By Sharon Adelstein Feery, CSW, RYT
Many years ago I attended an 11th step meeting in Delray Beach, since then and before that I have very rarely heard the word “meditation” uttered at a meeting. Why is it that a concept that holds so much importance is not discussed? You may ask yourself, why is it so important?
In September of 1975 a research study appeared in the American Journal of Psychiatry entitled “Meditation and the Prevention of Alcohol Abuse” ( M. Shafil, R Lavely and R Jaffee). The authors followed 216 college students for 39 months. 126 of the students were regular meditators and 90 were not. None of the non-meditators reported discontinuation of beer and wine use yet 40% of those who meditated for more than 2 years reported complete abstinence within the first 6 months. After 25-39 months of meditation, this figure increased to 60%. In addition, 54% of the meditators versus 1% of the non-meditators had stopped drinking hard liquor. In 1991 more research that studied the addition of meditation to participation in AA indicates that persons who also meditate increased the long term effectiveness of AA by 2.6 times! (Gelderloos, P. Walton, K.G. Orme-Johnson, D.W. Alexander, C.N.) Since we all know the reported low percentage rates for recovery, why then haven’t we heard this information in a meeting? To go even further, did Bill W. and Dr. Bob have any idea how important Step 11 really was for our recovery?
Step 11 speaks of prayer and meditation. Prayer seems to be an easy concept for recovering alcoholics and addicts, yet meditation has always been a mystery to most people 12 steppers. Few people understand what it really is and even fewer practice it on a regular basis. Yoga for the Higher Powered® takes the mystery out of meditation. Yoga is the meditation of the body which is intended to lead to the meditation of the mind. A half hour of peaceful, easy does it yoga will free the mind of racing thoughts and then 5 to 10 minutes of meditation is much easier to achieve. Our technique will ease you into meditation, and teach you how to achieve it on your own. Yoga for the Higher Powered® is designed for members of any 12 step program and it speaks the language of recovery so that it will make perfect sense. Our poses are named after slogans familiar to you from various 12 step programs.
Yoga has been proven to help so many physical problems. Bad backs, arthritis, poor posture, overall flexibility, weight loss, and a host of many other ailments. Now, let’s add to that list with depression, anxiety, ADHD, and obsessive compulsive thinking. Meditation has been proven to change the brain waves and the way you think, helping you to react in a much calmer, more peaceful manner.
Yoga for the Higher Powered® offers workshops, a brand new released DVD and a yoga teacher certification program as well as group and private lessons. If you are a yoga teacher and also involved in 12steps, this would be the ideal opportunity for you. Our latest addition is a “yoga meeting”. This is a 75 minute meeting with a topic, sharing, yoga and meditation. Our students have described leaving the yoga meeting “walking on clouds” and “sleeping very well that night”.
Workshops are scheduled for April 4th at Yoga Sol in Delray Beach from 3-5pm and April 5th at Something Yoga in Boca Raton from 1-3pm. For the Delray Beach class please contact Lori Reyes, MSW at (561)-809-2073 and for the Boca Raton class please contact Arlene Burnstein at (954)-803-9939. The fee for the workshop is $30.00
The DVD is now available for $19.99 in the 11th Step Meditation Store!