As is the case at Gateway Rehab, yoga classes at Memorial Hermann started after patients had gone through detox, Fox says. The classes were scheduled immediately before patients attended their group meditation sessions.
While she says not all patients appeared to engage fully in the classes, Fox recalls that the techniques worked particularly well for those individuals who had continued to smoke while in recovery from an alcohol or drug addiction.
“Many of the patients used the breathing and breath control exercises to help them cut back on their cigarette consumption,” Fox says.
She says she stopped teaching the classes at Memorial Hermann after the arrival of a new manager, who reportedly de-emphasized these types of activities in the treatment program. But in a sign of these services’ lasting influence, Fox has heard that the facility has since resumed with offering yoga to patients.
Gateway's Curry summarizes yoga's appeal in treatment programs by saying, “This mind/body/spirit approach, this is what recovery is all about.”
Addiction Professional 2010 November-December;8(6):25-27