Carrying the Message to the Mat: Teaching Yoga for Substance Use Disorder with Celeste Mendelsohn


Working in a Treatment setting can feel daunting to teachers who don’t have experience with SUD. Afterall, the clients can be in various stages of recovery from still detoxing (fragile) through sober living (wanting to get more physically fit), the settings are generally not designed for yoga, there may be limited or no props and the mandatory charting is unfamiliar.

So why would you want to do this?

Here are several great reasons:

  • First, the recovery community REALLY needs yoga. Once clients realize how much better they can feel when they start moving, they will become dedicated to the practice. Yes, you’ll find some who aren’t thrilled with yoga, but overall, they’ll love knowing that you’ll be there and they’ll work hard to assimilate all the goodness you can give them.
  • Second, the tools of yoga – movement, breath and meditation fit perfectly into their new lifestyle as real tools for recovery.
  • Third, you will be helping them to reconnect with their felt-sense.
  • Finally, it’s one of the few places where yoga teachers or yoga therapists can be paid a decent fee for their services.

Dr. Peter Levine, in a recent interview said, “As a society, we are sensation averse.” He went on to say that he believes that THIS is the reason why people use drugs. He also said that “We get our greatest wisdom from our bodily sensations.”

Many people in our society have little to no connection with their bodies and the benefits that can come from movement and mindful attention to ourselves.

This 3-Part Course Will Teach You: 

  • How to integrate Asana into the treatment model.
  • How to set up your classes so that students will have the experience they need regardless of where they are in their recovery.
  • How to cue poses for sensation to help them reconnect the felt-sense.
  • How to use recovery cues to connect their awarenesses and experiences on the mat with their new lifestyle.
  • What to look for in students that needs to be included in your charting notes.
  • 12-Step Recovery model
  • SMART Recovery model
  • The Five Koshas and Addiction

This three-hour course is the second of three for yoga teachers who want to work in a substance abuse treatment setting.

This Premium Course Includes These Bonuses!

  • Video Yoga Practice: Enjoy a 1-hour video practice that Celeste made especially for this course, illustrating how to introduce yoga to new students still detoxing, so that they can feel comfortable and add yoga to their toolbox of ways to help themselves feel better.
  • Recordings of All Webinar Sessions: It’s generally acknowledged that many people only retain 10-20 percent of what they learn in a workshop. You will get access to the recordings of both webinar sessions (both MP3 and MP4), enabling you to go back and listen to the workshop as many times as you like.
  • Transcripts of Both Sessions: Ever wanted to refer to a certain part of a course? Even the best note takers miss a point every so often. With the transcripts of the sessions, you can go back and refer to particularly important passages or clarify sections you were in doubt about.

This course qualifies for 3 non-contact hour CEs with Yoga Alliance.

Related courses

Celeste Mendelsohn is a certified yoga teacher with a special focus on working with people in recovery. Her personal experience motivated her to develop Yoga Tarana. She was affected by the trauma of her family’s addictions.

$97/ Lifetime Access

Your website is a blessing to guide me deeper into my personal practice and my teaching practice.
I wanted to expand on my thank you. Yoga U Online has been an absolute lifesaver for me. I moved from a yoga mecca to a yoga desert. Instead of having my choice of teachers and styles and special workshops, I now have to travel an hour to take a class. The excellent teachers and interesting topics at Yoga U Online have kept me moving ahead in my practice. I am grateful for all the wonderful yoga you bring to me. Thank you.
My students will appreciate all the gems I've picked up from your teachers.Thank you so much!
Beth O.