I was 5 days clean and in a treatment center for an opiate addiction. I was broken, hurt, angry, sad, and majorly depressed. I was probably the thinnest I have ever been and had zero muscle endurance. I had grown up running, did four sports in high school, I had run countless half marathons and successfully completed a full marathon. My entire life was defined by physical activity of some kind. I had traded all of that in for prescription pills. So here I sat 5 days of hellish withdrawal under my belt and pressed to a total emotional breakdown. In walks this toned, peppy, blonde girl. She was at the treatment center to do yoga and I just looked at her with totally envy. I let that defect sit strong with me for about 15 minutes as she started warming us up. As I continued to try and find something wrong with her she continued to speak kindly and positively. She had something I wanted. A light about her, not in a physical way but in a high vibe way.

We were about 30 minutes into the yoga session and she had us do camel pose. I was wrecked by that point already and when I went into this pose I hated her even more, as I sat up out of it I got what I refer to now as a “free high”. At that moment I knew that I needed yoga in my life everyday.

I cannot successfully use any mind altering substance. I am grateful for this very powerful knowledge. But also I now know that I need to be spiritually connected to continue on a successful healthy life. Yoga has brought that into my life.

Prior to addiction recovery, I would describe people who did yoga as; hippy, holistic, zenned out weirdos. My physical exertion prior to recovery was running, CrossFit, hiit work outs, Olympic weightlifting, and hiking. Yoga was just stretching. Boy has my opinion changed.

As the class began to come to an end and we were told to lay on our backs in Savasana. She said still your mind and be present. I had led a life for about 8 months of constantly living in the future and regretting the past. I had forgotten what it felt like to just be. It was uncomfortable and painful. My eyes began to well up and I had gratitude. I had forgotten for at least 6 months what gratitude felt like. I was so consumed with sorrow, depression, anguish, regret and simply just walking around half dead. As the tears began to flow the teacher came up to me and rubbed lavender oil in between my eyebrows. She whispered “you’re amazing, remember this”. For the first time in a long time I felt that I could be amazing again. I felt that I had a higher purpose.

The power of the third eye chakra that she brought to my attention is more than a silly way to talk about deep meaningful connection. I truly felt as though I was in a different realm, a level of consciousness that was totally foreign to me.

In active addiction I had not only strained family relationships, lost friends, betrayed many people’s trust, this list could go on and on. Ultimately, I had lost me. I had developed a soul that was dark and that was on the verge of being spiritless. On that yoga mat that day I was present with my Higher Power. I was told that I am worth amazing things, I had a vigor to be better, I wanted my thoughts to stay in line with that feeling.

As she told us to open our eyes and wiggle our hands and feet I couldn’t help but laugh. After so much turmoil and hatred toward myself in a matter of 60 minutes it all felt ok. The first time in 8 months I felt ok in my own skin.

As I have pursued the art and practice of yoga and meditation over the past three years. Each session I go into a place of higher consciousness, invaluable spiritual connection and a realm outside of myself. I do yoga at least 15 minutes everyday and every other day it is an hour or more. I have made it a solid part of my life. I will be forever grateful for this beautiful, soul stretching, healing discipline.

I now am employed at the same treatment center. I am blessed enough to have the same instructor give this amazing opportunity to clients in their first early phase of addiction recovery.

I now pursue a daily goal to live a high vibe life like the instructor portrayed on my fifth day of a clean life. I truly continue to lose myself in this beautiful awe inspiring state of mind and in turn I continue to find myself.