Sivananda Ashram to Host Yoga Symposium in The Bahamas

By John Lavitt 04/02/14

In April, the Yoga of Recovery Symposium will seek to integrate traditional techniques with yoga in order to provide a more holistic approach to recovery.

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The Sivanda Ashram in the Bahamas is hosting a Yoga of Recovery Symposium in late April that focuses on a recovery-oriented yoga designed to treat addiction. The idea of the symposium is to help integrate traditional recovery tools with Ayurveda and yoga with the hope of fostering sustainable recovery by providing a more holistic approach to addiction treatment while demonstrating a healthy respect for 12 Step programs.

A 5,000-year-old system of natural healing with origins in the Vedic culture of India, Ayurveda has seen a major resurgence in both India and throughout the Western world. According to traditional practitioners, both Tibetan medicine and Chinese medicine have roots firmly planted in the precepts of Ayurveda.

Ayurveda is a science of life (Ayur = life, Veda = science or knowledge) that is designed to help people realize their full potential. It provides guidelines on daily routines, including diet, behaviors, and the proper use of the senses, while attempting to integrate the practitioner’s environment with their body, mind, and spirit.

The Symposium will also focus on the benefits of different Yogic practices, including Hatha and Raja. Hatha yoga focuses on physical and mental strength-building exercises and postures described primarily in three texts of Hinduism. Raja yoga, however, cultivates the practitioner’s mind through meditation and contemplation. When combined with Ayurvedic nutrition and counseling techniques, a truly holistic approach to addiction treatment is created.

The program will be led by Swami Sitaramananda, the Director of the Sivananda Ashram Yoga Farm in Grass Valley, CA, and a direct disciple of Swami Vishnudevananda. She is an example of how the spiritual practitioners of traditional eastern practices have transcended the stereotypical male archetype. In late April, she will lead the Yoga of Recovery Symposium at the Sivananda Ashram, investigating the root causes and reasons for the compulsions, attachments, and imbalances that can lead to addiction.

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Growing up in Manhattan as a stutterer, John Lavitt discovered that writing was the best way to express himself when the words would not come. After graduating with honors from Brown University, he lived on the Greek island of Patmos, studying with his mentor, the late American poet Robert Lax. As a writer, John’s published work includes three articles in Chicken Soup For The Soul volumes and poems in multiple poetry journals and compilations. Active in recovery, John has been the Treatment Professional News Editor for The Fix. Since 2015, he has published over 500 articles on the addiction and recovery news website. Today, he lives in Los Angeles, trying his best to be happy and creative. Find John on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.