How to Control Addiction
Through Yoga And The Unity of Spirit, Mind and Body

In Yoga there is a simple formula for controlling addiction which is the three fold unification of Spirit, Mind and Body. Let me explain each of these elements. It is important to state right away that Yoga accepts the existence of a higher spiritual power which is believed to be the source and essence of all animate and inanimate life in the universe . In Yoga this source is the foundation of all things and is the fundamental creative power from which everything that exists was created. This source or God is the spiritual component in man.

The second component in this triad of elements which make up our human consciousness, is mind. God or spirit expresses itself in the world of matter through the activity of the mind. A simple modern analogy has been used by many to illustrate how Yoga sees the relationship between the spirit, the mind, and the body. Envision a mechanical film projector, such as you might find in a movie theater. The light within the the projector is analogous to the spirit or your source. The film is the mind and the projected image is the world of matter. The mind corresponds to the film because the mind contains patterns and is a unique blend of emotions, beliefs, intellect and intuition. So using the pure energy of spirit, the mind shapes thought forms which it collects and layers into it's memory where they are available for reactivation during the course of any single day. These thought forms create the patterns which ultimately determine the eventual projected images or material manifestations which we then experience as our life. Thought forms are the film in our analogy which when reanimated with the source energy of spirit are then projected into three dimensional reality.

This idea is important to understanding how addictions can occur. Though thoughts are not themselves physical they shape the physical world. Thoughts are the fourth dimension and are as real as the other three dimensions. Spirit gives the life force or energy, the mind builds and plans and the physical world is the result. In order to effect a change in the physical world in either the body or the world of events the built up thought forms in the mind must first be changed. Lastly the third component is the body or everything material. The body includes everything in the physical world as well as all physical events. You must acknowledge that you have been poisoning your body with drugs, alcohol or food. Then you must take steps to detoxify the body of the poison. In Yoga a vegetarian diet, excluding processed foods is recommended. A diet of fresh fruits and vegetables, grains, nuts and legumes with plenty of clean pure water and daily exercise is essential to healing the body and restoring it's natural vitality.

These are three major steps that must be taken to effect a real change. The unification of Spirit, Mind and Body are essential to the control of addiction. Let me now show you in more detail how you can begin to make yourself whole again, to help you become healthy and happy and free of addition.

Step # 1 Mind

1A: ACCEPTING YOUR CONDITION

1B: CONFESSION

1C: MEDITATION

ACCEPT YOUR CONDITION

You must first Look at your addiction "squarely in the eye" and accept it as real. Acceptance does not mean giving up, on the contrary, acceptance is the most courageous of confrontations. Do by saying to yourself, OK, I know that my behavior is out of my control and I know that it is real, and now I need to do something about it. Don't assign fault or blame for your condition just simply own up to the fact that it is how it is. There could be biological factors that led to your addiction or it may be due to psychological factors, this is not important. It doesn't matter how you came to be addicted because that is in your past and none of it is relevant to what needs to be done in the moment. All the power to change your condition resides in the present moment. In Yoga the present is the point of all power. The power you need to stop your addiction resides in the "here and now". It is, none the less, essential to admit to yourself in all sincerity that you are addicted before you can start to utilize the power of the present..

Your addiction will thrive and drive your behavior unseen behind your conscious awareness if you do not admit that it is there. The mind will create every type of excuse to keep it hidden from you like an unseen but very felt malevolent ghost. (But everyone else will know). So this is why direct confrontation with the reality of your addiction is the very first step in controlling your addiction. It is with your mind, your intellect, your reason, that you have to recognize and accept your condition. Accept that you are caught in a pattern of behavior that is out of your control. You must accept that your behavior is running on automatic and is slowly or quickly destroying you and you must decide that it must be stopped. Then you will be ready for the next step.

CONFESSION

Accepting your condition and admitting to your self that you are an addict is a form of self confession, but this is not enough. Self confession must be followed by the next phase which is to confess your addiction to someone else. Tell a friend or a relative that you are an addict and be totally honest with them about it. What this does is it makes your condition even more real to you. You may experience humiliation and shame but by doing so you are deconstructing your built up ego which needs the false facade. You have to knock the chip off your shoulder. No one wants to seem to be less in the eyes of friends or relatives, so this is a very difficult action to take for most addicts, but a very necessary one. Of course there is always the possibility that after your confession you will be rejected by the person your confessing to but that to must also be dealt with if it happens, it can not be avoided. However most people going through this step are pleasantly surprised by the positive reactions they receive. Not dealing with the possibility of rejection and humiliation will make you want to continue to keep your addiction active in secret. So telling someone else about your addiction makes it even more concrete, it makes it absolutely real to yourself, after this you will be ready to take the next step.

MEDITATION

Yoga meditation is great tool that can be used to positively effect the mind and help to bring you through your transformation. Meditation is focused awareness and it works by clearing the mind. In the case of an addict meditation can clear the mind of negative thoughts and feelings. Meditation works by centering your attention on the natural vibration of peace and love which is always coming from the center of our being. You will automatically become more relaxed and clear headed the more feel and are connected to your center. Yoga Meditation allows us to become spiritually aware of God or your spirit as a source of peace and love. The more you witness God within, the more aware you will be of the existence of your own higher ideals and the more balanced you become. It naturally follows that the more balanced you become, the more you will be able to control your habits and behaviors.

Another great benefit of meditation is that it keeps you centered in the moment so that your mind is freed from worries about your future. A great obstacle to conquering addition is the predilection of the mind towards the state of worry. Ironically, worry usually makes us unable to deal with the very thing we are worried about. So self observation or meditation is the key to to liberating the mind of worry. By training yourself to observe your thoughts you can catch yourself worrying, then you can deliberately direct your thoughts to move in a different direction. The remedy for worrying is to stay focused in the present moment because most worrying is concerned with what could happen in the future. Live moment to moment. Appreciate what is happening now and not what may or may not happen in the future. Meditation will bring your mind back into the moment, back into the now. And now is where all change takes place. Now is where you can put your thoughts into action. Now is where you will be healed.

Step # 2, SPIRIT

2A: BELIEVE IN A HIGHER POWER

2B: SURRENDER YOUR WILL TO THE WILL OF THIS HIGHER POWER

2C: HOPE AND PRAYER

BELIEVE IN A HIGHER POWER

It is crucial in the process of transformation to believe in a power higher than yourself. In Yoga, a belief in God is not asked for on faith alone there is a true experience of God within. But In the beginning faith is required to start the discovery process so that the truth of God's existence can be felt and experienced later. Living without the realization that there is a God within us all can lead ultimately to emotional and psychological illness. Without a spiritual center, life becomes nothing but a consequence of random material actions and our existence itself as nothing a consequence of all these accidents, this idea is dry and dead and leaves us devoid of any feeling of purpose or meaning. A belief in the randomness of life is very self destructive and can only lead to despair and must be overhauled immediately if you wish to achieve a deep sense of joy and happiness in life. And since logically there can never be an absolute objective proof of Gods existence or non existence, why argue with yourself. God can only be proved subjectively and is therefore always beyond all argument.

So it is up to you but if neither stand on the existence of God can be verified objectively why not choose to believe because it will change your whole perception of reality and give you a life that is purposeful and meaningful. You will gain so much and lose nothing, feelings of great joy, peace and love are the results of a belief in a higher power.

SURRENDER YOUR WILL TO THE WILL OF THIS HIGHER POWER

The next step in controlling addiction is to ask for help from God and to surrender your will to the will of God. This is the most important step to take in fighting addiction. In the Alcoholics Anonymous Association this step is also seen as the most important step in the twelve step program in fighting all forms of addiction. In the AA literature there are countess examples given of some of the most chronic cases of Alcohol and Drug addiction that were cured when and only when the addict would accept his condition and then give up trying to stop his or her habit by themselves. Only when they gave up trying and handed control over to the to the will of God would these chronic cases be cured.

Yoga is a science of consciousness and takes as self evident the existence of a higher, spiritual power. But after you accept a belief in God then you are shown through yoga experience the truth of God. The fact of God's existence becomes personally evident through meditation, prayer and in turning over your will over to God to let Gods will be done. In Yoga, as in AA, this is a fundamental step in the control of any addiction.In AA manuals they do not explain why this is an important step but I would like to bring some light onto this subject here

So we now understand that in Yoga it is an accepted as a self evident fact that God exists within all living and non living things. It is further accepted as fact that in the creation of human beings God proceeded from an ideal when creating the soul of man after which The soul was gifted with free will. Free will was given so that each soul could evolve and grow into the ideal form from which it was originally conceived. However during each life we often make decisions that run contrary to our own best interest or those of others and so may cause us and other to suffer. When the use of our free will makes us go astray from our original ideal, we have no other recourse but to surrender our free will to the will of the higher power. By surrendering our personal will to the will of God we are moving towards the natural plastic capacity of our individual soul which innately wants to assume the shape of it's original ideal form. The ideal form that is who we really are and who we were really intended to be.

When we contact the will of God we reunite with our spiritual center. God or our higher spiritual will is a vibration which is always at the very center of our being. This vibration is an action which breaks through thought, mood and habit and has two effects. The first is a broadening and deepening of our "sense of being", and the second is a clarification and a stabilization of the essential contents of consciousness. When we vibrate with the will of God we feel able to control our behavior and to control and stabilize our thoughts. This is essentially why the surrendering of our will to the will of God works so effectively. We become our highest ideal. We become whole and are healed throughout

HOPE AND PRAYER

During the process of your transformation it is very important also to retain an attitude of hope. The emotion we call hope can be highly underestimated. The very fact that we are capable of hope provides incontrovertibly evidence of the existence of the soul. Hope will be your beacon, your guiding light which will help guide you through periods of self doubt and fear. Hope will keep you going when everything else dissolves into worried confusion. Hope is the positive attitude you will need to fill in those psychological gaps created by self doubt, confusion and fear. Hope is built through the belief of a Higher Power and its foundation is fortified through prayer.

The most effective remedy for worry is to pray. There are many types of prayer but the confessional prayer is the kind most helpful in dealing with addiction. All prayer is communication with God but confessional prayer is where you strip yourself of all masks and lies and then stand naked before your maker as you really are. Also, I shoud say here, the most important method of reaching Gods within is to pray aloud with anther person whil holdin hands. Then you just wait to feel God's love and understanding fill your heart and soul. This type of prayer will remove your doubts and fears just as the warmth of the sun removes a cold mist. You must however believe both the prayer and the God are real or your prayers will simply go unanswered. Believe in yourself and believe in God.

Step # 3: BODY

3A:PURITY THE BODY

3B: HELP YOUR FELLOW MAN

3C: FIND POWER IN A GROUP

PURITY THE BODY

This step refers not only to your own body but also to the body of man in general or our brethren. You do this out of love for life, for the instrument of perception that was given to you to keep and care for. You must acknowledge that you have been poisoning your body with drugs, alcohol or food. Then you must take steps to detoxify the body of the poison. In Yoga a vegetarian diet, excluding processed foods is recommended. A diet of fresh fruits and vegetables, grains, nuts and legumes with plenty of clean pure water and daily exercise is essential to healing the body and restoring it's natural vitality. Yoga asanas are the most gentle and effective means by which to exercise the body as well as walking in the fresh air. It is important to replace bad habits with good habits. Healthy eating and exercising will not only detoxify the body but will also replace bad habits

A moderate consumption of food is recommended in Yoga where at each meal only a portion of the stomach is filled with food and a small portion is left for water and another small portion is left empty so that your stomach has room to grind the food efficiently. A life style in which you receive plenty of rest, at least 7 to 8 hours of sleep, is recommended. Early to bed and early to rise is the Yoga way of life.

HELP YOUR FELLOW MAN

Karma Yoga is a branch of yoga that involves service to mankind. Yoga prescribes service to your fellow man as another therapy for addiction. Service to others can be of immense help in the process of gaining self esteem and conquering your addiction because it takes you away from your ego and puts you in touch with the needs of others. Feeling sorry for yourself is a great hazard in overcoming addiction so helping someone else will cure you of self indulgence. It will also restore your feeing of self worth and value.

FIND POWER IN A GROUP

But even more than being of service to mankind in general Yoga sees that there is immense value and power in groups. People of like mind who assemble to help each other overcome their common weaknesses. Any small group can be very effective if the purposes and ideals of the members are truly in accord. This is the principle of synergy, the whole is more than the sum of it's parts. Group members who cooperatively blend their intentions, purposes and actions can accomplish something far more than they could accomplish alone. The energies of the mind and the will are intensified when applied cooperatively. Creativity and strengths are multiplied within each member. In addition to increased mutual power, groups also create a heightened power of will. The fact that an entire group is cooperating in the same effort creates a collective will that makes success more achievable. This is the reason that it is recommended you find a group or an organization that is dedicated to helping you overcome your particular addiction. In Yoga there are many ashrams that will lend support and give you the tools necessary to fight addiction. Yoga emphasizes a balanced approach where all three components of consciousness i.e.; Spirit, Mind and Body are unified so that you can become whole again. Yoga is the complete science of well being.

Yoga's ancient wisdom and extraordinary mental and physical techniques, exercises and meditations can have a profound effect on anyone who gives themselves over to it's great healing powers.

Stop your addiction today, practice Yoga and be healed.

Written by Avananda

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