As you know I have been working in addiction treatment for 16 years and I had hoped that Yoga could be promoted more in treatment , in my mind Yoga made sense as it is a truly Holistic practice. I tried running classes in Coolmine but it didn’t last as they couldn’t find time to fit Yoga into their schedule even though the lads got a lot from the Yoga classes and I thought that this was a really good opportunity to teach the lads something extremely valuable but schedules schedules won the day.
We ran an 8 week course in Ballymun YAP last spring and the objectives were to learn Yoga posture to get physical health going again we also did a Yoga Nidra/meditation class and in between we has Personal development and group coaching. The course was a success and the surprising result of it all was the raised levels of self-esteem, I have the evaluations if you doubt it. We hope to run this course again this year and maybe up the ante a bit too. The gang in Ballymun were great and i learnt a lot too.
As a teacher of 16 years I have learned a lot from both watching my students and from listening to them and throughout all the years I have met one exceptional person. She wrote a piece for me to describe her own journey from sickness back to health and I think it is worth a read. All it takes is commitment and not even a huge one at that just a little regular meditation and a little stretch and a little exercise daily and you might be amazed at just how amazing you really are.
After Care Course
A Health Based Approach
The Dublin school of Yoga (DSY) has been delivering therapeutic Yoga classes in drug treatment since 2001, we feel there is a need for an after care service. Set out below is a brief description of the proposed after care class.
The DSY will offer 3 sessions per week over an 8 week period.
- Physical health-asana (posture). This class uses traditional Yoga postures to improve the physical state of health, better kidney and liver function, dealing with stress levels and impacting on deep held tensions. In Yoga we understand the body/mind relationship and by using the body we can help to release mental and emotional tensions also.
- Yoga Nidra/Meditation -Yoga Nidra is an amazing therapeutic practice
Yoga nidra is the simple, yet profound technique of yogic sleep which has been found useful in the following areas:
- Induces deep and permanent relaxation of the entire body, mind and personality.
2. Brings about the state of meditation.
3. Eradicates deep rooted psychological problems, complexes, neuroses, inhibitions, etc.
4. Helps to remove a vast number of psychosomatic ailments such as high blood pressure.
5. Acts as a non-chemical tranquilizer that quickly removes insomnia and induces deep sleep.
6. Rejuvenates the whole human organism on all levels- physical, pranic and mental.
7. Opens up the potential of the mind and awakens the faculty of intuition.
8. Increases the memory and learning capacity of students. Brings extraordinary improvement in the absorption and retention of information from external sources as well as the internal knowledge within one’s own mind.
- Personal Development-these classes will be based on Positive Psychology and Group Coaching. Coaching is an amazing practice and these classes will introduce Goal Setting and also looking at Strengths Weaknesses Ambitions and Needs (SWAN theory) and giving the clients the tools they need to maintain a healthy lifestyle.
The DSY will assess and evaluate this course and will deliver a full review of the findings.
It is hoped that all the Drug Task Forces will see the value of this course and will put forward clients they feel would benefit.
Suggestions for After- Care Yoga programme from Yoga student Anne,
Recovering from drug addiction is a difficult personal process of learning to find solidarity with self. Through regular Yoga practice and personal development of self-compassion I have found solidarity and inner-peace. I combined this with my personal therapist one-one counselling in early recovery this was very important and very necessary. However 4yrs into recovery and I have become my own therapist through my yoga practice. It revitalises and reconnects me with inner self- balance.
The main aim is to find solidarity with self through mediation
This is what works for me
Morning practice at Home
- Antar Mouna practice
To observe self not to judge thoughts allow them to be however observe them
Connect with senses of the body. Skin, Nerves system, blood flow,
- Gratitude list for the day one can do this in their mind when they awake from a night’s sleep or write them down. personal eye contact with self every morning while in the bathroom after brushing teeth or washing one’s face, look at one’s own eyes as if you are talking to your inner being and personality, give self-affirmation for the day ahead.
Yoga Nidra practice twice a week
I found Yoga Nidra practice over time my saviour however at first I was falling asleep during practice But I realised even though I was a sleep my subconscious was doing the work through Cormac’s guided practice, now I am awake for the most part and really feel the benefits through my memory is better, Anxiety is less, facing difficult decisions is much easier, I can hear and listen more clearly,
After Yoga Nidra practice
- Connect all of self to nature harmony with self and others, one feels grounded
- Releases tension, Confusion, Judgement of self and others and collection of negative energy one picks up over the day and week.
- Sancalpa teaching, profound and empowering self- belief and safety Sancalpa is a resolve, very important to rehab recovery students due to fear of health, family, self belief issues. Sancalpa helps with change.
- Connects senses with Shakras through visual imagry and third eye connection this helped me with fear,
Sun salutation Physical practice
This helped me with physical health problems
I received direction for home practice on my hips as I had difficulty with my groin area due to addiction; I became my own physiotherapist
Specific physical home practice if needed to the individual regarding physical, mental and fitness health difficulties due to addiction.
In conjunction with Doctors approval
- Teach Chakra’s to After-care Yoga recovery students
What are they?
What do they mean?
Find personal journey with chakras
- Self-Compassion Journal
My self-compassion journal was also my saviour as I had a lot of self-judgement from internalising stigma I self-loathed, as I was practicing Yoga I began to think and write compassionately to self, letters to my addiction to say goodbye and to forgive my addiction, I would write these letters after my Antar Mona practice then I would do some sun- sun salutation practice and close with my Sankalpa and thought for my day and week.
This was one of the most beneficial parts of my yoga practice, I subconsciously and consciously became connected to myself through my Yoga practice I began to reject negative foods such as takeaways and plastic contained food, I began to yearn a relationship with my natural foods I wanted to see the colours touch and smells of naturally grown food like I never had before, It was a really profound journey and I appreciated what nature gave to me. This I believe happened through me compassionate journey of yoga practice and finding inner peace and being reunited with self and nature.
- Nature trip
This is another very important part of my yoga journey I went on a yoga retreat with Cormac for the weekend to the country side and had a wonderful reconnection with self and nature in a way that I hadn’t before as an adult, I was actually present with the here and now after a morning practice and a long walk along the ocean, and as I walked alone for a bit I felt a surge of emotion that was long there regarding hurt in my past, for the first time it wasn’t pain I was feeling it was a huge sigh and release of emotions in that moment however I didn’t need anyone in that moment as I wasn’t afraid of it the ocean was my soother, then for the first time I knew I was going to be Ok and that I was safe and I wasn’t going to need any chemical crutch for life’s teachings anymore as I had nature to sooth me and there it began my new personal relationship with nature to help me heal and It did and still does today combined with my wonderful Yoga practice it truly very personal and precious witch is ME .I found myself for the first time in my life, THANK YOU YOGA.