Hi there! I haven’t posted here in almost a year which is crazy, but the good news is I’m still sober. Life has just been busy. In the past 6 months I’ve started a new job, and completed a yoga teacher training course which has helped me immensely.
In the past I’ve talked about things that helped me along my recovery journey, and I do this as a way to share what’s worked for me. I’m coming up on my 5.5 years sober anniversary, and I’ve personally tried many different avenues to stay sober, but the one that I keep coming back to is yoga.
I’m sharing this because when I was first in recovery I was told that the 12 step program was the only way to stay sober. This may be true for some people, but recovery is not a one size fits all journey. Don’t get me wrong I think 12 step meetings are a great way to become sober and meet other alcoholics, but some meetings can be very tough especially for the newly sober, and especially for women. I struggled with sobriety for 3 months attending 12 step meetings and seeing an addiction counselor and eventually I fell off the wagon, and I fell hard.
After having a horrible 6 months of drinking and eventually hitting my bottom, I agreed to go to rehab which was very helpful from and educational perspective and helped me to learn about the disease. It was also a scared straight program for someone like me because I will do anything to avoid ever having to go back there.
Being an athletic and physical person, the main thing I couldn’t wait to do when I left rehab was workout. Although there was a tiny gym at the rehab, I was only allowed to use it 30 minutes a day which was not enough time for me to feel I had accomplished anything physical.
When I completed rehab, I went to live with my Mom who belonged to the local YMCA. I had been there in the past to use the gym, but had never taken any of there classes. I looked at the schedule one day and saw something called “Crystal’ates” which was a combination of yoga and Pilates taught by a woman named Crystal. Although I wasn’t sure about it, I decided to give it a try.
I ended up becoming a regular at the class and part of the reason I kept coming back was the kindness that Crystal,the instructor, showed me. It was a safe space for me to come and learn something new without being judged. I ended up loving the class so much that when I moved I searched for something similar but could only find yoga, so that’s what I ended up doing, and I’ve never looked back.
During this time, I was still attending AA meetings, and going to group therapy. Although both were helpful, I didn’t get the same sense of relief I felt after completing a yoga class. Yoga is also the only time of day that I truly am unplugged from technology and not thinking about anything but myself. My mat has become my safe haven and also helped me evolve spiritually.
I recently completed my 200 hour yoga teacher training, and that was probably one of the best things I’ve done for myself since becoming sober. It forced me to really take a look at my life and make some important decisions about what I want for my future. I also made some great friends along the way, and although when I signed up for the training I never intended to actually teach, I’m now teaching a few times a month, and I love it.
In conclusion, the point I’m trying to make in this post is that yoga can be another avenue that may help some people in their recovery. Although it’s not for everyone, the healing I’ve received from deepening my yoga practice has helped me immensely, and I encourage everyone to explore other avenues that might be helpful to their recovery.