Three percent. That’s your chance of recovery, once you’ve stuck a needle in your arm.

Where does this story start?

Taylor Hunt had a rocky start – alcohol & drugs – to the point that he thought his life was over. But during a short period in detox and a moment of clarity, the choice came to him that he wanted to live.

His journey through recovery was not easy. On the 11th step of AA, yoga found him and pulled him in. He had a lot of resistance to his first class, and it brought up a lot, but his sponsor directed him back.

As Taylor found his way deeper into yoga, he found that the effort and community held keys to transformation. For someone coming out of addiction where you have no easy path forward, yoga is very encouraging. You can see the progress in front of you with a little bit of dedicated practice. And this is important: to develop the wisdom that small steps lead to change is essential… and transformative to realize you can take other such steps in your life to turn things around, even if the change isn’t always immediately apparent.

Yoga has a way of clearing the body — when your body doesn’t process old experiences, it stores them, like chemicals in your cells. As you heat the body, these are released, and you have to deal with them.  In a supportive environment such as yoga, it helps with recovery.

How did this lead to Astanga Yoga Columbus and the Trini Foundation?

Taylor opened the Astanga Yoga Columbus studio in 2014 and deliberately built a community which is supportive and an atmosphere that encourages this hard work.

Mysore style Astanga Yoga varies from other forms, where it provides students with their own practice, bit by bit. You come in and practice your own routine, as opposed to following in a group. You learn new poses only as you’re ready.

Mysore, India

But Taylor knew what he had learned could help others struggling with addiction. So he, along with his wife Jess, and teacher Dawn Blevins started the Trini Foundation.

The foundation provides training so that yoga teachers can go into recovery facilities to teach yoga for recovering addicts. When people leave their programs, it provides scholarships to Astanga yoga in exchange for their commitment to show up, in order to help support the transition. Through this, they are reaching out and changing lives.

As a side note, I came to Taylor’s studio many years ago and can attest to the energy in the room that pulls you forward. My own practice has been in hibernation as I’ve focused on developing other habits — but what I learned from Taylor is that it’s meant to be a daily practice, and need at least three days a week to work properly.  I set out at the beginning of this year to develop my own understanding of how to make a social impact and set a goal for this podcast to record 25 episodes. I wasn’t sure I was going to make it, but it was really a miracle at the last minute that Taylor was able to connect with me to make this happen.

How do you get involved?

If you’re in Columbus and struggling with addiction, have a look at Trina foundation. If you’re a yoga teacher, interested in making an impact, take a look. If you’re looking for a cause to donate that can give people the tools they need to radically transform their lives check it out. But I’d also encourage you to try out yoga. It works.

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