New 12-step addiction recovery yoga program first of its kind in Mississippi

An innovative addiction relapse prevention program recently made its debut in Oxford.

Y12SR —The Yoga of 12-Step Recovery — is a unique mind-and-body practice that is gaining recognition throughout the U.S. and abroad for its effectiveness in reducing relapse for people in recovery for addictions.

Y12SR is now offered each week at Oxford-University United Methodist Church. The group meets in the church activity center from 5:30 to 7 p.m. every Thursday.

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The sessions are open to anyone dealing with their own addictive behaviors or affected by the behavior of others. Each Y12SR session includes a group sharing circle, modeled from the meetings of the 12-Step addiction recovery programs, and an accessible, themed yoga class.

Y12SR pairs the practical tools of 12-Step programs with the traditions and science of yoga to create a model that addresses addiction on the physical, mental and spiritual levels Y12SR meetings are available throughout the United States and England, and the curriculum is featured in a growing number of addiction recovery treatment centers and hospitals and correctional institutions.

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Developed by Nikki Myers, MBA, a yoga therapist, Somatic Experiencing practitioner and Certified Addictions Recovery Specialist in Indianapolis, The Yoga of 12-Step Recovery is born from her personal struggle with addiction.

Myers says, “Addictive behaviors separate and disconnect individuals from their families, their communities, and themselves. Yoga itself means union, integration and balance. The 12-step program approaches addiction at a cognitive level. Yoga includes a somatic approach. The combining of the two creates a model that truly addresses addiction as the physical, mental and spiritual disease that it is.”

Oxford resident, Kent Magee, leads the weekly Y12SR meeting at Oxford-University United Methodist Church.

“The meetings are open to anyone dealing with addiction — their own or that of a family member or friend,” Magee says. “We share challenges and successes in our daily recovery efforts. After we share, we ‘take the meeting to the mats’ and do simple yoga postures and breathing exercises.” Magee says, “The physical practice is designed to be accessible to everyone. It can be done using a yoga mat, a yoga block, or using a chair for those who are more comfortable seated. Yoga experience is not necessary.”

Magee received a grant from Give Back Yoga Foundation and Gaiam that provided yoga mats for use in the program.

Y12SR meets Thursdays at 5:30 pm at OU-Methodist, 424 S. 10thStreet in Oxford. There is no fee to participate in the meeting and yoga class. Voluntary contributions are accepted with proceeds donated to a non-profit serving the local addiction recovery community.

(Originally published by The Oxford Eagle)

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