Where Recovery and Wellness Meet

The Steps and The Sutras

Steps and SutrasThere are certain spiritual principles that overlap the vast majority of traditions and theologies. Many spiritual texts could be used to draw the same conclusions but for me this was the most obvious combination, the Twelve Steps and the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali.

My first experiences combining the Steps and the Sutras came to me completely unsought, unrecognized and unexpected. Sitting in my first Twelve Step meeting ever I felt a deep connection that immediately brought to mind everything I knew about yoga. I was overwhelmed by the correlations and the ways in which recovery principles mirrored the wisdom of the Yoga Sutras and I began combining them in my private practice. Rather than lining up directly, the twelve basic principles overlap and express themselves throughout nearly every step and sutra. The wisdom we find in the Sutras applies to recovery in so many meaningful ways. It makes perfect sense to me now, the principles are universal, Truth is Truth, when you hear it you will know and recognize it.

The idea that yoga leads to freedom is quite ancient but the quest to bring this freedom to people in recovery is something relatively new. The results have been undeniably positive. I’ve seen powerful evidence proving the benefits of the practice, revealed through the transformation of recovering addicts involved in Twelve Step Programs.  As a part of my own healing and carrying the message I began working with young people in the early stages of recovery. It came to my attention that the finer aspects of meditation were a common source of frustration for most of them.  They wanted to do it but the idea of quieting the mind was often foreign and difficult to achieve for even the shortest amount of time. This is one place where Eastern practice is especially useful with practical instruction for meditation and the added benefit of a very similar spiritual focus.  While there are many other holistic practices that can be used for moving energy and many philosophies for applying the principles these are the two that we used in those original classes. These eventually morphed into what we now call Wellness Meetings and became the inspiration for the Miracle in Progress Handbook. Click on the links to learn more.


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  2. July 11, 2014    

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1 Trackback

  1. Erik Pitoniak on August 11, 2014 at 10:50 pm

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