Yoga and Sobriety
I’ve seen quite a few people who have or who are trying to give up alcohol turn to yoga. I also found yoga a little over two years ago. I first tried yoga as a way to improve my flexibility and it quickly became my sole source of exercise. As my yoga practice grew, so did the depth of my understanding of yoga. It was an incredible source of stress management during almost 2 years of a horrible project and probably saved me an enormous amount of physical and mental damage.
It is now a priority in my life. I like to think of it as part of the foundation that allows me to execute on the other parts of my life. But recently I have been wondering about this.
I used to drink alcohol by the truck loads. It was a central part of my social life, and then my alone home life. Alcohol was how I sought escape from responsibilities and stress. Alcohol is how I relaxed and had fun; although, all of those could only be temporary because alcohol really delivers none of those. Alcohol is a shitty drug that eventually robs you of everything you cherish.
The attractive thing about alcohol is that is a low effort. It takes no real effort, no commitment, no struggle, nothing. Just drink and you will get the result; although nothing is really produced and no progress is ever made.
I think what I like so much about yoga is that it is also low effort. Yes, it takes commitment and getting through each session takes effort, but it is a simple type of effort. I just follow directions to the best of my ability. I feel great at the end of each session, but I haven’t really achieved anything. I’ve made no progress in my life.
Don’t get me wrong. I love yoga and I think it has enormous benefits for mental and physical health, but…you will never resolve problems in your life with yoga (just like drinking). You will never make progress in your life only through your yoga practice (just like drinking).
Of course, yoga is much healthier, but the point is that resolving life problems takes real, direct effort. Making progress in your life takes real, direct effort.
Sobriety is easy: simply don’t drink. However, I have a nasty habit of making it so complicated. I will read one recovery book or memoir after another. I will post all day long of recovery forums. But, none of those get me sober or improve my life. If I want a better life, then I need to…(wait for it)…do the actual things I want my life to be about. If I want to write comedy, I should probably start writing comedy and stop reading about sobriety and daily lists of writing tips.