Highland News Leader

Yoga class in Highland meant to help addicts recover

An addiction can start when we use things outside ourselves to make us feel better. It can be cigarettes, alcohol, shopping, technology, work, gambling, food, drugs — even exercise.

Many of these are socially acceptable vices in moderation — even marijuana use is becoming more mainstream and legal now in some states. However, any vice we use to escape from ourselves or our lives, that takes us away from family, friends, and work, ultimately harms us and our loved ones and can be life-ending.

Yoga is a great complementary practice for those in addiction recovery, said Kim Gray, who has been teaching yoga for 10-plus years and has specialized training in yoga as therapy and yoga for addiction and recovery.

“Yoga offers tools to address feelings, thoughts and actions,” said Gray, who will be offering classes at Highland Hope United Methodist Church starting in December. “These solutions are very similar to those found in recovery programs and involve intellectual, emotional, and spiritual self-exploration.”

The program is free to everyone, with donations accepted. Participants do not have to reveal any addiction details. They only need to have the desire to stop the addictive behavior.

“Yogic tools are congruent with the principles of the 12-step philosophy,” Gray said. “Somatic, or body-based postures cultivate awareness of the physical/energetic/mental/emotional states, enabling the practitioner to learn to manage pain in all forms, combat stress, sleep better, and take better care of themselves. Breath work is critical in recovery and has both neurological and physical benefits. Meditation practice will help the practitioner reconnect to him/herself, others and our Higher Power.”

The 12-week program, “Yoga for Recovery,” will meet on Tuesdays at 6 p.m. at the church, upstairs, beginning Dec. 6. Some yoga mats will be available, but participants are encouraged to bring their own. A light blanket is encouraged as well.

The class will last 60 minutes and will involve physical postures, breath work and meditation. The class will be designed so that students can participate regardless of physical limitation. Chairs will be available for those that prefer to remain off the floor. There will be a weekly topic and self-study opportunities. Practice at home is encouraged.

About the Class

Teacher: Kim Gray, ERYT, CPT

Where: Highland Hope UMC, 12846 Daiber Road in Highland

When: Tuesdays at 6 p.m. in the upstairs of the church, beginning Dec. 6.

Length of program: 12 weeks, 60-minute sessions

Cost: Free

For more information: Call Kim Gray at (618) 792-6677