Drinking Doesn’t Get In The Way Of Yoga 🍷🕉

Daily Motivation 269


Our next QS Guide is a writer herself and has shared her journey in great detail with us below. When I first read this testimonial I cried. Cried out of humbleness to witness another soul ‘see’ itself for the first time; what a privilege. QS is unlike anything else I’ve experienced in that we bare ourselves to each other with no judgement, and ‘see’ each other for who we really are. There is a level of truth that is quite simply magical, and true transformation occurs from here; it has to. And then for those that have dropped the story and connected with what is underneath it, some wish to support the next wave of members coming through the programme; sharing what worked and what didn’t for them, and being there with words of encouragement and a heart full of love.
It is with great pleasure that I introduce to you the fourth QS Guide: Victoria

Victoria’s Story

Drinking doesn’t get in the way of Yoga…

❝Well it doesn’t. I drank for years and years. My relationship with alcohol has been every bit as sporadic as any other relationship. It started with the odd fling. Until it became this habitual comfortable routine of just semi oblivion. There were some very dark times when it was a full on obsessive needy co-dependency. Real Cathy and Heathcliff stuff.

I was never a full on cliché of an alcoholic, slurping down vodka for breakfast. In 41 years of life I had only ever woken up once with a stranger which is pretty good going. Alcohol has only made me vomit on 3 occasions in this life. Granted I do have a fairly robust constitution. I rarely drank so much that I could not get up and work the next day, go to the gym. And Yes… Oh Yes… I am a Yogi. Who also happens to teach Yoga.

In the Yoga World there is a lot of judgement around drinking. A lot of people who say things like “Well I’ve never understood drinking. I mean life is so beautiful, why would you not want to be present?” Or they helpfully point out that alcohol is a toxin. As if we all didn’t know.

I on the other hand completely understand why people want to drink. This beautiful and infuriating world we live in seems to be Hell-bent on destroying itself. And the expectations that are placed on us and those we place on ourselves. Who wouldn’t want respite?

When I was 30 I fell in love with my best friend. I met him just after the death of my father and he was really everything to me. I was living down in Brighton and we were out all the time. For the first time in my life I was in a healthy relationship with a man who didn’t make me feel small, or invisible, but beautiful and cherished and important. Who got excited about my dreams and loved what I loved. Then one day, after two years, we went for a walk to the beach and he was quiet as I chattered away about plans I had, and what I had bought for when we moved in together. He suddenly stopped me. And said “I don’t think I want this”. And at that moment something inside me shattered. Six weeks followed of him being distant but not ending it. No, that work was left up to me but he couldn’t hide his relief when I did. Even kissed me for the first time in weeks.

I spent the next few months drinking heavily. 2 bottles of wine or so a night. I was so angry and heartbroken and bereaved. Full of this insane energy as if something had taken me over. Then one day when I was totally out of it at work it occurred to me I could just leave. I had money in the bank I had been saving for a house deposit for us. So I took off to India for a few months instead. And swapped my wine addiction for Ashtanga Yoga asana addiction. Big huge dramatic detox. It didn’t help as much as I thought it would. I got home and although the initial grief had worn off I could not stand to be with myself so kept on drinking.

Then the drinking wound down and got less dramatic but 9 years later it was still there. Life had changed, I was no longer working in a shop but had got better work plus building my own business as a Yoga teacher was going well.

But the state of my own inner world still meant I craved Space. I was overworked for a long time. Holding down an office job to pay the bills. Teaching most days. Rarely days off. Managing my practice maybe 3 times a week Feeling guilty and tired. I was drinking 2-3 glasses of wine 2-3 times a week. 2-3 bottles a week, not enough for anyone to be calling AA but more than enough to affect my energy levels. Always home late and alone after teaching and being on buses as I had no car. I had made the decision to keep my Yoga teaching in gyms, in schools, to my local University Yoga society. In the community. So there was a lot of rushing about. I was busier and busier, lonelier and lonelier.

So I decided to stop drinking. Just stop completely. Not ‘moderate’ as that doesn’t work. I found online support and I found QS. Summer was coming. The first month was hard. Cravings. I would get this intense feeling of wanting to be ‘elsewhere’ and interpret that as boredom. I needed to sleep a lot. The sugar cravings were insane.

I started with the Trigger meditation and started to examine what was really going on. And this has been an ongoing, sometimes really painful, and sometimes an ecstatic process. The support of the QS facebook forum has been invaluable.

As I had been drinking for years all the things I used to have a drink to take the edge off came up again. My father’s death. The pain of being left by the conscious choice of suicide. The death of all the people I have loved. Living alone and missing companionship. Anger. Being totally fucking furious at the man I had loved with all my heart who had left me, as it turned out, for someone else. And then, unexpectedly, thinking of him with Love. And remembering the good times.

The Quantum Sobriety support group with Jo De Rosa who I call ‘The High Priestess of Sobriety’ is AMAZING. This is a non judgemental approach to recovering from the habits that no longer serve you. The emphasis is on meditation and going within. There is no helpless victim thinking. I saw how my fondness for alcohol was actually a blessing. It was signposting that which I needed to attend to. So in this way addiction is a good thing. Cravings are a good thing on a soul level.

I have started to deal with the past. And to deal with the anger. And to have compassion rather than judgment. To notice my own projections and triggers. Particularly in the whole ‘Yoga World’ thing. My body dysmorphia and disordered eating habits are also starting to change. Accepting myself just as I am is a work in process.

My beliefs about alcohol have changed forever. I used to buy into the myth of it being relaxing. But it really is not. Ethanol has addictive qualities and we are all vulnerable. Alcohol is also marketed to be very appealing. If I was of a mindset that did conspiracy theories I would say that alcohol is the ultimate tool of social control. It is a depressant- so keeps us small. You don’t even need huge mounts it for it to take the edge off your vision. It encourages you to accept the drudgery of daily life and crave escape from that rather that to CHANGE your own reality so you have a life you don’t want to drink your way out of. It makes you crave shit food and keeps you sick. It makes you fat. It supports the pharmaceutical and the diet industries. Physically and emotionally it enslaves you.

Quitting drinking forever has been one of the most liberating things i have ever done. And best of all. It was easy. It’s like being a child again. You wake up fresh. I swear the world looks more beautiful. I see beauty in the little things now and see the world in all its nuances. Yes I still get angry and want change but I FEEL things rather than just reacting to them. I FEEL myself rather than just reacting to others.

I have always meditated but my practice has deepened immeasurably. In Yoga it now feels as though I am there one hundred percent. I keep getting more work doing what I love. I even passed my driving test and got a car which I thought would NEVER happen.

Sobriety has now become an intrinsic part of who I am. I have changed my mind about drinking. For me, it had its place. It was useful. Sometimes I loved it. But I have loved stepping away from it.. For in quitting a habit, in letting go of a crutch you come closer to your own core. There is a rawness to it. Authentic as a child.

Drinking does NOT get in the way of Yoga. But given time, Yoga gets in the way of drinking. 

I no longer see alcohol as a source of pleasure. My pleasure comes from other sources.

I have been free of alcohol for a year now. And there is a big difference between freedom and self denial. All I am denying myself now is self loathing and sickness. I was so ready to stop hating myself. And I feel I have reclaimed my power. I stand my ground now in a way I could not a year ago. And there are new opportunities in relationships presenting themselves. A massive shift from feeling unlovable. Alcohol just fertilises negativity.

Meditation and Quantum Sobriety has helped me to see all this and my life has changed forever. I will not go back to drinking. I could never go back to drinking knowing what I know now. When the odd thought of drinking comes up it is so easy to turn it around. I never ever thought that would happen. I am so grateful.

And as I know what its like when you feel like nothing you do or anything you are really matters to anyone I want to share my experience with others and pay it forward as a QS guide. To help people like me and let them know there is light at the end of the tunnel. That you don’t need to fit in if it doesn’t feel right to you. That you can choose your own Tribe. You can choose your own reality. Because when you do, its really magical how the cravings slip away. It ends up having nothing to do with willpower and everything to do with becoming who you were always meant to be. It doesn’t matter how old you are, you get to choose your reality daily anew. With the QS approach you don’t give up anything except feeling like crap. And what you will gain is immeasurable and I am excited to welcome in the next generation of QS members x❞


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