Y12SR is a 12-Step based discussion and yoga practice open to anyone and everyone dealing with their own addictive behavior or affected by the addictive behavior of others.  According to the Y12SR website, “Yoga of 12-Step Recovery was created as a holistic model to address the physical, mental and spiritual dis-ease of addiction. Informed by the latest research in neuroscience and trauma healing, Y12SR connects the dots by combining the somatic approach of yoga with the cognitive approach of the 12-step recovery model – the most well-known addiction recovery program in the world, with millions of active practitioners.”

Those familiar with addiction, understand that it creates behaviors that disconnect us from not only ourselves, but also our friends, our families and everyone and everything around us. Conversely, yoga itself means union, integration, balance.

Y12SR is not intended to replace 12-step meetings or any aspect of a 12-step recovery program. Rather, it’s a helpful tool for fully addressing the physical, mental and spiritual dis-ease of addiction.

Donation-based Y12SR meetings are held at yoga studios and other community spaces throughout the world. Each meeting consists of a group sharing circle and an intentional yoga class taught by a certified Y12SR leader.

We recently had the chance to speak with Diane Simpson and Cat Lynch-Capowski from Capital Region Y12SR to learn more. Diane explained that people have found their classes primarily through word of mouth in the recovery community or at one of their yoga studios and have attended a class because they want to learn more. While many participants are in recovery (from a variety of addictions) either personally or as a family member, there have been more than a few who’ve told Diane and Cat that they don’t feel comfortable in 12-step meetings, but feel comfortable in the class. They each remember one young woman in particular who came to a class and didn’t say much other than her name. She returned for another class a month later and raised her hand to let everyone know she had “30 days clean.”


Diane Simpson & Cat Lynch-Capowski of Capital Region Y12SR

Diane found yoga after ten years of sobriety upon realizing she needed ‘something more’ on her healing journey. Conversely, Cat found recovery through yoga.

Diane tells us that participants in her groups often report feeling really good in their own bodies for the first time in their lives. (Anyone who has struggled with addiction knows that uncomfortability we all share.) Both Diane and Cat feel that Y12SR brings something beautiful into people’s lives and leading Y12SR groups is their way of doing service.

Cat spoke with us about the essential mind body connection in recovery and the various recovery-related themes of Y12SR sessions which are designed to support both. For example, a meeting based on Surrender might begin with a reading about letting go and the practice would focus on restorative yoga or yin yoga. A class based on Power might begin with a reading about the power we find in recovery and the practice might be more active, focusing on core related poses, etc.

Capital Region Y12SR currently offers three classes each month (one in Albany and two in Troy) and both Diane and Cat are hoping to add more over time. In keeping with 12-step practice, all are donation-based. The practice includes a 45 minute 12-Step based meeting followed by a 45 minute recovery-themed gentle yoga class.  All beginners are welcome! You can find them on Facebook.

Learn more about this wonderful pathway of recovery at Y12SR.com. The site includes a search function for finding a meeting near you. We conducted a quick search of meetings in New York State and found that they are offered in several communities throughout Long Island, New York City, and Westchester, as well as in Buffalo, Poughkeepsie, Goshen, and Montgomery. The site also provides information on becoming a certified Y12SR instructor.

Namaste, readers.