Recovery Community Yoga is a simple idea: all level yoga classes (ours are free) in which the students and teacher are all people in recovery: all forms of recovery at all stages of the journey.
What makes a Recovery Community Yoga class especially powerful is the fact that everyone is there with the desire to supplement and support her/his recovery and the recovery of others through the practice of yoga. It is the sole sankalpa (purpose or intention) for the group practice.
A RCY teacher needs to have a minimum 200 hour certification from a Yoga Alliance approved YTT program. That’s it for formal qualifications. However, in addition, the teachers must be in recovery; this is non-negotiable. They must know the journey personally in order to weave their own experiences into their teaching. Everyone in the class is both giving and receiving support.
Because addiction creates dysfunction in many parts of life, recovery support needs to be wide, deep and sustained. Recovery Community Yoga is only one tool among many. 12 step and other recovery programs, recovery coaching, counseling, sober living, and recovery centers like Turning Point can provide the ongoing support which is at the heart of all successful efforts to make significant lifestyle changes.
"The healing and centering of our guests who attend RCY has been profound. The classes are taught by instructors who themselves are in recovery and the sense of community is key. Because of the success of the Recovery Community Yoga program, we launched a program of alternative healing practices at our Center. We are so fortunate to have benefited from the power of the Recovery Community Yoga Program.” Gary De Carolis, Executive Director, Turning Point Center of Chittenden County
In November, 2016, the first Surgeon General’s report on alcohol, drugs and health was published. The national statistics are staggering, and, on a more local and personal level, no one is spared from the realities of addiction in our communities and even our own families. The good news from this report is that treatment and ongoing support work and that every dollar spent on treatment and recovery efforts saves money in health care and correctional costs (Facing Addiction in America, US Government publication).
The Surgeon General’s Report also states that support groups such as RCY enable and enhance recovery, “participation in the groups promotes an individual’s recovery by strengthening recovery-supportive social networks; increasing members’ ability to cope with risky social contexts and negative emotions; augmenting motivation to recover; reducing depression, craving, and impulsivity; and enhancing psychological and spiritual well-being.”
Check out this article about yoga and addiction in Yoga Journal.
"I learn so much from teaching Recovery Community Yoga: to open, to hold space for all parts of myself, and to sit with discomfort. I am learning how to be in relationship to myself, to others, and to this world." Charlotte
“RCY has made me feel worthy of celebration and abstinence every day since I started coming, and I am very happy to say that I have lost 115 pounds since that first yoga class. Recovery Community Yoga has improved not only my physical health, but my mental and emotional well-being as well. ” Kelly
"As my body becomes more flexible from practicing yoga, I can also release my rigid, alcoholic thinking." Rainbow
Stand in Tadasana and close your eyes. Feel your feet connecting with the mat. Stack your knees, hips, shoulders and head, building on the strong foundation of your recovery. Feel the solidity of your being as it becomes the earth of the mountain. Feel strong and timeless in the infinite here and now.
Sense your breath, the flow of air through your body. Breathe and feel yourself expand. Let your breath breathe you into lightness and openness, a sense of vast possibility for who you are becoming. Allow the weight of all you carry to blow away.
Gather energy into your arms and lift them out and up with an inhale, finding a sun breath to build fire in your belly as you exhale hands down the body and repeat, inhaling out and up and exhaling down, fanning the fires of passion for your life. Take one more sun breath and become fire, burning everything but what is essential.
Allow yourself to melt, finding softness and fluidity in your arms, shoulders, neck and head, bending in the knees and moving the hips. Slosh around as you feel the 60% of your body that is water. Let go and flow.
The waterwheel accepts water
and turns and gives it away,
Breathe yourself into the flow, the giving and receiving that is at the heart of Recovery Community Yoga.
We would love to meet you and host you at one of our yoga classes.
191 Bank St., Suite 200 Burlington, VT 05401
Monday - Wednesday - Friday: 10:30am - 11:30am