This is Williamsville Wellness, the residential addictions treatment center where I began teaching in 2008. The medical director and owner of this facility both wanted patients to receive some yoga education. In addition to weekly asana instruction, I incorporate Yoga Nidra, which is the perfect practice to offer since it has been proven to help with addictions and the anxiety, ptsd and depression that often accompany these conditions.
My work at Williamsville has been more than rewarding. I learn from our residents and am humbled by their stories. They are brave; they are scared; they work hard. Addiction takes many forms and does not discriminate. Young, old, rich, poor, educated, uneducated, all races and religions - the stories have a common thread and people who may never have met on the outside find that they have shared experiences and feelings when they meet in treatment.
What you see on t.v. is dangerously misleading and trivializes the seriousness of addiction. People lose their families, become homeless, go to jail or other institutions, and even die. This is not a spectator sport and it's not funny. That's not to say that a day spent at an addictions facility is not without humor.
The people I meet at Williamsville Wellness touch me with their stories. I am honored to know them all.