Beyond Addiction is a program designed for individuals seeking to develop healthy habits and overcome addictive behaviour, for health professionals and yoga teachers who work with addiction and for certified Kundalini Yoga teachers who would like to teach a yoga-based addiction recovery program. Beyond Addiction programs have been offered since 2008, beginning in Owen Sound and Toronto, Ontario. They are now taught internationally.
The course comprises a 16 session recovery program which includes Kundalini Yoga, breathing techniques, meditation, relaxation, self-reflection, lifestyle and dietary guidelines, stress management, hydrotherapy, naturopathic detoxification and nutritional and herbal supplementation for neurotransmitter and glandular balance.
The program can be experienced in the following formats:
- a 16 week series with 3 hour classes once weekly plus a weekly hour long discussion
- a four weekend series (one weekend per month), with weekly small group facilitation and support between the weekends
- a nine day intensive, with a four month follow-up consisting of weekly Skype meetings
- over 16 weeks as an online program, with group interaction twice weekly
The program was developed by Sat Dharam Kaur ND and Jivan Joti Kaur PhD, and integrates the teachings of Dr. Gabor Maté and experts in the addiction field.
The Beyond Addiction program supports individuals in establishing healthy thought patterns and behaviours to nourish mind, body and spirit and manifest an inspired and fulfilling life.
The Beyond Addiction program is an internationally recognized effective treatment for addiction that helps to build healthy, resilient individuals, families and communities.
Criteria for Acceptance Into a Beyond Addiction Program:
- You have had 40 consecutive days of sobriety – no recreational drugs or alcohol for a minimum of 40 days
- You have permanent stable housing with a fixed address
- You have access to a computer with high speed internet connection
- You have a Skype address
- If you are new to recovery (6 months or less), you are working with a social worker, counsellor or psychiatrist
- If you are new to recovery, you are also involved in other recovery support programs
- You are able to commit to 100% attendance at the Beyond Addiction program as well as to a weekly Skype or in-person group check-in for 4 months
- You are ready to begin a regular daily yoga practice
- If you do not meet these criteria but would like to practice Kundalini Yoga in a supportive environment, please seek out a local Kundalini Yoga class, look for weekly Beyond Addiction support Kundalini Yoga classes in your area or practice with online videos available here. You can then join one of our programs when you are ready.
The “Beyond Addiction” Philosophy in Recovery
Some of the philosophical guidelines of the Beyond Addiction program include the following:
- A foundation of adequate nutrition is necessary to any recovery program. We educate people in:
- choosing foods that are healthy
- meal planning
- utilizing nutrients that will help them feel better
- Detoxification is an important component in addiction recovery. When drug toxins are eliminated and the organs of detoxification are assisted (liver, kidneys, colon, lungs, skin, lymphatic system) through specific detoxification strategies, people recover faster and have an easier time of it.
- Changing the surroundings, beliefs, habits and diets of individuals can reduce the desire for an addictive substance. We encourage individuals to avoid people, habits and environments which have in the past supported their addiction and help them develop positive alternative beliefs and behaviours that include exercise, team sports, yoga, meditation, volunteer work, music, creative outlets, job training. We replace unhealthy environments with uplifting surroundings and people, along with spiritual experiences that integrate mind, body and soul and create deep fulfillment.
- Acknowledging, releasing and transforming emotional pain helps to overcome the need for addictive substances or behaviour. Many of us use harmful substances to blunt emotional pain. We encourage acknowledgement, safe expression, release and transformation of those emotions in a supportive, accepting, loving environment.
- The recognition and reinforcement of our spiritual identity is key to addiction recovery. Many people “use” because they are disconnected from their spiritual identity.
- We create a safe and loving environment for individuals, amidst people who care and act responsibly. People heal in a loving and supportive structured environment where they feel part of a larger family, and their “longing to belong” is satisfied in a healthy way. A family-centric yet disciplined environment supports the recognition of one’s nature as a spiritual being.
- We respect individuals as human beings, rather than treating them as addicts or criminals. When treated with acceptance, love and respect, people are reminded of their innate goodness and want to heal and excel. If they are punished, on the other hand, we perpetuate shame, hurt and anger, and they may seek revenge or collapse into their pain.
- We encourage an atmosphere of living for each other through selfless service. When we model service to others, it is contagious, and teaches individuals to be less self-obsessed. They learn to gain happiness, meaning and purpose through giving of themselves.
- We go out of our way to help people who are suffering, while acknowledging their self-worth. We recognize the divinity in every human being, no matter how obscured it may be by pain, anger or ignorance.
- We share our strategies and techniques with others, so that many more may be helped. Kundalini Yoga includes many powerful techniques for transformation that we openly share. We provide quality teachers and offer training programs to institutions, churches, support groups, prisons, health professionals and yoga teachers.