Like me, many others have found the practice of yoga to be a wonderful and sustainable tool to aid them in their recovery from addiction. Hear first hand from some of my students about their experiences of practicing yoga with me.
My deepest gratitude to those who felt able to share their story. ♥
Yoga & Recovery & Me
I was in rehab in the early stages of recovery from the symptoms of a life of trauma – An addiction to Alcohol, Crystal Meth and Sex.
I was abstinent, I was working through some challenging memories and traumas. Some days I felt like breaking down and crying for no apparent reason, I was facing emotions I had been avoiding for over 30 years. I needed some timeout from this, from the process, from my internal “washing machine brain”
I was struggling to follow the advice that mindfulness would work – I could not stop my brain from overthinking and analysing, the paranoia of this new environment I had staggered into sharing my living space – having isolated myself for the past 10 years with a pipe and the occasional visitor – it was overwhelming!
I was willing to try anything and so signed up for every activity offered by the first-class rehab center I was in, this included HIT classes – too intense physically, acupuncture – I had a panic attack during a session, Art Therapy – I could not undertake creative projects without my controlling and “be perfect” drivers taking over!
We were in Covid Lockdown and so my first experience of yoga was sat on a mat looking up at a 50” TV Screen. I was immediately at ease with the tones coming from the TV – Sayeeda smiling and keeping it simple – It being Yoga.
There was no right or wrong to feed my perfectionist approach, I was directed gently to readjust and just listen to my body – I was not “Doing” I was “Being” for the first time in my 44 years.
Yoga was an experience that started to become part of my routine, I felt the rush of endorphins that did not involve smoke or a needle.
I could close my eyes and for the first time relax and turn off that washer!
My experience of attending the weekly session with Sayeeda meant I could reset my brain; I had found a non-judgmental way of looking at myself and others. I started to take responsibility for ensuring that the sessions were running by collecting the laptop from the office and setting up the room and encouraged others to attend.
More importantly, after 4 months, I left rehab and headed out on a journey of knitting myself back into society as someone who was now sober and abstinent – I was able to continue the online sessions and this played a major role in my relapse prevention routine. I had difficulty in facing the world but was now aware that I could not isolate myself.
By attending the sessions with Sayeeda I then had the confidence to try other yoga sessions within the community I was living in Attending Music and yoga evenings and Nidra sessions.
I am currently in Spain on a yoga retreat that has taught me I could travel to a place I love – but rather than sit by a poolside bar drinking cocktails I could connect with others through the power and interest of Yoga – I don’t have to be amazing at the holds and I still struggle a bit physically – but look forward to the Yoga Nidra to just “BE”
During my treatment, I was broken. I was physically and mentally exhausted. Especially during detox. My body was sore and ached. I wasn’t quite sure about Yoga and what it was about but I was open to trying it and so started the Yoga sessions with Sayeeda. Sometimes I wasn’t even sure if I had the energy to do it but at the end of every session, I was so glad I did. Sayeeda is very welcoming and easy to get on with. Sayeeda has a great understanding of addiction and the effects this has on the human mind and body and facilitates the class around this. Sayeeda takes you on a yoga journey not only with stretches and postures but also with different breathing techniques, mindfulness, and my favourite, Yoga Nidra. The sessions are very chilled and it feels so good to take care of myself this way. To stretch and actually feel my physical and mental being, in a relaxing environment. I feel very grateful and lucky to be able to do these sessions as Yoga has become an integral part of my recovery. Thanks Sayeeda
Yoga with Sayeeda helped me a lot with many different mental and physical problems. I do not know where to start. If I just look at the basics, in that one hour yoga session, I relax, stretch my body, and I can disconnect from the outside world and any pending tasks or problems.
In the long run, I have got a lot of benefits from practicing with Sayeeda. She helped me to reduce anxiety, cope with daily stress, and grow spiritually. My favorite part of the session is Yoga Nidra (Sleep Yoga ) . It is really good to relax you at the end of the session, and she pushes to individual limits. Also, I heard good advice from her about how to staysober and clean and how to prevent relapse as I am in recovery for life. Overall I think Sayeeda is a professional Yoga teacher of all levels. It feels like she is kind, helpful, and passionate about what she is doing.