ANCIENT ROOTS

For centuries, Yoga has been used as a means of both physical and mental therapy. Not only has it been shown to reduce stress and promote well-being, it has been used to heal the body of many common and complex ailments. Physical exercise and yoga can be useful components of comprehensive prevention and treatment programs. The application of yoga as a therapeutic intervention capitalizes on the various psychophysiological benefits of each component of yoga; the physical exercises may increase an individual’s physical flexibility, coordination, and strength, while the breathing practices and meditation may calm and focus the mind to develop greater awareness and diminish anxiety, resulting in higher quality of life. Additionally, yoga is not competitive, does not require expensive equipment, and it can be used even in patients with severe health problems.


 
 

EXEMPLARY RESEARCH

The ancient philosophies of yoga and mindfulness as applied to trauma and addiction are supported by recent scientific evidence from well-designed clinical trials and experimental laboratory paradigms. Mindfulness-based yoga interventions have sound conceptual underpinnings and growing empirical support for enhancing addiction treatment, prevention, and recovery. When integrated with conventional therapies, Yoga and mindfulness offer a holistic approach to breaking the cycle of stress, negative emotions, and addictive behavior by creating a sense of self-awareness, self-control, and self-realization (Khanna et al., 2013). The following is a list of research, studies, articles, and resources outlining the benefits that yoga may bring to people impacted by trauma, addiction and incarceration. 


Yoga for Recovery

The skills, insights, and self-awareness learned through yoga, mindfulness, and meditation practice can target multiple psychological, neurophysiological, and behavioral processes implicated in addiction and relapse. This list of research, studies, articles, and resources outline the benefits that yoga may bring to individuals in recovery for addictive behaviors.

*By some estimates, more than half of inmates held in jails and prisons in the United States have a substance use disorder. Treatments involving the teaching of meditation and other contemplative practices have been developed for a variety of physical and mental disorders, including drug and alcohol addiction. At the same time, an expanding volunteer movement across the country has been bringing meditation and yoga into jails and prisons. This review first examines the experimental research on one such approach—mindfulness meditation as a treatment for drug and alcohol addiction, as well as the research on mindfulness in incarcerated settings. We argue that to make a substantial impact on recidivism, such programs must mirror volunteer programs which emphasize inter-dependency and non-duality between the “helper” and the “helped,” and the building of meditation communities both inside and outside of prison.


Yoga for Correctional Facilities

Yoga, mindfulness, and meditation practices are becoming increasingly commonplace in many correctional institutions around the world. This list of research, studies, articles, and resources outline the benefits that yoga may bring to incarcerated individuals and how yoga may be of use in rehabilitation efforts.


Yoga For PTSD / trauma

Evidence available to date clearly suggests a link between human physiology and symptoms of exposure to trauma and further indicates yoga as a promising intervention to help individuals cope with or eliminate symptoms. 


Yoga for specific symptoms of trauma


Yoga for Youth

Research suggests that providing yoga within the school curriculum may be an effective way to help students develop self-regulation, mind-body awareness and physical fitness, which may, in turn, foster additional SEL competencies and positive student outcomes such as improved behaviours, mental state, health and performance. This list of research, studies, articles, and resources outline the benefits that yoga may bring to children and adolescents.