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Addiction, Recovery and Yoga: A Film Everyone Should See

in YD News, Yoga Heroes, Yoga Therapy

addiction-recovery-yogaWe’ve heard the connection and success yoga has had in improving the lives of people with addictions. This is the first time we can say we’ve seen it.

‘Addiction, Recovery and Yoga’ is a documentary film that takes a realistic approach to telling the stories of recovered addicts, through 12 steps and other outreach programs and the practice of Yoga. This is big, important, deep stuff, folks and for some it’s life-saving.

The filmmaker is none other than Lindsey Clennell a a senior Iyengar Yoga teacher at the New York Iyengar Institute, who is himself a yoga therapist, and as it says in his bio, has trained “16 times in India with B. K. S. Iyengar, his primary teacher, and the Iyengar family.” (read more about Mr. Clennell the filmmaker)

It goes without saying this is difficult and delicate subject matter. We have enormous heaps of gratitude and admiration for Mr. Clennell for this invaluable work, a ‘not-for-profit, free information, public service venture,’ and for the participants of the film who courageously share their stories so that they may help and inspire others. This is what we’re talking about when we say Yoga Heroes. Namaste.

We encourage you to view the whole film we’ve posted here or in segments (listed below). We have to warn you that it may be overwhelming for some or could perhaps hit too close to home.

film website: www.adyo.org

Parts on YouTube:

1. Introduction
2. Addiction problems
3. Rock bottom and
first twelve-step meeting

4. Stopping
5. Truth and inspiration
6. Chances of success
7. Twelve steps
8. Denial
9. Restoring sane thoughts
10. Surrender to a higher power
11. Facing the truth
12. Yoga in depth
13. Meditation
14. Sobriety: one day at a time
15. Emotional stability
16. Real life changes
17. Epilogue

About Lindsey Clennell the filmmaker (from IYAGNY)

Originally a medical student in England, he became a documentary filmmaker and writer, producing and directing more than 200 music videos, concert series, and specials. Among his subjects were Muhammad Ali and Mikhail Gorbachev, and he was nominated for an award for Outstanding Contribution to British Cinema by the British Film Academy.

Reflecting on one of his last film projects—which led to the release of 30 American hostages before the first Gulf War—Lindsey cites a favorite quote from Sri Aurobindo: “All life is yoga.” This concept would have been unobtainable for him without Iyengar’s teaching, which gave him the stamina to endure creative demands and stress.

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5 comments… add one

  • Kit

    Dear Dork:

    Thank you for posting the information about this documentary. I find I count on you to troll the internet for great yoga information and you never disappoint. Thanks again for being a great resource.

  • This is great. I love how frank everyone was. I have yet to find resources on specific asana sequences for helping people through recovery and dealing with addiction. Most of what I have seen refers to the Twelve Steps, which is fine. But I want to see more about yoga and addiction…any ideas?
    Thanks for posting this!

  • anton

    Kundalini Yoga as taught by Yogi Bhajan

  • Yoga and the 12 steps ? ? ? Patanjali would turn over in has grave. What a bastardization of the oldest healing techniques. Just do the yoga. 12 steps are not needed for the true yogi.

  • Spread Your Wings Not Your Legs

    Incredible ignorance and arrogance masquerading as sage-like wisdom! I am writing a book on this important topic. I can tell you two things from actual experience, as opposed to simply pulling a foul lotus blossom out of my ass as you just did.

    First. yoga is a nice spiritual branch for some addicts, but there is no substitute for a foundational program, 12 steps or some other perhaps. You should talk to addicts who are also yogis, and most will tell you: No substitute for AA. And they are diehard yogis, mind you.

    Second, there are an enormous number of untreated substance abusers who are in yoga and who would benefit from another program. Some have a drinking problem, and when they come to AA, they are helplessly confused, because they have no familiarity with the principle of surrender. They are fill ed with their own yoga ego, and they never stay.

    But it’s even worse, because there are yoga enthusiasts — and many many teachers — with other addictions — from eating disorders to to OCD to real mental illness. Yoga doesn’t cure them of anything — it puts miracle grow on their psychological and emotional problrems — though in community of like-minded ill people, this is often disguised

    Yoga always overstates its magical cure-all qualities, all t does is damage yoga’s reputation, and damage good souls who need additional help.

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