The Mind-Body Connection: Yoga for Recovery
Somatic therapy, a holistic approach that recognizes the interconnectedness of the mind and body, has gained prominence in the field of mental health and addiction recovery. At Hudson, we combine traditional cognitive-behavioral therapy with somatic therapies including Yoga for Recovery.
Yoga helps to treat trauma and addiction by healing the disconnection that occurs in both conditions. In many cases, there is a need to strengthen the mind-body connection that has been negatively impacted by substance abuse and traumatic events, and yoga offers a gentle yet powerful way to foster that connection.
By incorporating yoga into their lives, individuals in recovery can embark on a path of healing that nurtures not only their bodies but also their minds and spirits, fostering a renewed sense of purpose and well-being.
This is Ashley Hodgdon’s mission at Hudson and in the larger community. In addition to owning and operating the mobile yoga studio Yoga for Recovery, Ashley also works at Hudson as an Alcohol and Drug Trainee (ADT) and teaches two yoga classes each week. “It’s inspiring to see the impact that yoga has on the patients at Hudson,” says Ashley. “They report feelings of calm, peace and reduced pain levels after class, and many wish it was a daily activity.”
Addiction often stems from an attempt to cope with unresolved emotions. Yoga offers an effective way to “get out of your head” and into your body, addressing and calming the often-chaotic mental landscape of those in early recovery. The practice teaches mindfulness and acceptance, empowering individuals to observe their emotions without judgment. This newfound emotional awareness helps in developing healthier responses to life’s challenges.
Stress is a common trigger for relapse in addiction recovery. Yoga is renowned for its ability to reduce stress levels through the practice of mindfulness and controlled breathing. The calming effects of yoga not only alleviate anxiety and tension but also equip individuals with healthier coping mechanisms, reducing the likelihood of turning to substances for relief.
Ashley has been teaching yoga since 2019 and started Yoga for Recovery in 2023 when she noticed a void in somatic therapy in the recovery community. She focuses on trauma-informed gentle beginner yoga and encourages her students and patients to get in touch with and honor their bodies, notice unhelpful thoughts, and be kind to themselves.
“There’s a lot of excitement on the horizon at Hudson, and in the coming year we plan to expand the yoga program to offer it to patients in treatment housing in addition to those on the residential campus,” says Ashley. “I’m also looking forward to beginning yoga classes for the staff as a complimentary self-care offering to support those who give so much to the patients on a daily basis. Being in the helping profession is so rewarding but can take a lot out of us, so I want to help the staff take care of themselves so they’re not pouring from an empty cup.”
Ashley Hodgdon, ADT at Hudson and owner of Yoga for Recovery
Hudson Behavioral Health was formed in 1980 (as Hudson Health Services, Inc.) to bring the first residential recovery program to the Eastern Shore. Today, thousands of patients later, we remain the leader in recovery programs and resources, with our staff of 100 committed to serving each patient as an individual.