Yoga therapy fits perfectly in The Orchid’s commitment to the treatment of our client’s mind, body and spirit. The ancient practice of yoga has been called “meditation in motion” because it enables practitioners to achieve a calm, serene, conscious mindset while simultaneously strengthening and limbering the body.
In the context yoga and meditation, mindfulness is the process of being aware of one’s thoughts while suspending judgment of those thoughts. Yoga practitioners cultivate the practice of mindfulness, through breathing deliberately and concentrating on what is happening only in that moment — the thoughts, the movements and the positions. Through this mindfulness yoga practitioners learn to hold and focus on thoughts without acting on them automatically. This allows the practitioner to move slowly, deliberately and calmly instead of jerkily, reflexively and emotionally.
In yoga, constant attention to the here-and-now is essential for performing the motions and holding the balance and alignments of the position. This deep concentration creates a mental state of deep relaxation. As in sitting meditation, yoga presents an opportunity for the mind to quieten, to stop questing for the next “thing” to grab on. Instead the thoughts that arise simply exist. Because the practitioner does not attach emotion to them or act on them, they eventually go away.
This practice of calm, non-judgmental mindful awareness without action has immediate practical applications for those in recovery. In these cases, many women in recovery find that the serenity learned in yoga act as a natural tranquilizer that allows her to “step back” and evaluate their thoughts with greater clarity. A woman who experiences a craving, for instance, may apply the practice of mindfulness to that craving — acknowledge it without emotion, recognize it as an artifact of past addiction and let it go without taking action on it.