Holistic therapies, including such techniques as yoga and meditation, have made inroads in the world of addiction recovery as alternatives to traditional approaches. These therapies offer numerous benefits; they help calm the mind and soothe the soul while promoting inner harmony and clarity. These are essential to the recovery process, which is as much about healing the inner spirit as it is about overcoming the physical symptoms of substance abuse and withdrawal.
Yet, for clients in faith-based healing programs like the Christian Rehab Network, therapies like yoga and meditation may pose questions about compatibility. These techniques are borrowed from disparate spiritual and faith traditions that venerate gods and deities not recognized by practicing Christians. Is there a way to reconcile yoga’s underlying spiritual implications with the Christian faith in the context of drug and alcohol rehab?
The key to integrating techniques like yoga into the Christian context is to focus on the modality, itself, rather than its Hindu roots. The physical postures (asanas) and breathing techniques (pranayama) deliver scientifically proven benefits like core strengthening, toxin release, stress release, and mental focus. Biblically, we are to “offer our bodies as a living sacrifice and spiritual act of worship that is holy and pleasing to God,” (Rom. 12:1-2), and yoga helps us achieve this through an increase in healthy circulation, improved sleep, and decrease in anxiety and depression. There is no doubt that when we are physically healthier and treat our body as God’s temple, we are more able to engage in a deep, spiritual walk.
Many recovering addicts also use yoga time as a supplement to their Christian meditation time. Trading Eastern religious references for prayer, scriptural meditation, and focus on the Holy Spirit, clients achieve spiritual as well as physical and psychological benefits.
So, the short answer is yes, yoga and similar practices can be adapted to Christian values, and they can play an important role in the recovery process when guided by a Christian practitioner. If you or a loved one is suffering from addiction, we invite you to contact the Christian Rehab Network team to learn more about how the power of God can lead to a full and complete recovery—through traditional and non-traditional therapy techniques.