Yoga makes me feel like I am on cloud nine!

"I come away from yoga feeling like I am on cloud nine"

With thanks to funding from the Recovery Grant Scheme at Suffolk County Council, Active Suffolk and Turning Point were able to collaborate on a project which would support those in recovery from substance misuse.

Based on the results drawn from a survey conducted with local people affected by substance misuse, Active Suffolk organised a free 12 week yoga session from the centre of Ipswich with local instructor Vicky.

Research and evidence suggests that physical activity could play a pivotal role in supporting those in recovery to manage their symptoms, curb cravings, ease withdrawal and improve sleep.

Vicky explains how the participants have benefitted from the yoga sessions

"All of the participants have benefitted from the yoga sessions and all of them always come out each week saying they feel lots better than they did before, with many going as far to say that the group has helped shift the way they feel about the world.

One lady even said she didn't know she could take up space in her own life, but the session made her realise she didn't need to hide herself away from other people.

I find that on top of the obvious, physical benefits, the yoga also helps to shift peoples perceptions and participants regularly tell me that they have some sort of realisation during the practice which has been particularly important for this group."

Ben, aged 33 from Ipswich was one of the participants on the yoga sessions. Physical activity has been an important and essential part of his recovery from drug misuse. He told us in his own words, how he has benefitted from the sessions:

"I am in recovery from substance misuse so the yoga sessions have helped to distract me from that. It really helps to improve my mental state, it decreases the urges and my worries associated with managing that. Generally the exercise helps to keep me on a straight path. Since starting yoga I have also started to help prepare some homes for others dealing with substance misuse by decorating and gardening, I have been using a gym and have got a bike which I now use to get around.

The weekly yoga helps me, it relaxes me, relieves stress, allows me to forget my worries and makes me feel good inside, both mentally and physically. I come away from yoga feeling like I am on cloud nine, I feel light!

I will be returning to yoga once it starts up again. I have already recommended it to friends who are also in recovery as I know how much it will help them too. I look forward to us coming along together."