In a discussion of the interaction between mind, body and spirit, Surbhi Khanna & Jeffrey Greeson acknowledge the complementarity of yoga and meditation – both require paying attention to experiences and related emotions as they happen.
They suggest that the “loss-addiction cycle” arises from a number of sources:
Addictions are born as a result of ‘mindless’ states involving escapist attitudes, automatic thinking, emotional reactivity and social isolation.
Breaking the addiction cycle – using yoga and meditation together
The addicted person turns to a form of gratification to fill the void left by sadness and loss. The void maybe filled by an addiction to smoking, drinking alcohol or using any other substance or activity in a repeated, mindless way. The problem, of course, is that the addiction, whatever form it takes, fails to overcome the sense of loss, isolation or disconnection. The addicted person then increases the use of the substance or activity and seeks to intensify the momentary pleasure they experience. These further cement the “loss-addiction cycle”.
The authors assert that practices such as yoga and meditation improve attention and concentration and enhance the ability to self-observe and regulate emotions. They maintain that optimal treatment and prevention of addiction and recovery from it, can be achieved by using yoga and meditation in concert. They point out that further evidence-based research needs to be undertaken taking into account different kinds of addiction and differences in gender, demography and orientation (physical, mental or spiritual).
Khanna and Greeson, however, contend that the growing empirical research and conceptual development of the underpinnings of meditation and yoga, support the view that the combination of these two modalities can break the cycle of stress, negative thoughts and emotions and the resultant addictive behaviour.
Yoga and meditation are complementary and mutually reinforcing. As you use these modalities together they can help you grow in mindfulness and reduce or avoid the mindless pursuit of addictions. When used in concert, yoga and meditation can improve self-awareness and self-management.
By Ron Passfield – Copyright (Creative Commons license, Attribution–Non Commercial–No Derivatives)
Image source: courtesy of SofieZborilova on Pixabay
Disclosure: If you purchase a product through this site, I may earn a commission which will help to pay for the site, the associated Meetup group and the resources to support the blog.