Scott Johnson, founder and teacher of Stillpoint Yoga London, asked me to join him for another episode on his podcast. We didn’t realise, but we share a lot more than just our love of Yoga. I have re-listened to our talk and feel so proud of what we share together and for our communities. Scott is a gentle and lovely man who has created a safe, nurturing and inclusive space for people to practice Yoga. Please go to his website to listen to our talk and more about his studio/online studio. Below are links to support groups if you are affected by what we share. Enjoy!
Below is a brief of what we covered, taken from Stillpoint Yoga London’s website. www.stillpointyogalondon.com
Yoga and Recovery – Zephyr Wildman
Scott and Zephyr first met at the London Yoga Festival in 2019 and have been friends ever since. This deeply engaging and honest conversation goes deep into the practices of yoga and how it can help recovery from addiction and grief. Zephyr shares a deeply moving account of her life in recovery from an addictive partner, who subsequently and tragically passed away, and how yoga helped her. Her wisdom as a result shines through. Scott and Zephyr also share meaningful words about how they both have been affected by familial alcohol and drug addiction, and how contemplative practice and conversations like these help to gently change in the deep internal narratives they have.
In this heartfelt conversation Zephyr shares:
- How yoga became a contemplative practice for her.
- How asana practice helped her to heal physically, and how following the Twelve Step programme at the same time allowed her to heal emotionally, mentally and spiritually.
- What she’s learned from studying with Richard Freeman about the philosophical and psychological maps provided by the yoga traditions, and how we can use these to find our way back to ourselves.
- Her journey into teaching yoga, which began by covering for her teacher at the Tabernacle in Notting Hill.
- Her initial resistance to becoming a yoga teacher, before finding her calling to serve others.
- How you can be ‘in recovery’ as a response to someone else’s addiction.
- The parallels between the Twelve Step programme and yoga.
- Her experience of moving from Idaho to London aged 19.
- Her relationship with her former husband, and how yoga and the Twelve Step recovery programme supported her when she lost him to cancer.
- The healing power of talking and sharing, and healing through relationship with others.
- The importance of being seen and feeling safe as part of a sangha (community).
- How the practice of Ashtanga can act as a mirror.
- Her understanding of addiction as a symptom of an unmet spiritual need for connection.
- How brain structure and chemistry reinforces addictive habits, and how these neurological loops relate to the work we do in asana practice.
- The relationship between the Twelve Step program and the Seven Steps of Yoga in the Yoga Sutras (2:77).
- What it means to her to live contemplative life.
For extra help and support if you are affected by this podcast, alcohol, drugs and/or a friend or family that is suffering with addiction. Here are some support groups that are available to be of serve.
Alanon & Alateen UK https://www.al-anonuk.org.uk
Alcoholics Anonymous https://www.alcoholics-anonymous.org.uk
Narcotics Anonymous https://ukna.org