The use of Yoga in the treatment of addiction

Nicole Miller

Research output: Contribution to conferencePosterpeer-review

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Introduction: Addiction is a global health concern that requires treatment and recovery maintenance. The aim of the present study was to identify the experience of individuals who use the Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM) mind body therapy of Yoga and who are in recovery from addiction.

Methods: This was a qualitative study that used Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis (IPA) to identify the experiences of individuals who use yoga that are in recovery. Five to six individuals were recruited via personal contacts and the snowball method. Individuals recruited were in recovery over a year and practiced yoga for over a year. Participants were interviewed using a semi-structured format with question topics involving the descriptions of the yoga type, the exploration of the meaning of addiction, when yoga was introduced to the recovery process and its influences on their recovery.

Results: Two cases were interviewed and preliminary case themes were developed as 1) Vinyasa Flow and 2) Addiction as a transitory narrative. The experience of yoga appears to assist in regulating emotions and shift mental processes that support recovery. Whereas the experience of addiction after the use of yoga, appears to shift one’s sense of identity as an “addict” or “alcoholic”. Additional themes may be relevant to yoga’s inherent integration of spiritual principles, ethics and its ability to improve mental and emotional wellbeing.

Discussion/Conclusion: This study will add to the existing literature by joining the qualitative method of IPA, CAM/Yoga and addiction. The preliminary themes showcase the phenomenological experiences of the benefit of incorporating yoga as a tool for the treatment of addiction. Such results have potential in shaping future studies and integrating its clinical implementation into addiction treatment.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished (in print/issue) - 7 Jun 2017
EventCAMSTRAND - Southampton University, Southampton, United Kingdom
Duration: 7 Jun 2017 → …


Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom
Period7/06/17 → …
Internet address


  • Yoga
  • Addiction
  • Complementary medicine
  • mindfulness


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