Recovery Yoga Teacher Training

Thank You Suz, From the bottom of my heart for this work you’re doing. It Is so needed and so brave and I am inspired by you to not only continue working on my own recovery journey but to help others as well. Amazing. Thank you.
— Participant in Recovery Yoga Teacher Training November 2017 at the Yoga Center of Minneapolis

I know from personal experience (as a woman in long-term recovery since April 2008, and from my six+ years leading Recovery Yoga Meetings) that yoga practice is an effective tool for treating addiction and sustaining recovery.

Throughout my struggle with addiction and depression, I was completely dysregulated. On drugs or off, I couldn’t tolerate or manage my own state of mind. I felt uncomfortable in my own skin. I had no peace. That’s why I used drugs to change the way I felt.

Once I got into recovery, with chemical dependency treatment and 12 Step programs, I found that I was still at the mercy of my inner fluctuations of mood and thought. I couldn’t always be at a meeting, and I needed tools – real physical techniques – to manage my stress.

That’s when I created Recovery Yoga Meetings. I put together a sequence of yoga postures that allowed me translate intellectual recovery into a physical experience. And by continuing to practice, I learned how to cultivate inner peace and resilience.

So, I decided to teach Recovery Yoga Meetings. And after a few years, the Yoga Center of Minneapolis asked me to teach other yoga teachers how to teach Recovery Yoga. I created a curriculum, and I just wrapped up another fulfilling training in November.

In the training, I give teachers:

  • Personal experience working the 12 Steps in their own lives, as well as practice using other evidence-based recovery modalities and tools (like mindfulness, motivational interviewing, and DBT);
  • Education about the neurobiology of addiction, mental illness, trauma, and compulsive behaviors, as well as the current state of addiction treatment, recovery advocacy, and the role we all play in ending stigma;
  • Information about the relationship between trauma and addiction, how trauma gets stored in the body, and how to safely process trauma with yoga;
  • Skills to lead Recovery Yoga Meetings, including the set sequence, teaching as a peer and ally rather than the traditional teacher-student dynamic, being sensitive to and inclusive of each individual’s personal path to recovery, and working with first-time yoga students and those new to recovery.


Here's what students said:

I really appreciated going through the 12 steps and having the personal experience of what the students may be going through.
This training helped me get a better understanding of what recovery can look like for different people and how to be more sensitive to that.
I learned how trauma affects the brain and in turn our lives and the way we are.
It was all wonderful and profound! It feels like it went fast and could be expanded over two weekends possibly.
I could use two weeks of this training! Such good info, I want more.
Loved this! Very enlightening, fun, thoughtful, and inspiring.
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