Through yoga we all have the power to heal and reclaim our true authenticity.
When I first entered into recovery, I was in the midst of a painful divorce and terrified of my unknown future. The addition of yoga to my work in recovery became my refuge and strength as I walked through the profound uncertainty of starting over. With the simplicity of tuning into my breath and movement of my body, I melted away layers of resistance, found clarity, and embraced the reality of my life. Yoga gave me the gift of courage, strength and hope.
Addiction creates chaos in the mind and body. Even when the cycle of addiction stops, the chaos doesn't just magically go away. The practice of meditation and yoga evokes observation of the churning mind, surrender to what can’t be controlled, and navigation of the “middle line” instead of dramatic peaks and valleys. There are still disappointments, but we can learn to accept life on life's terms, move through our blocks, and love how beautifully unique our path is.
Once we stop clinging to old thought patterns and beliefs and release emotions that are stored in the body, we find freedom. Recovery and yoga blend together to create a powerful practice of inquiry, acceptance, and healing in every aspect of our being. Yoga physically and energetically rinses out “the issues in the tissues.” Our life experience not only becomes a part of our memory in the mind, it becomes a memory in our physicality as well. With focus and breath, areas that are blocked can be accessed, patience is found in the midst of the storm, and a sense of space, release, and calm is created.
In contrast to active addiction, yoga invites practicing non-reactivity by staying in the pose, resisting the urge to escape. Thoughts and emotions bubble up, which is an opportunity to observe, inquire, and let go of what's heavy, moving from numbing out to allowing ourselves to feel. If we can break through the darkness of our protective shield that spurs us into the isolation of addiction, let ourselves be vulnerable, and open to let light in, we start the process of healing. We change our relationship with fear as we realize that “this too shall pass.” Each time we return to our mat, we can open up, let life flow through us, and create space for grace to come in. This is the moment in our recovery where we move from fear to love. Blending yoga and recovery opens us up to a powerful new way to live life with joy and serenity. We no longer stay sober based on fear of the past. We stay sober out of love for life.
By Julie Bertagna; All Rights Reserved @2017