Beyond Addiction The Yogic Path to Recovery
Oct 01, 2018 09:07AM
By Wendy Elwell
Sat Kaur Khalsa
As a certified Kundalini Yoga teacher and freelance writer, I was inspired to take Beyond Addiction to write about the experience for one of my teachers and A Yoga Village, a yoga community that feels like home to me. I was not prepared for the ‘coming home to my true self’ that I experienced by participating in the course.
As a journalist, I went in with an "open mind" and emerged with a more open heart and a deeper understanding of the truth of addiction. Like many people, I had ‘addiction’ in a category that included alcohol, drugs and tobacco. What I learned was even beyond the more subtle addictions like sugar, shopping, coffee and technology to learned behaviors and coping strategies that over time became addictions.
Connecting the dots through deeper understanding via the practice of yoga and meditation allowed me to access, identify and change old patterns to a much more present way of being. The collective community in the class, in sharing their revelations, supported the process both in themselves and in one another. Most especially, our teacher held sacred, deep intuitive space that allowed the participants to move through deeply held beliefs and release addictive patterns to achieve a new sense of profound healing.
You, too, can and will recover your true self with Beyond Addiction: The Yogic Path to Recovery. For the fourth year, this nine-day course delivered in three-day segments over a five- month period featuring 16 modules returns to A Yoga Village, in Clearwater, beginning in November 2018. The course was developed by Sat Dharam Kaur, ND and Jivan Joti Kaur, PhD and integrates the teachings of Yogi Bhajan, Dr. Gabor Mate and experts in the field of addiction. This program is led by Sat Kaur Khalsa, certified Kundalini Yoga teacher, who states, "One of the reasons I am so passionate about teaching this course is because I’ve seen the power of giving people the tools to change their attitudes. We may not be able to change our circumstances, but we have within us the resources to change our attitude—and that makes all the difference."
The program is designed for everyone—for health professionals who work with addiction, Kundalini Yoga teachers who would like to teach a yoga-based addiction recovery program and individuals seeking to develop healthy habits and overcome addictive behavior. Every addiction, at its core, is a "weak substitute for deep, inner fulfillment," states Sat Dharam Kaur.
Sunder Luber, the founder of A Yoga Village, will be teaching as well as sharing how her own experiences in participating in the course were so transformational. Luber explains, "In the past, I have used food as a way to love myself. Through Beyond Addiction, I have found a new level of self-love using a healthy whole food program and have lost pounds of pain without dieting." Many of the students at A Yoga Village, felt the same and are planning on taking the course again. Grant Thomas says, "I have participated in a 12-step recovery program for over 11 years and attending the Beyond Addiction course brought my recovery to a whole new level. The course gave me life-changing growth by integrating mind, body and spirit through the in-depth curriculum, honest sharing with/from others, practicing Kundalini Yoga each time we gathered and working class assignments at the individual and group level." Karen Rappaccioli-Tunnermann concurs, "I truly recommend the program! The curriculum and the teachers bring a unique perspective with useful tools that integrate and harmonize my emotions and help me to assist others."
According to the program’s 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. Addiction is displaced longing. Often because of early childhood stress or abuse, lack of safety or unmet developmental needs, we look for that longing in other places. Those places can take the shape of marijuana a few times a week, a string of unfulfilling relationships, the need to be constantly pushing for success or a nightly glass of wine. 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 that can provide it to us."
Sat Dharam goes on to say, "This course is one of the first steps in receiving that gift that is each of our birthrights, the capacity to receive and to give healthy love. In shared community, the power is exponential. Join us at A Yoga Village and be transformed."
Wendy Elwell is a communications consultant, mediator and coach, a certified raw food chef, Reiki Master, Kundalini yoga and yoga nidra teacher, and lover of the world’s oceans, transformation and life. She loves spending time with her two sons and contributing to organizations that truly have the power to change the world. You can reach her at [email protected]
A Yoga Village is located at 2760 Daniel St., Clearwater. In addition to the Beyond Addiction Program, the studio will also be offering a Level 1 Kundalini Yoga Teacher training. For more details and to register, call 727-712-1475 or visit AYogaVillage.com/beyond-addictions. See ad right and page 31.