If you were to ask any number of people what is yoga, I’d bet you’d get a bunch of very different responses. Perhaps the reason for all the variance and diversity is because the word ‘yoga,’ translated from Sanskrit to English, means to to yoke, or to join. It is therefore possible to interpret the meaning of the word yoga in many different, personal ways depending on how you create connection.

Members of our TYP Team visited one our partners, the Kirkbride Center, for a presentation to discuss yoga and recovery. Kirkbride is a comprehensive 270-bed behavioral health center and a national leader in opiate addiction recovery services. We’ve partnered with them for over 5 years and hosted an exclusive event to discuss with the current residents with our latest book “Yoga for Recovery: A Practical Guide for Healing.”

During the presentation, the group in attendance was asked “What is yoga?” One resident there provided a really beautiful, personal response:

“Yoga is like connecting with your inner spiritual energy that you have inside yourself. It’s basically channeling your energy and, you know, taking control of your mind and your body and, and,  your emotions and, and, and your reactions…Actually, when I was in jail, and they would pass a paper around in jail and it was like “eh…nobody’s doing yoga man – we in jail.” I was like more like Yo…I told myself (Ulysses?) – there’s a very hot, young instructor down there and you don’t wanna miss it. They had like 30 people in the class but when they came, and they see how serious she was about it, everybody really got in to it. It was something that you needed --because you were going through so much you didn’t never imagine how somethin’ like yoga can channel your energy and take you from the state of mind and the place that you’re at in your life.  So you might be in a dark place in your life during addiction, and once you calm down and channel your energy and just learn how to control your emotions and your movement, you become one with earth.

Yoga may help to improve the lives of people who've experienced trauma by helping them to tolerate physical and sensory experiences associated with fear and helplessness-7.png

What is ‘yoga’ to you? How do you relate to the practice?

Feel free to comment and share with us!