Teaching yoga in addiction recovery: a social work perspective

Griffiths, M 2007, Teaching yoga in addiction recovery: a social work perspective, Masters by Research, Global Studies, Social Science and Planning, RMIT University.

Document type: Thesis
Collection: Theses

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Title Teaching yoga in addiction recovery: a social work perspective
Author(s) Griffiths, M
Year 2007
Abstract This thesis explores the personal and social challenges of teaching yoga in addiction recovery from a social work perspective. It is informed by an action research perspective using interviews and focus groups with yoga teachers and allied health professionals and the personal experiences of the researcher teaching yoga in an addiction recovery centre as well as a literature search on existing yoga and meditation programs used in addiction recovery and corrections. The research explores whether yoga could be applied as a complementary therapy in social work and how yoga assists in addiction recovery. Further it explores what programmatic requirements are needed for a constructive yoga program that addresses the needs of yoga teachers in this field and the participants who are very marginalised. The emerging themes and issues from the data and literature were explored and triangulation was used to draw one conclusion that was found consistently across all research methodologies. This was the importance of Kriya yoga. or the yoga of action, to achieve results with yoga as a complementary therapy. Kriya yoga has three elements: a commitment to regular practice, allowing time to reflect on how this practice is affecting your life and having faith in the yoga process.

Undelying this notion of kriya yoga is the importance of the yoga teacher-student relationship and the value of a yoga community that supports the student in their commitment to practice. Recovery from addiction is viewed as a journey involving many stages in which the yoga student deals with relapses. The exemplary yoga programs are forms of karma yoga or the yoga of selfless action. The development of a karma yoga network that forms an on-line bridge between the yoga communities and addiction recovery services is suggested by the research as one way forward in promoting yoga as a complementary therapy in addiction recovery.
Degree Masters by Research
Institution RMIT University
School, Department or Centre Global Studies, Social Science and Planning
Keyword(s) yoga
addiction recovery
spirituality in social work practice
transpersonal social work
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Created: Wed, 16 Feb 2011, 13:32:28 EST
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