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The Intersection Between Recovery and Yoga

Updated: Jan 14, 2020

In order to better provide for client needs, Kitsap Recovery Center is expanding treatment services to include experiential therapies such as trauma informed yoga and 12 step yoga.

In June 2019, Kitsap Recovery Center partnered with yoga instructor Beckie Evans from Life Keys Energy. Evans caters the practice of yoga to the unique needs of clients in recovery. The classes teach breath work and ways to extend mindfulness beyond the mat and into daily life.

Kitsap Recovery Center’s Clinical Manager, Keith Winfield explains “these tools are designed to assist with dissociation, ruminating thoughts, anxiety, and more. Many of these strategies require no equipment and simply require attention to the breath, making [the techniques] accessible and cost effective.”

Although some clients were initially skeptical of this approach, Winfield describes “once they sit through a session and learn some relaxation techniques they can use in real time, the attitude about these types of therapies changes. My favorite part is getting feedback from clients saying ‘thank you, I have never had someone teach these tools and they really work’.” 

This creative way of providing quality and sustainable tools for recovery is an inspiring shift towards more person-centered care, putting client needs first. Experiential therapies are starting to break down divides between physical and behavioral health, along with removing barriers to access for community members who may be experiencing financial hardships. “Even though most of the clients we serve are on Medicaid and struggle economically and socially, our agency’s philosophy is that they still deserve the best treatment that we can provide” says Winfield.

Trauma informed yoga and 12 step yoga are just the beginning for Kitsap Recovery Center. Thanks to volunteer efforts, they also provide mindfulness trainings, recently introduced an indoor garden, and hope to extend programs like the yoga classes to include family participation.

If you would like to learn more about experiential therapy and the local impacts happening at Kitsap Recovery Center, please contact Keith Winfield


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