In my own recovery, I tend to embrace whatever the world has to offer to help me stop drinking. Since I am an active member of a 12-step group, I try very hard not to misrepresent its principles and to respect its traditions. If you have a desire to quit drinking, the first thing that I will recommend is to go to a 12-step meeting. That being said, I would encourage you to make an attempt to incorporate yoga, or some other program of physical wellness into the 12 steps. I believe that yoga just might boost recovery from addiction and help prevent relapse.
Yoga and the 12-Step Path
In the introduction to the book Yoga and the 12-Step Path, author Kyczy Hawk makes the case that yoga can enhance the 12 step recovery experience. Often times in 12 step groups, we focus on the mental, psychological and social aspects of sobriety and alcoholism. People say that “our bodies are our temples”. Yet there is often very little attention given to the taking care and nurturing of our own bodies. Yoga is a great tool for physical wellness and therapy, but it also helps the mind and the spirit.
Yoga is by nature a spiritual practice. It stands to reason that it might enhance the spiritual experience of recovery. Yoga fits well into the 11th step, “Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God as we understand him”. Through the daily practice of yoga, one can be rewarded with a sense of peace, belonging and connection to a higher power.
Here are some resources for yoga and recovery:
- Yoga Recovery – a site dedicated to the union of yoga and recovery resources, workshops and trainings
- Yoga and the 12-Step Path, the book by Kyczy Hawk
- Yoga of 12-Step Recovery: A program of recovery to empower individuals with practices that support recovery, and enhance physical, mental and spiritual well-being
- Yoga of Recovery (YOR) is a retreat integrating the wisdom of Yoga and Ayurveda with the tools of 12-Step Recovery. It is open to all who are looking to overcome self-destructive or addictive tendencies.