Beyond Addiction: The Yogic Path to Recovery
When we think of addictions, we typically think of the most serious substances people become addicted to, like alcohol, drugs and tobacco. But many people are addicted to things or behaviors that are more socially acceptable and not typically viewed as “real addictions” such as drinking coffee, working, overeating or shopping too much, or constantly checking electronic devices. According to Sat Dharam Kaur, one of the founders of Beyond Addiction: The Yogic Path to Recovery, every addiction at its core is a weak substitute for deep, inner fulfillment.
“Addiction is displaced longing—we all have a longing to be ‘at home’ with ourselves, comfortable in our own skin and to be loved,” says Sat Dharam. “Often, because of early childhood stress or abuse, lack of safety or unmet developmental needs, we look for that longing in other places. Those other places can take the shape of a daily Starbucks coffee, a cigarette, a glass of wine every night before dinner, a closet full of shoes, marijuana a few times a week, checking Facebook every hour, a string of unfulfilling relationships or the need to be constantly pushing for success. There are so many ways it expresses itself. We can do this for decades before realizing that what we are really looking for is unattainable from external sources. It all comes back to acknowledging the pain, hurt, discomfort or emptiness we’ve been carrying, then developing the capacity to give ourselves the love, time and space we crave from other sources, and opening to receive that love and support from those who can provide it to us.”
Beyond Addiction: The Yogic Path to Recovery was developed by Sat Dharam Kaur, ND and Jivan Joti Kaur, PhD and integrates the teachings of Yogi Bhajan, Dr. Gabor Maté and experts in the addiction field. This program is designed for everyone: for individuals seeking to develop healthy habits and overcome addictive behavior, for health professionals who work with addiction, and for certified Kundalini Yoga teachers who would like to teach a yoga-based addiction recovery program.
According to co-founder Sat Dharam, at the foundation of Beyond Addiction is the belief that “It is not so much the addiction itself that is the problem, but rather the unmet needs at the core of our addictive patterns. Within the framework created by the practice and philosophy of Kundalini Yoga, the process of addiction recovery becomes an invitation to a deeply personal and transformational healing journey that draws additional strength from the group experience where the shared pain reveals our shared human condition.”
Sat Dharam explains that “From a yogic perspective, we are all addicted to our finite identity, the egoic personality, the known small self. We attach to this as ‘me’. At some point in one’s yoga journey, the awareness comes that we are so much more than that. The practice of yoga and meditation can reveal to us that we are all connected as One Being, existing in a sea of universal energy, responding with our finite selves to the great creative consciousness as it flows through us, informs us and connects us. When the small egoic self experiences separation from the larger creative consciousness (existing within and externally), a spiritual distress sends it seeking a replacement for that connection. This can manifest as any addictive substance or behavior.
“Over the years I’ve taken many yoga programs and teacher training courses; however, the Beyond Addiction experience created more healing and personal growth in my life. This program gives you the tools to apply yoga to your life.”
~ Sunder Luber
“The very nature of addictions—the specific physiological underpinnings that lead to the dependency combined with the very strong spiritual component—puts yoga and meditation in a unique position to offer a pathway out of the often difficult-to-break cycle,” says Sat Dharam. “Kundalini Yoga, in particular, has a rich history of offering yoga-based programs to help people regain their physical, emotional and spiritual health.”
Back by popular demand, Beyond Addiction: The Yogic Path to Recovery is offered again in Florida, beginning in October, at Yoga Village’s School of Yoga. The program consists of 16 modules, taught over four months, which include weekly themes, Kundalini yoga, breathing techniques, meditation, relaxation, self-reflection, lifestyle and dietary guidelines, stress management, group support, hydrotherapy, naturopathic detoxification and nutritional and herbal supplementation for neurotransmitter and glandular balance. The course will be led by Sat Kaur Khalsa, a certified Kundalini yoga teacher and professional trainer. “You create your habits. Your habits create you. We will help you recover yourself.”
Location: 2760 Daniel St., Clearwater. For more details and to register, call 727-712-1475 or visit AYogaVillage.com/beyond-addictions. See ads, pages 10 & 18.