A Pennsylvania Women Offers Free Yoga to Fight Addiction

Philly.com is spreading the word about a yoga instructor in Upper Darby — a Philadelphia neighborhood that has long suffered from an epidemic of addiction — who is offering free classes for people struggling with substance abuse.  Jennifer Bedrick, the 34-year-old instructor, has herself battled addictions in the past and has used yoga to effectively stay sober for many years. Now she’s taken to the streets. She says, “I’ve done yoga in the city and in Narberth, but it’s like a void here. I realized this would be a good community project.” The article says that, “In December, Bedrick implemented her 90-classes-in-90-days concept by gathering a few yoga instructors to teach at the boxing and karate gym on West Chester Pike. The classes are open to the community, but especially to residents looking for a mental and physical edge to combat drug or alcohol addiction – or any other type of addiction.”  The gym is across the street from a police station where officers are skeptical of Ms. Bedrick’s claims. Having seen how yoga can be an integral part of a client’s treatment plan we applaud her noble efforts and urge her to continue in spite of the resistance she is facing. Though yoga alone will not keep you sober, it is one component in a plan for healthy living. When asked by the reporter how yoga can help addicts recover, Jennifer responds, “You’re trying to breathe through something that’s difficult, knowing it’s not going to last forever,” she said. “You’re getting stronger, and the next time you go into that pose it’s a little easier, because you’ve been there before. Taking what you learn on the mat and applying it to life helps.”

Yoga is just one of the evidence-based treatments that help addicts recover.