Recovery and addiction are full of paradoxes. In Recovery we say "surrender to win" meaning surrender the idea of controlling addiction and win in Recovery.
The distorted thinking of addiction says that we are specially different - that we are unique. We believe that we are the only one who - fill in the blank - recovery won't work for, used like I did, experienced the pain that I did. One of the similar ways that the disease works for all of us is that we become convinced that we are different in some way - the paradox is because of this, we don't really know who are, we don't how we are connected to everyone else. A key to recovery is finding out who we really are - getting in touch with our actual specialness. How do we find ourselves through the recovery process? The 12 Steps and Yoga
The first seven steps are to find yourself:
Step One - The realization and acceptance of who and what I am: that I have something that lives in my thoughts, speaks to me in my own voice, and cannot be controlled by me alone. The disease of separation from my true self.
Step Two - The hope, the possibility that life can be different, that there may be something other than what I've always known.
Step Three - The decision to embark on a journey, the choice to follow through on that decision by committing to Recovery as a way of life and doing the next right honest thing - step four.
Now we are prepared to embark on the journey
Step four - Embark on the journey to finding out who we really are and look at ourselves as we are. Through this part of the process we find out why we thought we were different and how much of that is true and how much of it isn't true. Not everything that we think or know is a lie, but we have to be willing to look at everything, sifting through what is and what isn't.
Step five - Opening up and sharing with others our truth and our vulnerabilities. Learning how to practice the rigorous honesty of telling ourselves the truth.
Step Six - Finding the willingness to do something different - this is where we move from the head to the heart, our Recovery transforms from an intellectual exercise to an experience of the heart. We have an awareness now to what we are and why we the things that we do, and (maybe) the things that work for us and the things that don't. Here we become willing to live without the things that don't serve our highest purpose. This is where true change begins.
Step Seven - We practice living as the parts of our behaviors and thinking that don't serve our highest purpose have been removed. We live AS IF we don't have fear of rejection, confrontation, conflict, success, failure, etc. We may still have these fears, but we learn to live as if we don't - this is how we demonstrate our faith and surety that they will be removed.
The practice of Yoga is a system of Self-realization, just as the 12 steps of recovery are a system of Self-realization. The practice of Yoga asserts that we are spiritual beings living in a physical body. Our body is our home and offers a way to find what's in it- Our Spirit.
Yoga clears the space of the body and the mind so that we can find our Spirit - Our True Selves. We do this by coming present to the breath in our body NOW. Everything that is real is NOW. By training the mind to follow the breath, we can use the breath to control the mind, when we control the mind, we manage our emotions and find the stillness within, coming to reality and finding ourselves.