Carrying the Message to the Mat: Using Yoga in the Recovery from Substance Use Disorder

Depression & Anxiety

The opioid crisis and the growing problem of addiction in general are among the most critical issues facing humanity today. At its root, substance use disorder stems not just from chronic pain, but far more commonly is a reflection of the mounting inability to deal effectively with life’s challenges.

As a society, we are over-worked, over-stressed, and often do not have the emotional tools to deal with life on life’s terms. This leads to disconnection from ourselves and from our communities as people isolate – working more, sleeping less and generally spending less time with family and self-care.

These unhealthy behaviors create trauma to the body, mind and spirit. We are less loving, less open, less aware.

The result is often a downward spiral, as people begin to rely on something outside of themselves to just make it through. A glass of wine, a pill, a drug, a smoke, sugar, junk food, the Internet, gambling, shopping… Whatever the substance or behavior, it creates a cumulatively detrimental effect on human beings, who have been created to connect with others in community (sangha), move and stretch our bodies (asana), breathe fully (pranayama) and have time in our lives for quiet reflection (meditation). When people move into this unhealthy lifestyle too deeply, the result is addiction.

In this online course, yoga therapist Celeste Mendelsohn discusses the many ways yoga can offer an important self care tool for people struggling with addiction or substance use disorder. Drawing on her work in recovery treatment centers, Celeste shares her approach using therapeutic yoga for emotional healing and recovery.

Celeste will show how the tools of yoga – movement, breath and meditation offer real tools for recovery and how best to implement them in a treatment setting and as continuing tools of self care.

Yoga offers a tool to connect with the felt sense of the body and restore the vital connection between body awareness and bodily sensations as a path to fostering greater mindful attention to ourselves and deal more effectively with the residuals of past trauma.

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.”

What You Will Learn

  • How the techniques of yoga can offer a path to healing past trauma and emotional scars.
  • 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 students 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 course is also suitable for yoga teachers interested in working in a substance abuse treatment setting, along with the two other courses featured by Celeste Mendelsohn with an extended treatment of the topic.

This Course Also Includes:

  • 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 CEs with Yoga Alliance.
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

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