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Therapeutic Yoga for Addiction and Recovery 2019

Begins Saturday, August 10 at North
Meets from 12:30 – 5:30pm over 3 weekends

Statistics show that as many as 1 in 10 Americans report being in recovery from substance abuse. Studies also show that only roughly 10 percent of the people who need support for addiction recovery are actually receiving that support. For us yoga teachers and therapists, this means that a significant percentage of the people we work with need the healing benefits of yoga as they reclaim their innate wholeness. As practitioners, we have a real opportunity to begin addressing the treatment gap between people who need support while in recovery and are receiving it, and those who are not.

While yoga practices are not a replacement for established recovery programs like Alcoholics Anonymous or Narcotics Anonymous, yoga and its sister science, Ayurveda, offer a powerful and effective complement to the traditional recovery methods. While AA/NA, and other similar programs provide the mental and emotional support essential to the recovery process, yoga can help address the physical aspects of the journey. By helping to calm the nervous system and focus the mind, yoga practices can increase the likelihood of maintaining sobriety.

This course will provide yoga teachers and therapists with a comprehensive training to offer the healing benefits of yoga to students who are on the road to recovery. This training offers the appropriate scientific, philosophical, and practical knowledge needed to teach group yoga classes to this specialized population, as well as the professional and business considerations necessary to making these group classes a reality.


Scientific background on addiction:

  • What is addiction? Definition and causes
  • The effects of addiction on the mind, body, and spirit
  • Review of current research on addiction, neurochemistry, and the anatomy of substance abuse
  • Medical conditions related to substance abuse
  • The impacts of substance abuse on society
  • How yoga views addiction, and how yoga works to affect the recovery process


Addiction from the perspectives of yoga philosophy and subtle anatomy

  • The Eight Limbs of yoga as they relate to addiction and recovery
  • How the path of yoga relates to 12-step programs
  • Balance and wholeness viewed through the lens of Ayurveda
  • Subtle yoga anatomy, including the chakras, as a path to understanding our tendencies


The relationship between trauma and addiction:

  • Journaling as a method to inner reflection
  • Using yoga as a path to embodiment
  • Self-regulation to enhance well-being and support recovery
  • Surviving and transforming our relationship to trauma with yoga practices
  • Self-inquiry and meditation uncovering our relationship to addiction


Effective yoga tools and practices to support the primary recovery process:

  • One day at a time: Living in the present through mindfulness and meditation
  • Cultivating healthy habits through a balancing daily yoga practice
  • Practical tools for generating self-compassion
  • Yoga Nidra
  • Sound and breathing practices


Professional considerations for offering yoga to this population:

  • Setting up Safe Space for Classes
  • Teaching a trauma-informed class
  • Teaching in a treatment centers and hospitals
  • Teaching a wide range of clients in treatment
  • Modifications for stages of recovery


Course meets from 12:30-5:30 over 3 weekends at Yoga Yoga North

Saturday & Sunday, August 10-11

Saturday & Sunday, September 21-22

Saturday & Sunday, October 12-13


COST: $545  ($595 AFTER June 10)


Laura Kirtan Marcotte has presented the teachings of yoga and meditation in drug and alcohol addiction recovery centers since 2008. She worked as an OT at Cottage Hospital in Santa Barbara in the psychiatric and chemical dependency unit.  In Austin,she presented the talk, “Tools for a balanced Life” to social workers and therapists at The Texas Behavioral Health Conference. Currently she has weekly classes in yoga, mindfulness and meditation at a in-patient recovery center in Austin.


Jenny O, RYT 500, began her teaching career in 2006, after yoga helped her recover from a severe injury to her spine. She has since accumulated over 1000 hours of study in multiple lineages of yoga, and is now a yoga therapist certified through the International Association of Yoga Therapists (C-IAYT). She incorporates movement, breath, meditation, and sound into both her public classes and private lessons, always striving to make yoga accessible to all levels and for every body.

Jenny currently holds a position as part of the Expressive Therapy Department at Seton Shoal Creek in Austin, TX, bringing yoga to 5 distinct populations. She has completed 300 hours of training in the lineage of T.K.V. Desikachar with Chase Bossart, a 100-hour training in Ayurveda with Elizabeth Cunningham Bossart, a Level 1 iRest Training, and has also studied meditation extensively with Gurucharan Khalsa and Mehtab Benton at Yoga Yoga. She continues her healing studies with Indigenous groups in Shamanism through Maria Elaina Martinez.


Emily Smith (C-IAYT) has been practicing yoga since 1999, and teaching since 2003. While the roots of her personal practice lay in more vigorous forms such as Ashtanga and Jivamukti, she found relief from her arthritis and scoliosis when her practice shifted to a slower, more alignment-based Hatha practice under the tutelage of Doug Keller, with whom she continues to study. She has undergone extensive training in yoga therapy, meditation, and pranayama with such teachers as Mahadevi Sandra Summerfield Kozak, Leslie Kaminoff, and Tias Little. Emily has completed over 500 hours of training in Para Yoga with Yogiraj Rod Stryker, is a certified Phoenix Rising Yoga Therapy Practitioner, a certified Y12SR instructor under Nikki Myers, and has completed iRest levels I & II with Richard Miller. A former yoga studio owner, she possesses an M.Ed. in Rehabilitation Counseling, and has 23 years of experience as a Certified Rehabilitation Counselor & Certified Case Manager.  She is also certified as a Main Street Vegan Lifestyle Coach, and is certified in Plant-Based Nutrition.


Jenn has been teaching and living yoga since 2004. Her educational background is in physiology and neurobiology, and her teaching style focuses on grounding and embodying through asana, nervous system regulation and moving from stress and trauma through to resilience. Her gifts as a teacher and guide are her deep compassion, as well as her ability to connect somatically and emotionally with her students to help them attune to the wisdom of their own bodies.

For over 20 years, Jenn has delved deeply into numerous yoga lineages, philosophies and therapeutic modalities. She draws from the work of Peter Levine, Stephen Porges, David Berceli to inform her understanding of trauma and recovery. She believes that everyone can benefit from understanding how the nervous system responds to the stressors of life. Jenn teaches trauma-informed yoga classes and guides students to respond to life’s stressors through embodiment, breath and trust. Teaching students how to practice yoga as a pathway for healing and awakening is the core of her teaching. Jenn’s passion is in guiding student’s back to their own wholeness.


If you are a 200 hour Yoga Alliance Registered Yoga Teacher and are interested in becoming a 500 hour Registered Yoga Teacher please contact Yoga Yoga Teacher Training, training@yogayoga.com or (512) 326-2273, to learn how this course can apply! To receive your Advanced Training credit, you will register through Yoga Yoga Teacher Training, not through this web page.
Yoga Alliance Registered Yoga Teachers (RYT)Apply these hours towards your CEU requirements.