My Mission & My Story

Yoga, self-care and mindfulness are essential tools in my own 20+ years of sobriety, and I want to share these tools with everyone recovering from substance abuse. Through this practice we learn to love and trust ourself, and from there we can heal and build a wonderful life.

Yoga and Recovery image of James sitting in lotus pose

When I was in my mid-twenties, my life hit a new low. I had been fired from a great job in the early stages of my career, all of my friends knew not to trust anything I said, my landlord was going to throw me and my roommate/best friend out of our house, and I was ashamed by my behavior on so many levels that, even now, all these years later my stomach churns when I think about it. All due my drug addiction and alcohol abuse.

Fortunately, I still had a tiny bit of support from friends and family, and with that support I was talked into trying a detox program. From there I began going to AA & NA meetings everyday. During this time, I reconnected to yoga. Back in high school, I found out about yoga from books. This was before the internet, YouTube, etc… so books were the most accessible thing to me. As a teen, I did the asana’s in the book and practiced meditation. As I got a bit older, I stopped my yoga practice, but it was always there in the back of my mind.

Now, I had to create a healthier life for myself that required leaving many of my friends behind. Yoga was one path I could follow towards this new life. I found a studio near my home and for the first time practiced with a teacher in a group setting. The classes at this studio were super hard vinyasa classes (which I would never do today), and I was sore as hell the next day. But, for some reason, I went back again and again and again. I now know that the reconnection to my body which yoga offered was the thing that brought me back. On top of the physical action, having a group to see on a regular basis become a form of social support rooted in a common healthy interest.

Support is everything in this battle, and it can come from unexpected places. Many of us in our substance abuse become estranged from our families and friends. For others, our family’s disfunction may be one of the driving causes of our substance abuse and their involvement in our life does more harm than good. In yoga, we find inner strength and resources to become our own support, and we may find others in a like minded community as well. We come to love and trust our own body in a way we probably never have before.

 “The winds of grace are always blowing, but you have to raise the sail.” – Ramakrishna Paramahansa

If substance abuse really is a disease of mind, body, and spirit, then we need a treatment that supports all of those dimensions. We need a holistic healing model that goes way beyond abstinence

Yoga & Recovery wants to show you how to become your own best support system. Self-care & self-love heals body, mind, and spirit in an almost miraculous way. Yoga is more than just poses, more then flexibility, and much more than just strength, yoga is a deep internal process that will reconnect your body, heart, and mind.

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