Especially oriented toward those in 12-step programs, this comprehensive wellness guide describes how yoga can stimulate recovery from addiction by bringing the mind and body closer together. The supportive and understanding text presents a 21-day yoga regimen using dynamic affirmations, relaxation techniques, nutrition and lifestyle suggestions, aerobic activities, and journal writing, all of which are geared to incorporate the 12-step philosophy into yoga practice. The featured poses are drawn from the popular hatha yoga tradition, while the complementary contemplations are applicable not only to addicts, but to anyone seeking physical and spiritual enrichment. Newly updated and revised, the guide includes beautiful, professional photographs throughout to demonstrate the wide variety of asanas.
Cunningham, "a recovering person since the night in 1984 when I attended my first meeting for Adult children of Alcoholics," has found solace in focusing on the famous 12 steps, attending support meetings and practicing a yoga-centered health care program that encompasses mind, body and spirit. She doesn't purport that yoga should be used instead of 12 step programs; rather, it should complement one's recovery plan. Drawing mainly on the practice of hatha yoga, Cunningham (Gentle Yoga for Healing) prescribes incorporating the 12-step philosophy into a yoga practice. Readers will learn to concentrate on positive sayings while they stretch into poses. For example, Cunningham counsels readers to contemplate thoughts like "I am calm" and "I am rooted in faith" when they are standing in tree pose, balanced on one foot with arms raised like tree branches. And while hanging forward in a bending pose, recovering addicts should think to themselves, "I let go of all tension, all worries, all anxiety." A 28-day calendar gives suggestions for roughly 10 varying poses each day. In addition to the poses and mantras, Cunningham also includes information on other ways to stimulate recovery, including meditation, nutritious eating and aerobic exercise. Although not comprehensive by any means, Cunningham's book is soothingly reassuring, and offers an inspiring way for recovering addicts to balance their 12-step program with a physical and spiritual practice. 40 color photos.