Yoga & Addiction (HYBRID)

Yoga & Addiction (HYBRID)

Registration is closed, but please check other Asheville Yoga Center Events

The truth is, we are all addicted to something.

Rami Shapiro states that we are all addicted to thinking we can control life. Richard Rohr says we all suffer from the “Universal Addiction to the way we think” We mistakenly think these addictions bring us happiness. Yoga, along with many other Spiritual texts teaches us that the opposite, letting go, is what brings everlasting happiness into our lives.

Yoga has positive effects physically, mentally, and emotionally on all of us and especially on the addicted individual. The idea is that “yoga and addiction” is also a spiritual journey that helps bring a more relaxed mental state onto the student. With a steady practice, the student can experience greater mood stability in the face of outside pressures. Having a calm mind and a relaxed state can help contribute to avoiding self-harming behaviors and activities like substance abuse.

Brain scans performed on substance abusers show hyperactivity in regions of the brain that have a greater propensity to be self-interested, mood swings, and behavioral disorders.

Meditation and yoga releases us from the concept of the self and practicing yoga displays greater connectivity in all regions of the brain. A Yoga practice can help to achieve a cerebral balance which may not occur in the brains of substance abusers since most of their brain activity focuses on satisfying their immediate physical needs (addiction).

Yoga offers a unique combination of physical exercise and relaxation techniques, and unlike other exercises, it connects the body with the mind and soul. Through yoga, we can learn about self-control and relaxation which then can lead to achieving ultimate liberation, or “Moksha.”

Though it is relatively new in Western culture, it has already gained much attention and acceptance over the recent years. As a result, western medical researchers have gradually started to acknowledge the benefits of yoga as an adjunct in treating addiction.

Yoga teaches us that the root of all suffering comes from avidya, or ignorance. We wear a dark veil of ignorance that keeps us from seeing our True Nature – that of an Eternal, Conscious, Blissful Being. We can’t see the truth of what we are – happy, full, complete, and whole. We use addictions, or habits as a way to bring us temporary happiness. When we learn how to shed this “veil” we can see clearly and obtain happiness as a state, not an experience.

This course includes teachings from “A Yogic Perspective on the 12 Steps” by Amrit Desai, “Breathing Underwater: Spirituality and the Twelve Steps” by Richard Rohr, “Recovery—The Sacred Art: The Twelve Step as Spiritual Practice (The Art of Spiritual Living)” by Rami Shapiro , “The Secret of the Yoga Sutra” by Pandit Rajmani Tigunait.

We will explore:
• What is addiction? The definition, etymology, and statistics
• Different types of addiction (not exclusive to substance) and the brain
• How to use yoga to help ease addiction symptoms through asana, pranayama, mantra, mudras, and meditation
• How to sequence a class

Required Reading:
  • A Yogic Perspective on the 12 Steps by Amrit Desai
  • Breathing Under Water: Spirituality and the Twelve Steps by Richard Rohr
  • Recovery—The Sacred Art: The Twelve Step as Spiritual Practice (The Art of Spiritual Living) by Rami Shapiro
  • The Secret of the Yoga Sutra by Pandit Rajmani Tigunait


Friday, 6-9pm
Saturday, 10am-1pm & 2pm-5pm
Sunday, 10am-1pm

For 300HR Students:

12 Contact Hours
2 Non Contact Hours