stress – and you can determine what kinds of activities and changes in your lifestyle can best help you restore balance in mind and body. Ayurveda offers simple and practical methods to maintain health and prevent disease through the use of such tools as proper daily and seasonal routines. It revitalizes the body’s systems and boosts the immune system giving you a strong foundation in health to face the challenges and stresses of daily life without resorting/relapsing into old addictive behaviors.

All addictions are part of a psychological pattern of dependency. This must be addressed through efforts to contact the true Self that is independent and transcends environmental influences. In this regard the 12 ...

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