#YogaEveryDamnDay – Day 33: How Sobriety Deepened My Yoga Practice

#YogaEveryDamnDay – Day 33: How Sobriety Deepened My Yoga Practice

So a thing happened three years ago today…

3 years sounds cool but 1,576,800 minutes sounds even cooler.

I’ve shared my sober journey before (including here on the blog) so I welcome you to click either of those links to read all about it. One thing I will shout from the mountaintops every chance I get is this: I couldn’t have made it three days, much less three years, without the support of my family, especially my husband and two children. They are the people I live with everyday so I dedicate every ounce of my resolve to remain sober to them.

I also thank my friends for never making my sobriety a social or emotional roadblock. Sometimes, people get weird when you get sober, so I’m grateful to not have had those exchanges in my immediate circle.

Last, but certainly not least, I thank myself because this has NOT been an easy journey. Six months after I took my last drink in September 2019, the world shut down. Suddenly I was at home with nothing to do but sleep, watch CNN, and doomscroll social media. I did whatever I could during the pandemic to keep a glass of Pinot Grigio out of my greedy grasp and it led me to this moment.

And I’m so fucking proud of myself.

Sun shining on my #fivehead,
Heart shining in my soul.

I’ll readily admit that it took more than a loving tribe and the internet to keep me on task with my sobriety. 2020 was also the year I came back to my yoga practice on a regular basis. At first, I’d hit the mat once or twice a week, usually as a cooldown after a run (I ran A LOT that first alcohol-free year). As I established a meditation practice, I found that I was being called to the mat more often than I was being called to my Saucony jogging shoes. Today, my yoga practices are twice, sometimes thrice, daily. It has uplifted my sobriety in ways I couldn’t have imagined for myself three years ago:

  • My yogic breath conquers my cravings for alcohol. When I take the time to breathe, I use that space to remember how far I’ve come. Breath also reminds me where I never want to be again.
  • Instead of physically running away from a craving, I go to the mat to face it head-on. True, I’m not drinking either way. On the mat, however, I can consciously acknowledge and release the craving.
  • When I feel like I’m forcing myself into a challenging yoga pose, I remember that my sober journey wasn’t an overnight mission. If it took twenty-plus years of drinking for me to finally get sober, I can pace myself on the mat. Time is my friend.
  • Yoga helps me remember my grandparents. It was in their house as a child where I began practicing. They both struggled with alcohol so I know they are shining down on me whenever I choose yoga (or anything else) over wine.

Even three years in, alcohol can be challenging for me to decline. I avoid Sprite because it looks too much like my former signature drink, a G&T. I miss Coronitas in their fabulously huge margarita glasses with tiny beer bottles dipping out of the rims. If someone orders a colorful martini at a restaurant, I’ll stare at it from across the room like it’s a sexy ex. Hard seltzers were bae for me but I’m bitter AF. There were, like, three flavors before I quit, and now there are millions. The disrespect!

But there isn’t a drink on Prince’s green earth that would make me stop being who I am today. #soberlife

See you on the mat tomorrow!
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