Please share with us a little bit about your background and what brought you to work with TYP?
I took my first yoga class in 2011 while in treatment for substance abuse. Prior to treatment, I had a long time interest in Eastern Philosophy. I believe that much of my drug use was directly related to my desire to journey inward. Unfortunately, drugs were more powerful than I would have ever imagined. Shortly after I smoked pot for the first time at age 12, drugs became an extrinsic force that would wreak havoc on my inner and outer worlds. When I ended up at treatment in 2011, I was 31 years old and strung-out on heroin. There was hardly a flicker of internal light left in me. I came to find out that the light was still in me; but, covered and armored by a barrage of fear, shame and guilt. Recovery became the process of uncovering this intrinsic flame. Yoga and meditation have been the fuel for the fire that has transformed my life in ways that I never imaged. In 2015, I taught my first class for TYP at a recovery house. More recently, I shared the practices for TYP at a partial hospitalization program. I do what I do to share hope, as well as, tools that support transformation. I do what I do because I know that regardless of one’s past it is possible to expose the light that burns in each of us. In addition to being a yoga instructor, I am a social work student at West Chester University and the Program Managers of the Synergy Houses (transitional living for men in recovery).
What do you do for self-care?
Other than yoga and meditation I love to cook and eat healthy foods. Traveling and being outdoors are forms of self-care that I also enjoy.
How has working for TYP influenced you?
TYP has influenced me to start my own recovery yoga group in my area which has been meeting twice a month for almost two years.
What keeps you coming back to serve?
Service is the cornerstone of recovery and necessary for me to maintain my own recovery.
Want to share any wise words or inspiration to anyone on a similar path?
The Bhagavad-Gita states, “It cannot be cut or burned; it cannot be wet or withered; it is enduring, all-pervasive, fixed, immovable, and timeless. It is called un-manifest, inconceivable, and immutable…” There is a space within us that remains unstruck, pure in essence and is the light that shines within the hearts of all beings regardless of the suffering, conditioning, trauma, and addiction one has endured. Yoga is the process that reveals this to be so.
Thank you for sharing with us David! Namaste.
If you are interested in joining TYP's team as an instructor then be sure to register for one of our upcoming Trauma-Sensitive Yoga trainings! The trainings are required in order to lead classes for us in Recovery, Behavioral Health and Justice settings. Check out the next dates and register Now!