Journal of Addiction Research & Therapy
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oga is one of the most powerful methods to support people in their battle with addiction. Most addictions are an attempt to
find some way to escape the pain of life, or self-hatred. Many people use drugs as a way to find an altered state of mind and
consciousness that feels better than their present reality and circumstances. However, the problem is that these states are illusory
and ephemeral, and the method is flawed due to its inherent destructive nature.
Yoga, on the other hand, offers a broad range of techniques which can help us to have access to deeper experiences of life.
These are altered states which are grounded in reality, and which are truly satisfying. It also offers a practical context in which to
apply the techniques in terms of a lifestyle and community. A relationship with self is primary, however, relationship with others
is also equally important. In this respect the relationship with a teacher/healer is often the link that helps the person out of the
mire of their addiction. Community is also essential to support and nourish deep inner changes.
This lecture will discuss how yoga can be applied in a medical setting and how the doctor/therapist can be a pivotal link in
coordinating therapy of an addict who is self-motivated. Referral is also an essential part of this process, and a broad range of
alternative methods will be discussed. Principles of yoga therapy will be discussed and how they link into other methods.
Yogic techniques have come out of a profound philosophical ground in which body/mind and spirit are fused. This allows
the person who is properly motivated to deal with their addiction to find a path that can lift him or her to new levels of self-
understanding, or truer and deeper experience of life, and this can lead to a deep fulfilment"
Swami Shankardev Saraswati is a western medical doctor, yoga Acharya (authority), yoga therapist, author and teacher. He integrates western
mind-body medicine and psychotherapy with eastern methods of mind-body development and awakening consciousness. He is a highly experienced
teacher of yoga, yoga-tantra and other systems of self-development that lead to greater self-awareness and self-mastery.
Swami Shankardev has 35 years of experience in a medical and yoga therapy setting. He has been given the mission to teach advanced principles
of yoga-tantra and meditation and to integrate these principles and techniques into a western medical setting. He has helped thousands of people to
understand and experience the mind-body connection and to regain health, mental peace and spiritual awareness
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