Yoga and Me
I started my yoga practice early in recovery, following the tv shyly in my living room. Borrowing videos from the library I began the process of making shapes with my body and trying all the poses. Without a teacher to guide me, my alignment suffered and I was often sore or hurt. It was an example of how I do life: I try to “do it myself”.
Flash forward many years. I am depleted, exhausted, and bereft. I know I need some outside guidance. I know my body is stiff and aching. I know the gym and running have not helped. By grace and happenstance I once again find yoga; this time seeking a teacher. It made all the difference in the world. Not only did the function and alignment of my poses improve but I gave myself the gift of a guide, a yoga “sponsor”, learning to let go and to listen to the wisdom of another person.
The impact of this mindful intentional practice was life-changing, literally. Yoga practice enhanced my recovery from addiction, it prevented relapse, it allowed me to be a better worker, family member, and friend. I continued with my yoga; I studied the philosophy, and I decided to map a course to leave my traditional job. I wanted to find a way to bring yoga to others in recovery.
And I did. I studied to become a certified yoga teacher. I studied all I could about yoga, addiction, meditation, and breath practices. I completed a five-year plan of saving and study that allowed me to let go of a day job and offer yoga in treatment centers, jail, and in traditional spaces like yoga studios. It is a tremendously fulfilling life. I have learned so much over the past years that I developed a training program for teachers who want to bring this specialty to their offerings. S.O.A.R.™, Success Over Addiction and Relapse, is the result of that work.
Yoga is a part of my life. On or off the mat, it informs all I do, the choices I make, and how I see the world. If you are interested in taking a class, let go of preconceptions and move home; to your body, your true self, finding total acceptance.
Bill Delaney interviewed me recently. Here is the link to this video.