Yoga and Meditation in Recovery

yoga and meditation in addiction recovery

Yoga and meditation have been practiced in India for ages and are now internationally recognised as means of the well-being of the body, mind & soul. It is essential for recovery from addiction. Here at Koshish De-addiction Centre, Bhubaneswar, Odisha we place great emphasis on both yoga and meditation and require all in-house patients to practice them every morning for one hour, 6 days a week.

Mindfulness, meditation, and yoga are known to calm the mind and body and bring inner peace. Each is beneficial on its own. But when practised together, the effects can be spectacular for those in recovery.

Slow, deep breathing and focus are central to each practice. The depth and rate of a person’s breathing can impact the body and mind either positively or negatively. Studies have shown that anxiety and fear are fed by rapid, shallow breathing; whereas slow, deep breaths help in relaxation, a sense of well-being, and stress release. Slow, deep breathing helps improve the respiratory and cardiovascular state of a person.

Constant stress, anxiety and fear felt by people who are in active addiction or recovery increases their cortisol level. Cortisol is the main stress hormone in a human. High cortisol levels can cause high BP, sleeplessness, muscle & joint pains, irritability and other negative effects. Cortisol levels can be greatly reduced by practicing yoga and meditation, which in turn creates an environment for better recovery.

Yoga and meditation though different they still have a common philosophy and approach.  We’ll see below.


It’ll be hard to find a person who hasn’t heard of yoga or not practised it some time in some form. Yoga is a combination of mind-body workout which includes body poses, meditation and controlled breathing. Regular practitioners feel stronger, more flexible, happier and are prone to less chronic pain, stress, anxiety, and cravings. In addition to these benefits one might accrue other benefits like better blood flow, improved sleep, stronger bones, slower metabolism, and improved heart and breathing rate.

Yoga and meditation should be an integral part of recovery treatment and have been accepted as such by experts around the world. If one continues with these even after the treatment, the chances of relapsing are greatly decreased and there’s a marked improvement in the quality of life.


Meditation makes us aware of the present. Our bodies relax and our thoughts become clear when we focus on inhalation and exhalation of our breath, or simply on an object, sound or some visual object. Meditation helps us better understand our thoughts and feelings and teaches us how to release negative reactions. Meditation reduces BP, irregular bowel movements, sleeplessness, anxiety, depression, and chronic pain among others.

To recover properly one needs to heal one’s body and mind. Meditation impacts all aspects of the recovery process such as calming and strengthening the physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual balance of the body. One develops mental clarity and a sense of inner peace. It also helps in reducing cravings which is very important to prevent a relapse.

Studies have shown that yoga and meditation along with relapse prevention methods and treatment when used together, significantly decreased heavy drinking as compared to just relapse prevention and/or medication – within the follow-up period of 6 to 12 months.

At Koshish De-addiction Centre, Bhubaneswar, Odisha, we put great emphasis on both yoga and meditation and make the patients practice oth regularly for their well being.