Southsider Voice correspondent
When Amy Schoettmer, a longtime addictions counselor, met Becky Mann, a certified 12-Step yoga facilitator, she was immediately interested in providing this service to her clients.
Yoga is at least a 5,000-year-old practice that increases flexibility and muscle strength while also concentrating on balance, breathing and spiritual wellness. It seemed only natural that yoga was now paired with the 12-Step recovery model for alcoholics and addicts.
“I applied for a grant to offer 12-Step yoga here,” Schoettmer said. “I personally practice yoga. I believe in it for my own mental health and sanity. And I promote self-help in my counseling practice.”
Once the grant was available through Drug Free Johnson County, Schoettmer hired Mann to provide the program, not only for her clients but also for anyone else who is either trying to overcome some type of addictive behavior, whether it is drugs and alcohol, compulsive gambling or overeating, shopping, etc., or who utilize yoga as a way to stay clean and sober. The program is also available for those who love an alcoholic or addict.
Because many people in recovery struggle to feel their feelings instead of using alcohol or drugs to medicate their feelings, yoga is a safe route for identifying and expressing emotions.
“The issues are in the tissues,” Mann said of the guided theme of Yoga 12 Step Recovery, which is offered nationally.
“That means that emotions live in the body,” Mann said. “Until you are in a safe place, your body won’t release those emotions.”
The 90-minute class begins with a 12-Step-like setting, followed by an hour of yoga. Mats are provided for all participants. Donations are welcome but not required.
Each Sunday from 1-2:30 p.m., Mann provides 12-Step yoga classes at Schoettmer’s practice, Creative Counseling, 550 E. Jefferson St. in Franklin.