The focus of the presentation will be the effects of practicing yoga on addictions. From the point of addiction theories, the connection between emotional regulation and addictive disorders is emphasized. Psychoactive substance use can be interpreted as a tool for balancing extreme emotional situations. On this basis, the self-medication hypothesis of substance use is added, i.e. users try to regulate their emotions, behaviour and interpersonal relationships.
Yoga is a practice that has its core in India, in the Hindu philosophy of Yoga. It is a complex system that contains the eight limbs of Ashtanga yoga. The original practice and aims of yoga are listed; besides bodily postures and meditation, the eight limbs also contain ethical principles for a meaningful and purposeful life and they focus on one’s health, too. Empirical evidences suggest that the integrated form of yoga was found to be more beneficial for physical and psychological well-being than just the physical part in itself. The relaxation achieved by practicing yoga might enhance the ability to face situations in a more relaxed state of mind and solve problems with greater ease. This implies that the mindfulness character of yoga might help patients to realize and understand their emotional mechanisms in more depth. Although, yoga is gaining increased attention as a complementary therapeutical tool, more studies should be conducted to provide further material for a deeper understanding of this notion. So, the purpose of the presentation is to draw attention to the potentials of yoga which might have an effect on the physical and psychological aspects of addictions.