Root Yourself in Recovery with Yoga

A Yoga 12 Step Recovery Meeting (Y12SR) is so much more than just a yoga class. Y12SR is an international recovery movement that connects the dots between the somatic approach of yoga, the latest research in neuroscience and trauma healing and the cognitive approach of recovery models including the 12 steps, harm reduction, and cognitive behavioral therapy.

The ancient wisdom of yoga is woven together with the practical tools of the 12 steps. It is open to anyone dealing with their own or another’s addictive behavior. Y12SR combines a 12 step recovery meeting with a beginner’s yoga class. No prior yoga experience is necessary. Every session includes mindful practices such as breath work and meditation, in addition to simple yoga postures, that teach you how to root and ground in the present moment. Learning to breathe while in yoga postures is a powerful tool for people’s recovery.

As the breath moves through the body it helps reset the nervous system, releasing the stress response of fight, flight, freeze or fawn. As the stress response is releasing, the parasympathetic nervous system starts to calm the body down. All of this boils down to a tangible feeling of relaxation or wbliss within the body.

Each class contains an intentional, themed yoga practice, guided by breath to release the “issues that live in our tissues”.


Issues in our tissues, you ask?

Yes! It’s as if there is a trap door that keeps past experiences locked within. We may not be aware our responses to today’s challenges are often rooted in past traumas, yet it’s a common reaction for people with addictions. In Y12SR, we believe this trap door is one of the reasons people relapse. We use yoga and breath work to open the door and release what is stuck. We are then able to respond to life in the “here and now”.


Y12SR is a relapse prevention tool

The class gets even sweeter at the end with a sound bath to help open the energy system that circulates our vital life force, known as chi or prana. We clean out the “pipes” that move the chi with the musical vibrations of gongs, crystal bowls, chimes and drums.

The Y12SR meeting held at Immersive Cleansing Meditation Studio, 7100 E. Cave Creek Rd., is split between a 45 minute meeting and a 45 minute yoga set every Sunday starting at 9:30 am. The gathering space is a safe place for all to step fully into their authentic self. We are an open and inclusive group.

The studio is surrounded by the beauty of Cave Creek. If you don’t live in the neighborhood, you may enjoy making a day of it and visiting this beautiful area. A common reaction when entering Immersive Cleansing is to feel a deep sense of ease. It is a beautiful healing space that offers a variety of meditative experiences, classes, recovery groups and a Himalayan salt room.

Their full range of offerings may be viewed on their website at Registration for the Y12SR meeting is on their website. Y12SR is donation based. There is a suggested donation and in the current market, yoga classes range from $10.00 to $20.00/class, and an alternative sliding scale is available. Y12SR is many wonderful things, yet it is not a substitute for one’s regular recovery meetings, working with a sponsor or working the steps.

The yoga instructor, Leslie G. is certified as a Y12SR guide, a Kundalini Yoga Teacher, Body Awake Yoga Teacher (Vinyasa Flow) & Yoga Bootstrap Stress Specialist (yoga for military with PTSD).

For further information on Y12SR check out their website at or contact Leslie at [email protected]. See you at class!