Yoga for 12 Step Recovery

Addiction has gotten a lot of attention recently, as the Surgeon General and other political figures have put a spotlight on how addiction does not discriminate, how any individual can become addicted to substances. Recent deaths, including that of Prince, have also brought addiction to the public’s attention, calling into question medical practices for dealing with pain.

Some addictions do begin with a truly well-meaning prescription for pain, whether it is pain from an injury or pain from surgery. Other addictions begin with experimentation or boredom.

Regardless of how it begins, addiction has the power to ruin anyone’s life. BUT, with treatment and support, one can break through the bonds of addiction and come out on the side of recovery, come through with the tools necessary to rebuild a potentially shattered life.

Many of these tools are scientifically based. Treatments like cognitive behavioral therapy, medication assisted treatment, and 12-step programs have all been scientifically proven to have results in improving the quality of life for those in recovery. These evidence based practices have truly been life changing for many.

A relatively new supplemental treatment is also making waves in the recovery arena. Yoga of 12 Step Recovery (Y12SR) is a combined group meeting and yoga practice session using the tools of the 12 Step method combined with the tools of yoga to help individuals face their addictions as well as the behaviors and thoughts which may have led to the addictive behavior. Guided by the theme “the issues live in the tissues”, this methodology uses the physical practice to help release underlying trauma and thoughts, ingrained in the individual’s core which may have resulted in addiction. Each Y12SR meeting combines the principles of asanas (yoga postures), pranayama (yogic breath), and meditation. The meetings also include a group sharing portion.

Y12SR is open to everyone. As the founder, Nikki Myers, puts it, “all A’s are welcome, meaning all asses are welcome”. This includes anyone suffering from addiction, whether its substance, behavior, or a combination, or anyone affected by addiction.

Y12SR meetings are being held all over the world. They take place in yoga studios, churches, community centers, and treatment facilities. The organization is moving towards becoming evidence based, meaning research is being done to show its efficacy. Overall, Y12SR is taking off.

With addiction at such high levels in the U.S. alone, I truly believe we can use all the treatment methods we have available to us.

For more information on Y12SR and to find a meeting near you, check out their website:


*Please note, Y12SR is not a substitute for 12-Step Meetings or any other form of addiction treatment, it is meant to be used as a supplement to those treatments.


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