About Sober Yogis™
As the body of research on the efficacy of “body centered” therapies for behavioral health expands, we want to inform you of Sober Yogis™, a project happening at a local yoga studio with local therapists. Keri Kim Rumley, LCMHC, an expressive arts therapist, Ozgur Akbas, LMFT a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, Barbara Henricks, MLADC, a licensed alcohol and drug counselor, and Sara Curry, the co-owner of Bikram Yoga, Portsmouth NH. Sober Yogis™ pairs yoga with weekly support groups for individuals in recovery or seeking sobriety. The developing model has shown promising results, thus far. The Sober Yogis™ program strives to enhance the recovery experience of individuals in all stages of change and recovery by building a safe and supportive community. We utilize the powerful combination of Bikram Hatha yoga and weekly support groups, which are evidence-based and integrative, to help people move more deeply into a relationship with themselves and cultivate health, wellness, sobriety and community.
You may already be aware that Massachusetts General Hospital, in conjunction with Harvard Medical School, (and partially paid for by a grant from the National Institutes of Health) recently published preliminary findings on the practice of Bikram yoga and reduction in symptoms of anxiety and depression. Anecdotally, we have had several clients report that Bikram yoga has decreased their symptoms of post acute withdrawal syndrome, as well as reports of decreases in anxiety, depression, and emotional dysregulation. In The Body Keeps the Score, Bessel van der Kolk, MD provides numerous examples of PTSD symptom reduction through the practice of yoga and other body centered therapies.
If you are interested in helping clients, by suggesting a yoga practice, you may want to provide information about the Sober Yogis™ program/research project (see attached brochure). If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us. We have attached a few testimonials.
Sober Yogis™ in the Media:
The New Livestream(Start at 52:00)
Testimonials from First Round
“Yoga helped me see that I am strong. It helped me to recognize that I can survive suffering and discomfort.”
“I experienced clarity in both body and mind.”
“I was completely resistant to the role of support groups in the challenge, but found myself wanting to be in the group more every week. It showed me that my sobriety has much more to offer me- even now- 22 years later.”
“More stillness in mind and body- even when my brain is bringing up a stream of negativity to me- I can be still.”
“The support group was my biggest fear, as I don’t typically like group settings, however it turned out to be my favorite piece of this challenge. I liked hearing each week that others were going through some of the same challenges in recovery that I am.”
“Less anxiety. When I practice, I have an overall sense of well-being. When I don’t, I feel anxious.”
“The biggest learning opportunity was knowing how similar everyone’s fight and journey with addiction is and not being alone in this plight to remain sober.”
“This experience was amazing overall. Such a powerful tool in recovery. Yoga is changing my life, the challenge is keeping me motivated and accountable. It’s a supportive community and teachers. 5 stars!”