By Dorsey Standish, Yoga Teacher at Yoga Chikitsa
How has yoga changed your life? Nearly every yoga student and teacher has a story of the healing and transformation brought to them through a regular yoga practice.
For me, yoga has served as a healthy coping mechanism. Over the past six years of regular yoga practice, I have let go of addictions to food, alcohol, and drugs. Daily yoga classes, as well as, the supportive Dallas yoga community have played pivotal roles in my sobriety. As I build upon this sober foundation, yoga continues to help me find renewed energy, a calmer presence, and freedom in self-expression.
As I reflect on why yoga has been so influential in my recovery, I recognize that addictive behaviors disconnect us from ourselves, our loved ones, and our environments. In contrast, the word yoga means union, integration, and balance. The practice of yoga is meant to bring all aspects of our lives into harmony.
Given my experience of yoga’s healing powers, I jumped at the opportunity to enroll in the training for the Yoga of 12-Step Recovery in the summer of 2015. As a certified yoga teacher, sharing the Yoga of 12-Step Recovery (Y12SR) framework felt like a natural fit.
Nikki Myers, founder of Y12
SR, struggled with addictive behaviors for decades. She often quotes, “The 12-Step Program was my lifeboat, and yoga, my launching pad.” Nikki found that even with a commitment to her 12-Step program, she was still susceptible to addiction relapse. Once she found yoga, she could connect the mental healing of the 12-Step work with the physical and spiritual healing found through a regular yoga practice.
Nikki believes that our behaviors are ingrained not only in the mind, but also in the body. She often says, “The issues live in our tissues.” Therefore, the Y12SR program addresses addiction as the mental, physical and spiritual disease that it is.
In Y12SR yoga classes, Nikki prescribes poses that are “simple, but not easy.” The breath is paramount. Learning to breathe smoothly through challenging poses on the yoga mat teaches us to remain calm and steady when faced with life’s many challenges.
Y12SR is recognized
as part of a holistic recovery program rather than as a replacement for the 12-Step Program and other therapies. The community-oriented classes are facilitated by Y12SR leaders, or space-holders. The classes are open to anyone dealing with their own addictive behavior or affected by the addictive behavior of others.
It takes a special yoga studio to offer Yoga for Recovery classes. I was thrilled when Katherine Galligan, Owner of Yoga Chikitsa, welcomed the class with open arms. “Chikitsa” roughly translates to “therapy.” In this vein, Katherine is committed to sharing a wide range of therapeutic offerings her students. The Yoga Chikitsa studio also offers Ayurvedic consultations and massage.
Katherine and I started Y12SR at Yoga
hikitsa in October. Although initial turnout showed significant community interest, the donation-based model was not sustainable for longer than three months. Therefore, Yoga Chikitsa is proud to announce periodic Yoga for Recovery workshops on Saturdays in 2017. These workshops will be more geared toward educating everyone about the holistic healing powers of yoga.
If you are interested in learning more about Y12SR offerings, please contact the author, Dorsey Standish: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Also, please check out the Yoga Chikitsa studio in Richardson, just west of Campbell & 75: