A&R_2_SYTA-logo_banner_editWelcome to Teaching Yoga for Addiction and Recovery

This course is created by Cetanarupa and Krsnadhara to support, encourage and inspire you to teach yoga in this important area. It is intended to be a practical guide, and includes interviews with experienced teachers from around the world about what works in yoga for addiction and recovery.

The course consists of 8 sessions. They can be viewed on YouTube or downloaded as MP3s for later listening. You need approximately 1 hour per week for 4 weeks, but you can do the course at your own pace. Reading the transcripts and re-listening to the interviews is highly recommended, since each speaker brings a wealth of information . Because the transcripts record conversations and are informal by nature, there may be extra content in the interview so listen with this in mind.

We also encourage you to explore the web sites recommended by the speakers and the further reading and research review available at the end of this introduction.

For SYTA members, completion of this course counts towards your continuing professional development accreditation qualifying for 8 points. To apply for the PD points, read this pdf. Your feedback would be welcome when you finish, so please contact us at [email protected]

download2 Transcript2Further ReadingResearch Review


Session 1: Greg’s storygreg2

In this interview we speak to Greg who is in recovery from drug and alcohol addiction. Greg has been practicing the 12 Steps program, Narcotics Anonymous for nearly 40 years and has been clean and sober for most of this time. Greg shares his experience as life as an addict and how 12 step fellowships, yoga and meditation have had a positive impact allowing him to find freedom from addiction.

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As time went on, I started meditating, I didn't know how to do it so I went to a few places to learn. I've done a few different things and I found one I really like and I constantly do that, it's been about 10 years. It's really good. On a daily basis I try to do it and then the physical stuff came in too." - Greg[hr]

Session 2: Yoga Psychologydeva2

In this interview Swami Devamaya shares with us the yoga psychology behind addiction and how the chakras can be viewed as steps to bring balance to the body/mind/spirit. Devamaya has been a student of yoga for 45 years. She has taught yoga since 1983 – in city, suburban and small country classes, and had her own school in Melbourne for many years. Currently she is coordinates two units of the Satyananda teacher-training Diploma of Yoga Studies, at Mangrove Mountain, NSW, Australia; and conducts workshops and classes around Australia and New Zealand throughout the year.

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Devamaya's Blogspot - devamaya-yoga.blogspot.com.au


Session 3: Yoga in Drug and Alcohol Programs and PrisonsBIO

In this interview, Brendon Sakey also known as Yogeshwaran – shares with us his experience teaching yoga in drug and alcohol programs and prisons. Yogeshwaran is an accredited Satyananda Yoga teacher and also a social worker He is passionate about integrating yoga into health and community services, where it is most needed. Yogeshwaran teaches yoga with an emphasis on mindfulness. Through his work has seen the therapeutic benefits of yoga in daily life and knows from his own experience that yoga can help transform and uplift a person.

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Yoga Education in Prisons Trust - www.yogainprisonstrust.org

The insight I had was that people were looking for body centred practices and awareness of breathing, rather than just talking therapies. This led me on to taking it further into teaching yoga in a drug and alcohol rehabilitation residential center." -Yogeshwaran [hr]

Session 4: Sharing from ExperienceKarunamayi New Pic3 (1)

In this interview, Karunamayi shares with us her passion of bringing yoga and its transformational effects to those who find themselves embroiled within addiction, whether as an addict themselves or those who support them. Karunamayi has been practicing yoga for over 12 years, has been teaching for the past 5 and living, also currently managing the Mandala Yoga Ashram in Wales UK. She is an intuitive, compassionate and skilled yoga teacher who brings a wealth of life experience to her teaching. With an inclusive approach, Karunamayi helps students from diverse backgrounds to explore and become aware of their potential.


Healing Addiction through Yoga Course - www.mandalayoga.net


Session 5: Grounded, Present and Honestamara

Swami Amarananda shares her experience in teaching yoga in drug and rehabilitation centers in Sydney for over 20 years. Sw Amarananda has been a student and teacher of Satyananda Yoga for over 30 years and exemplifies the principles of serve, love, give. Her teaching is based on her experience of the profound effect yoga has had on her life and her survival through yoga. Once her feet were on the ground, she had the opportunity, through lots of training and her own healing, to then, with that passion, teach others to help themselves through challenges

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Manly Yoga - www.manlyyoga.com.au


Session 6: Relapse Prevention and Y12 SRNikki Headshot

In this interview Nikki Myers passionately shares with us her personal experience with addiction and the solution she has found through yoga and 12-Step fellowships. Nikki is a Yoga Therapist, Somatic Experiencing Practitioner, Certified Addictions Recovery Specialist and MBA. She is the founder Y12SR, The Yoga of 12-Step Recovery which is based in its theme ‘the issues live in the tissues’, Y12SR is a relapse prevention program that weaves the art & science of yoga with the practical tools of 12-step programs. Y12SR meetings are now available all over the United States and the curriculum is rapidly becoming a feature of addiction recovery treatment centers.

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Y12SR - www.y12sr.com/


Session 7: Yoga with the 12 steps program12step

In this video Cetanarupa shares her experience in working with twelve-step programs and some of the similarities of the twelve-steps to yoga. As twelve-step programs are so commonly used for treating addictive and dysfunctional behaviours it's likely for teachers working with people in this field to come across them. The intention of this session is to give teachers a greater understanding of what the twelve-steps actually are, how they can work in ones life and how yoga can really compliment the program.

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Session 8: Review

We have heard from yoga teachers around the world working in many different settings. In this session we will summarise some of the key messages and the yoga practices that they have found to be most beneficial and dealing with challenges they may encounter. We thank you for completing the course and look forward to your feedback.

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[hr]mekrsnadharaIn gratitude


We hope you will enjoy and benefit from this course as much as we have enjoyed creating it and thank the Satyananda Yoga Teachers Association (Inc) for their generous financial support in making these sessions possible.

For SYTA members to receive the 8 PD points, click here.

A very big thank you to all contributors, Swami Devamaya Saraswati, Greg, Yogeshwaran, Karunamayi, Swami Amarananda Saraswati and Nikki Myers, who so generously shared their experience so that others may benefit. We have been humbled by your passion and willingness and could not have made this without you.

We would appreciate your feedback so please contact us: [email protected]

Hari Om Tat Sat

Krsnadhara and Cetanarupa