How Yoga Therapy Can Help Someone Who is Struggling with an Addiction
An Interview with Integrative Therapist Gina Watkins LCSW RYT
Are you working on overcoming an addiction? If you answered, "yes" then yoga therapy could be a great part of your plan to recover. To help understand how
yoga therapy can help someone who is struggling with an addiction and what a typical yoga therapy session is like, I have interviewed therapist Gina Watkins LCSW RYT.
Tell me a little bit about yourself.
"I am a Licensed Clinical Social Worker since 2009. I received a Masters degree in Social Work in 2005 and have worked in criminal justice and substance abuse for about 10 years. I am also a Registered Yoga Teacher. I have worked in residential and outpatient treatment centers, correctional facilities and institutions, and with family members of people struggling with addiction. I also work in the health care field helping people who are living with chronic and terminal illnesses."
What are the benefits of yoga therapy?
"I began using meditation, pranayama (breathwork), and mindful movement with clients while working with women in residential treatment in 2008. I found that the women I was working with really enjoyed their individual sessions as well as group sessions. They reported feeling more at ease, an increased sense of calm, and less agitated. They also reported that the tools and practices they learned in session were helpful in their daily lives."
How can yoga therapy help someone who is struggling with an addiction?
"Mindfulness and yoga practice allows people to slow down and be present in the moment. It gives people an opportunity to stop thinking about the past and the future and all the anxiety that goes with it. Focusing on breath and sensations of the body activates the parasympathetic nervous system, calming the mind chatter and releasing tension in the body.