Drugs. Alcohol. Failing Health. See how yoga helped this 12-Step Graduate find new health, life, and passion.
In January 2013, Pure Action began an outreach program at Benchmark Recovery Center, providing yoga classes weekly for men and women undergoing treatment for drug and alcohol addiction. Monica Lebansky was a resident at Benchmark who was introduced to the practice during her stay at the facility and has since integrated yoga into her ongoing recovery. Here’s her story:
“For me yoga and the 12 Steps go perfectly hand-in-hand, and I know I could not have one without the other. I believe the 12 Steps have allowed me freedom from active addiction and have enabled me to find and maintain passion in my life. I’ve discovered that yoga is my passion. I believe that yoga teaches the same principles that the Big Book teaches such as patience, perseverance, integrity, persistence and getting up again when you fall. Consistently practicing yoga has also taught me how to accept my body and to actually ‘thank’ the body that carries me through my practice as opposed to destroying it. Less than a year ago, I was in and out of the hospital for dehydration from Methamphetamine addiction and diagnosed with gout from chronic alcoholism. I was a shell of a human, and so covered with physical and emotional scars that I was positive would never heal. I was unable to walk or even hold a pen to sign my name. Thanks to yoga I am now healthy and happy, and not to mention in the best shape of my life!
The 12 Steps pose a clear distinction between self-reliance and spiritual-reliance, and enable you to seek a Power greater than yourself by which to live successfully. About a month ago I found that I was suffering from extreme hamstring pain that was impacting my yoga practice for the worse. An instructor pointed out to me that I carry my weight in the outsides of my feet and that it was damaging my legs during all forward bends. I’ve found that self-reliance is like shifting my weight to the outsides of my feet; I’ve done it for 24 years so I naturally gravitate towards that. When I do this, I get hurt and it reinforces my need to gravitate towards the insides of my feet AKA spiritual-reliance. There is a constant ebb and flow and a never ending battle to keep Ego out of the Hot Room and out of my life!
Thank you so much for everything Pure Action does. My life would not be the same without you guys! :)”
UPDATE: Monica accepted the free 30-day challenge offered by Pure Action and Pure Yoga Austin. After completing 16 classes in 30 days & becoming a work study thereafter, the circle was completed as she returned back to Benchmark Recovery Center…but this time, as staff. Amazing!
For more information about our outreach programs, visit our Community page.
Community Programs Director