Yoga & Meditation
One of the most important skills individuals being treated at Sprout Health Group need to learn is how to relax, first with conscious effort before making relaxation as an integral part of life itself. Many of the emotional issues that come with mental illness as well as substance addiction can be very stressful. The individual can manifest a variety of physiologic complaints such as pain, headaches, and other bodily discomforts. These are in addition to the psychological manifestations of stress such as agitation, restlessness, and near-anxiety attacks. Sometimes, the only way to manage all of these physical and psychological manifestations is by consciously training the mind to relax so that the body will relax as well. This is the basic principle behind yoga and meditation and all other mind-body practices that have been observed in the Orient for several centuries.
Be it yoga or meditation, both requires absolute mindfulness or concentration on the current moment. Yoga requires the individual to assume a yoga posture and be particularly conscious of his breathing efforts. The more the individual focuses on his breathing, the more that he is able to become acute aware of the rest of his body. For some individuals yoga allows them to become fully aware of themselves.
Since yoga requires absolute concentration and focus in assuming a particular posture and remaining in this state for particularly longer periods of time, the individual learns self-discipline and self-control. He is able to identify which part of the body is hurting and what can he do to divert the attention from this painful body part towards another that is more comfortable. Over time, the individual is able to take full control of each bodily sensations as he learns he has the capacity to manage these complaints just by exerting the power of the mind. Yoga allows the individual to listen to his body and to himself with compassion, understanding, and kindness. There is no judgment nor criticism that emanates from the mind as it is only focused on what exists in the present.
The physical component of yoga allows the body to recuperate and slowly improve over time. With careful measured breathing, oxygen and nutrients is efficiently delivered to all cells of the body. The muscle tension provided by the different postures is often enough to allow for improved joint mobility. When used together with exercise, yoga can help improve the optimization of energy utilization in exercise.