addiction

Tommy Rosen: Recovery 2.0: Yoga and Meditation for People in Recovery From Addiction

Addiction is a disease of “lack.” At the core level, we feel something is missing and we set out to try to fill the void through a set of behaviors that leave us further depleted. We damage the systems of our body and sap ourselves of “life force.” Our endocrine system gets taxed. Our nervous system is overworked. We live in nearly constant fight or flight, bringing on the horrible consequences of stress.

In my opinion, the 12 steps provide a wonderful path to overcome acute addiction. They work almost always, I think, if you put your energy and focus into them. The great promise they delivered to me was that the desire to do drugs and alcohol was removed altogether. That’s a HUGE statement, a miracle really. Yet, there are three important things that the 12 steps do not address: body, breath and diet. Interestingly, these three things are the irreplaceable building blocks, the essential amino acids if you will, for a stronger recovery and a more successful, enjoyable life.

Think of recovery as a multi-tiered process in which different people need different things at different times. If a person is mired in acute addiction to any of the big five — drugs, alcohol, food, sex or money — then that must be dealt with first. That is where Recovery 1.0 or the 12 steps come in. A person has to detoxify first. One must have a community to support the epic and imminent transformation that takes place in early recovery. After some time, and this varies from person to person, one’s energy and “frequency” rises up and permits the practice of yoga, breath work and meditation. This is where Recovery 2.0 comes in. This is a great benchmark on the path of recovery, and if taken with intention, awareness and proper guidance from a mentor or teacher, one has the opportunity to make a lot of progress.

I do not feel that yoga and meditation are optional for people in recovery. Life will simply be better with practice than without it. Of course, one can stay sober without yoga and meditation. It’s just that if you want to lift yourself up out of the energy of addiction and break through to a new level of strength and awareness, one will have to adopt a practice that continues the detoxification process on a much deeper level.

I learned the hard way what it means to be sober while still stuck in the energy of addiction. I had put the drugs and alcohol down, but other addictions, stresses and dis-ease plagued me for many years into my recovery. It was not until I found Kundalini Yoga and gained a deeper understanding of Vinyasa that I began to re-claim my self and break through the force field of addiction perhaps for the first time in my life.

Here I am now 11 years later. I teach people in recovery how to apply these tools to their lives so that they, too, can experience the freedom that was given to me by my teacher, Guru Prem, and these amazing practices he shared with me.

On Thursdays at 7:30 p.m. at Golden Bridge Yoga in Santa Monica, I teach Yoga and Recovery. We do one hour of yoga and then circle up to have a one-hour 12-step meeting where everyone is welcome. We will see more and more of this I feel, as people realize the tremendous benefit of yoga as a cornerstone of one’s recovery path.

if you or anyone you know has been touched by addiction and are interested in exploring what Recovery 2.0 has to offer, connect with me here.

Please leave comments here below so we can be more connected. I would love to have a better sense of who you are and what your recovery journey is like.

With Love and Gratitude,

Tommy Rosen

I just released the first two titles in the Recovery 2.0 DVD series to help people who struggle with addiction of all kinds. These first two Recovery 2.0 DVDs bring together some of my most cherished yoga sets and meditations. There is an amazing soundtrack featuring the uplifting music of Aykanna and Earthrise Soundsystem. These practices are accessible to most people who have detoxed off of drugs and alcohol. They have made a huge difference in my life and I hope they will for you, too.

Need help with substance abuse or mental health issues? In the U.S., call 800-662-HELP (4357) for the SAMHSA National Helpline.

via Tommy Rosen: Recovery 2.0: Yoga and Meditation for People in Recovery From Addiction.

7 REASONS WHY FIRMS SHOULD INVEST IN MEDITATION FOR STRESSED EXECUTIVES | TrainingZone.co.uk

In this article ex-Barrister, Trainer and Executive Coach, Neil Seligman digests the latest scientific discoveries on the benefits of presence, mindfulness and meditation that all professionals should know about.

1 . MEDITATION REDUCES THE RISK OF HEART ATTACK AND STROKE

The latest study into the long assumed physical benefits of meditation has shown the strongest link yet between a regular practice of meditation and better physical health.

“The main finding [of our research] is that, added on top of usual medical care, intervention with a mind-body technique (here transcendental meditation) can have a major effect on cardiovascular events,” says Robert Schneider, lead author on the study published in Circulation: Cardiovascular Quality and Outcomes.

2 . LONG TERM MEDITATORS ARE ABLE TO PROCESS INFORMATION FASTER

Researchers at UCLA studied the brains of people who had meditated for years comparing them with those who never meditated or who only did it for a short period of time. They took MRI scans of 100 people, half meditators and half non-meditators. They were fascinated to find that long-time meditators showed higher levels of gyrification (a folding of the cerebral cortex that may be associated with faster information processing). In a study published in Frontiers in Human Neuroscience in February 2012, they shared that, the more years a person had been meditating, the more gyrification their MRIs revealed.

3. PEOPLE WHO PRACTICE CERTAIN FORMS OF MEDITATION ARE MORE CREATIVE

Researchers at Leiden University in the Netherlands looked at the way two types of meditation, focused-attention (for example, focusing on your breath) and open-monitoring (where participants focus on both the internal and external) affected two types of creative thinking: the ability to generate new ideas and solutions to problems. In a study published in April 2012 in Frontiers in Cognition, they revealed that those who practiced open-monitoring meditation performed better than non-meditators at tasks related to coming up with new ideas.

4. MEDITATORS ARE LESS STRESSED AND LESS DISTRACTED DURING MULTI-TASKING

A computer scientist at the University of Washington teamed up with a neuroscientist at the University of Arizona to test whether meditation can help professionals stay focused and calm. The pair recruited 45 human resources managers and gave a third of them eight weeks of mindfulness-based meditation training, a third of them eight weeks of body relaxation training and a third of them no training at all. All the groups were given a stressful multi-tasking test before and after the eight weeks. In a study published in the Proceedings of Graphics Interface in May 2012, they showed that the meditation group reported less stress as they performed the multi-tasking test than both of the other groups. This study has further obvious implications on burnout and breakdown, which cost global business a fortune in lost productivity every year.

5 . RECRUITMENT ADVANTAGE: GENERATION Z EXPECT A CONSCIOUS PERSPECTIVE

Generation Z represent our most conscious generation to date. They will be expecting a values-driven approach to doing business, where focus on profit is balanced with focus on planet and people. Whilst they will expect to work hard they will also expect their employers to train and develop them as a human being as well as a professional. The conscious generation will already be familiar with meditation and open to its benefits as these become more widely accepted by science and the media. Impressive employee wellbeing programs will differentiate the best firms from the rest.

6 . CORPORATE CULTURES ARE ALREADY BEING IMPROVED BY MEDITATION

It is already happening:

At General Mills in Minneapolis, Janice Marturano, deputy general counsel at the multinational has founded a program of meditation, yoga and mindfulness, “It’s about training our minds to be more focused, to see with clarity, to have spaciousness for creativity and to feel connected. That compassion to ourselves, to everyone around us, our colleagues, customers, that’s what the training of mindfulness is really about.”William George, a current Goldman Sachs board member agrees, “The main business case for meditation is that if you’re fully present on the job, you will be more effective as a leader, you will make better decisions and you will work better with other people, I tend to live a very busy life. This keeps me focused on what’s important.”

7 . MEDITATION: AN ANTIDOTE TO ADDICTION?

The body of evidence for the power of meditation in addiction treatment and prevention is growing. One 2007 study showed that individuals who participated in meditative practices during recovery gained higher levels of coping skills, as well as a heightened awareness of substance-abuse triggers. Addiction still costs global business billions each year. Meditation offers the prospect of addressing some of the root cause. Prevention is indeed better than cure.

Neil Seligman

Neil Seligman is Director at The Conscious Professsional, a new coaching and training consultancy delivering bespoke training, mindfulness and wellbeing solutions to corporate clients.www.theconsciousprofessional.com

Acknowledgements & Further Reading:

The Conscious Guide to Meditationhttp://www.theconsciousprofessional.com/library/articles/meditation

FT Online: The Mind Businesshttp://www.ft.com/cms/s/2/d9cb7940-ebea-11e1-985a-00144feab49a.html#axzz2I579Vq3A

Ted Bloghttp://blog.ted.com/2013/01/11/4-scientific-studies-on-how-meditation-can-affect-your-heart-brain-and-creativity/

Neurosoup.com: Meditation’s Role in Drug Addiction Recoveryhttp://www.neurosoup.com/meditation_and_addiction.htm

via 7 REASONS WHY FIRMS SHOULD INVEST IN MEDITATION FOR STRESSED EXECUTIVES | TrainingZone.co.uk.