8 yoga poses to help beat addiction

If you want get rid of an addiction try these yoga asanas.

Addiction is a condition that afflicts the body, mind and soul. This is true for all kinds of addictions alcohol, tobacco, gambling or any other kind. A certain habit becomes an unwanted addiction when it starts affecting your life negatively and prevents you from living a healthy, stress-free live. Those who suffer from addictions many a times realise that it is a negative factor in their life and want to give it up. But the question that most of them usually fail to find an answer to is how can I get rid of this habit?

Bringing about a positive change requires a strong will, faith and direction. The first step is to understand the risks involved in continuing with a certain habit completely well so that you automatically develop the will to get rid of it. You must first resolve that you want to change your lifestyle and make life better for yourself and for those around you.

The next stage is to believe in yourself and in the path that you have chosen. The journey that you have set out on will not be easy. There will be vulnerable moments when you will be weak and may be inclined to succumb to your temptations. However, at such moments you must think of happy moments and about the decision that you have taken to take control of your life. You have to make yourself stronger and be patient. As per yoga philosophy, we must always be action oriented and not result oriented. This means that we should focus on what we have decided to do and must do it in the best possible way. We must not worry about whether we will succeed or not because when we try our best results will definitely be desirable.

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The purpose of yoga as therapy is to induce one to honour and affirm the body. During the active days of addiction it is the body that has been badly abused. Yoga can help to reverse the process. Yoga techniques can help one to 'communicate' with the various systems of the body thus rejuvenating them.

With yoga, we have a beautiful methodology that sets up this kind of inner dialogue and brings about the possibility of living a symptom-free life, mainly by maintaining the homeostasis between these systems. With yoga, we can get in touch with and honour whatever part of ourselves we have abused in the past-whether body, mind, or spirit, Iyengar yoga has a very intense method of accessing those areas of the body which were never honoured

A combination of asanas and pranayamas is an excellent tool that will help you withdraw for once and for all. Practice the following techniques regularly ad see the results yourself:

1. Paryankasana or the couch pose:

  • Lie down flat on your back
  • Fold one leg and place it by the side of your hip as shown in the picture
  • Try to keep your knees together. Ensure that your head, neck and rest of the body are in one straight line
  • Breath normally
  • Repeat for the other leg
  • You can also practice this asana by folding both legs simultaneously

2. Paschimottanasana or the seated forward bend pose:

  • Sit on the floor with your back erect
  • Inhaling, stretch your legs in front of you
  • Keep your knees firm and ensure that you don t bend them while doing the asana
  • Exhaling bend forward, hold your toes and try to touch your forehead to your knees
  • Maintain the pose for 10 seconds
  • Inhaling return to the starting position

3. Matsyasana or the fish pose:

  • Sit in Padmasana or Sukhasana
  • Take support of the hands and elbows and lie back
  • Keep the hands bent over your head
  • Observe normal breathing

4. Garudasana or the eagle pose:

  • Standing twist one leg around the other so that the toe touches the back of erect lower leg, while exhaling
  • Maintain balance while increasing pressure of ankle lock
  • Repeat on the other side. Same arm as leg twists around other arm to join palms together
  • Maintain pose. While inhaling, return to the starting position

5. Sarvangasana or the all member pose:

  • Lie down with your back on the floor
  • Gradually lift your legs straight up taking care to not bend your knees
  • Lift your hips off the floor
  • Now, slowly lift your lower back as well and support your body by forming a stand with your arms, resting your elbows on the ground
  • Your entire body should now be supported on your shoulders
  • Hold this pose for as long as your are comfortable
  • Return to the starting position

6. Halasana or the plough pose:

  • Lie down with your back on the floor
  • Gradually lift your legs straight up taking care to not bend your knees
  • Lift your hips off the floor
  • Now, slowly lift your lower back as well and support your body by forming a stand with your arms
  • Now take your legs towards your head and try to touch the floor above your head with your toes
  • Maintain the pose and slowly return to the starting position

7. Yogendra Pranayama 2

  • Stand erect, relaxed and with your feet apart as in Pranayama I
  • Place your hands on the lower portion of the ribs on either side
  • Now inhale by expanding the intercostal muscles
  • Start exhaling the moment the inhalation is complete
  • Try not to use the diaphragm (not much abdominal movement) and the clavicular muscles during this practice
  • Concentrate on the lower part of the ribs and feel your lungs expanding
  • Start with a count of two seconds and go to a maximum of seven seconds

8. Yogendra Pranayama 3

  • Stand erect with your feet apart
  • Inhale by using only the clavicular muscles, keeping the intercostal and diaphragm controlled. While inhaling make a slight upward and backward movement of the shoulders
  • Start exhaling as soon as the inhalation is complete
  • Keep a count of two seconds in the beginning and go on gradually to a maximum of five

Concentrate on the area across the armpits and try to feel the fullness in your lungs

Photo source: Getty images

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