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 over thinking 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 over whelming!
I was willing to try anything and so signed up for every activity offered by the first-class rehab centre 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 Lock down 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.
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.