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With more than 100 people dying from opioid overdoses each day in the U.S., new approaches to treating opioid-use disorders are needed. Emma Rose, assistant research professor with Penn State’s Edna Bennett Pierce Prevention Research Center, is leading a study that adds twice-weekly, mindfulness-based yoga to treatment plans for patients with opioid-use disorders in rural Pennsylvania.

young woman excercising power yoga

“We hope to impart skills that help people to stay sober and stay in recovery for longer,” Rose said.

The study divides participants who are receiving medication-assisted treatment in three clinics in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, into two groups, with one group taking two one-hour online yoga classes twice per week for 8 weeks, while the control group will walk for exercise for up to 2 hours per week.

Mindful yoga can impact brain systems that play an important role in the success of addiction treatment — including our brains’ abilities to regulate craving, to adapt to new or changing events, and to ignore distractions, Rose explained.

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