I am in recovery from addiction. I started doing yoga within the first 30 days of my recovery. While I was in treatment I would go to yoga once a week. By doing this it helped my body feel more relaxed afterwards. It helped with the cramped feeling in my muscles which helped me to get to sleep a little easier. Also, the yogic breathing exercises greatly calm the anxiety that comes during detox. I began to meditate during this time to try to have a conscious contact with a higher power during this time as well by using the things I learned from yoga. By doing this I have had great success with feeling at ease with myself and the world around me. After leaving treatment I continued to go to yoga at least once a week, while also practicing the things I learned at home. Especially the yogic breathe techniques. By doing these things I began to feel more comfortable in my own skin. I have become more aware of myself inside and out. I have been able to slow down and observe how I respond to life. Not acting so impulsively and thinking through the decisions that I make on a daily basis. Integrating yoga into a 12step program of recovery has changed my life and the lives of people around me in a way I couldn’t have even imagined. I have a more positive outlook on life than I ever had.
The yoga poses (asanas) have helped me to become aware of my muscles in my body and in turn helps me to be more aware of my emotions and how I act when I am going through them. Also, they have helped me to push myself but not to a point of hurting myself. Once again I apply this in life situations. I strive to push myself towards the things I want in life with confidence and determination.
The meditation techniques I have learned in my yoga practice have helped me to be able to listen and feel God in my life which has given me a fulfilled feeling in my soul that has been more comforting to me than anything else. I have always had an empty feeling inside since I was young and that feeling is gone today. It allows me to see all the beauty in life and have a sense of being a part of life today. I have faith and trust today that life is good and will be okay no matter what happens. If I have a rough day dealing with feelings that come up or have an extreme obsession to want to use drugs I do yoga and by the end of an hour-or two hour session the feelings have passed and I feel good again and the positive outlook returns. If I hear people in meetings talk about certain things that I have dealt with and are having trouble finding relief I talk to them about yoga and how it has helped me with my 12 step program. When they try it themselves they always come to me and say thank you and how it has helped them get through their trouble.
I am still very early in this journey but I recommend yoga to anyone whether they are in recovery or not. It is one of the most amazing things that has ever come into my life. I look forward to what else is to come from this journey of the 8 limbs of yoga and what more it can do to enlighten me and improve my life and the lives around me. -Namaste, Quinten Bennett
Yoga has done so much for me and my recovery. When I first started yoga it was a way for me to get a nice workout and to step away from my hectic lifestyle. As I gained more and more love for practicing yoga I began to want to learn more and more about the asanas. I was still smoking a lot of grass at this time and was a mess I was addicted to numbing myself from reality. I had stopped using narcotics and drinking but I loved marijuana and I could not function with out it. I was so stressed about smoking, my job, and my relationship with my significant other and yoga became my way to forget these stresses. I began to start going to yoga classes instead of doing online classes because I wanted to advance my practice and to make sure I was doing the poses correctly. I fell in love with the practice of yoga and the community surrounding yoga. I kept on hearing about yoga teacher training and it really intrigued me. I heard how it was life changing and I knew I really needed a life change. So I signed up for the teaching training program over two years ago and that is when the change started.
I found out about myself, I found a spiritual side of me that I really did know I had, and most important about how to deal with people. I heard about Arjuna in the Bhagavad Gita and I realized I had a purpose on this Earth which made me realize that being a vegan meat cutter was just my purpose from God. So I learned in no time how to carry relationships with people which aloud me to get along better with my future wife. l learned how to deal with my job and most important I learned I do not need to smoke weed and that there was a lot more to life than getting high. I love yoga even more know but most importantly I love my life. I have continued learning about yoga, teaching yoga, and I even am in another teaching training right know, but most importantly as I have said a few times I love my life that God has given to me. - Adam Larmi