Photo: William Dugan
Sober Yogis Mission.
Sober Yogis was launched in February 2015. Sober Yogis participants practice Bikram Hatha Yoga five days per week and attend weekly group therapy facilitated by a licensed addiction professional. The combination of group therapy and a regular yoga practice moves participants more deeply into a relationship with themselves while cultivating further health, wellness, sobriety and community. We think Sober Yogis is unique, in that our facilitators also enjoy regular and committed yoga practices, and as such, sweat it out on the mat right along with program participants.
We are committed to effecting long term recovery. Therefore, we develop and promote comprehensive treatment plans. As such, we regularly refer to residential treatment, intensive outpatient treatment, individual therapy, marriage and family therapy, and other ancillary professional services (such as neurofeedback, acupuncture, and physicians) to increase success in establishing long-term recovery.
We also encourage participation in 12-Step Recovery and other self-help groups available in the local community.
About Bikram Hatha Yoga.
With Permission, Bikram Yoga Portsmouth
Research on Bikram Hatha Yoga.
Massachusetts General Hospital, in conjunction with Harvard Medical School, (and partially paid for by a grant from the National Institutes of Health) recently published preliminary findings on the practice of Bikram Hatha yoga and reduction in symptoms of anxiety and depression. Anecdotally, we have had several Sober Yogis participants report that Bikram Hatha yoga has decreased their symptoms of post acute withdrawal syndrome, and emotional dysregulation. In his latest book, The Body Keeps the Score, internationally acclaimed trauma expert, Bessel van der Kolk, MD, provides numerous examples of PTSD symptom reduction through the practice of yoga and other body centered therapies.
Sober Yogis Groups.
Sober Yogis Evening Group: Mondays, 6:45 PM - 8:15PM
Photo: Terry Warburton
Meet Jess, our Sober Yogis Intern.
Jessica Plante joined the Sober Yogis team as an Intern in the summer of 2015. Jess is currently working toward her Master's Degree. Jess is passionate about the mind-body treatment of trauma and addiction; and as a practicing Bikram yogi herself, understands the therapeutic benefits yoga offers and takes pride in sharing this knowledge with others. Jess co-facilitates Sober Yogi group therapy sessions with Barbara.
Jess provides neurofeedback at McGarty & Associates. Many Sober Yogis have discovered that adding neurofeedback to their program imparts an even greater sense of calm and feeling of wellness in recovery.
Jess recently founded the non-profit organization FAMAR New England (Funding for Alternative Methods of Addiction Recovery) to offset funding and make recovery resources such as Sober Yogis, neurofeedback, and equine therapy more accessible. She recently shared her work with FAMAR and Sober Yogis as a guest lecturer at Great Bay Community College.
“Yoga helped me see that I am strong. It helped me to recognize that I can survive suffering and discomfort.”
“I experienced clarity in both body and mind.”
“I was completely resistant to the role of support groups in the challenge, but found myself wanting to be in the group more every week. It showed me that my sobriety has much more to offer me- even now- 22 years later.”
“More stillness in mind and body- even when my brain is bringing up a stream of negativity to me- I can be still.”
“The support group was my biggest fear, as I don’t typically like group settings, however it turned out to be my favorite piece of this challenge. I liked hearing each week that others were going through some of the same challenges in recovery that I am.”
“Less anxiety. When I practice, I have an overall sense of well-being. When I don’t, I feel anxious.”
“The biggest learning opportunity was knowing how similar everyone’s fight and journey with addiction is and not being alone in this plight to remain sober.”