As our community continues to grow, we are discovering just how important it is for people to not just recover in their bodies, but their minds as well. One individual who uses her practices to cleanse the mind and body of herself and those she connects with is Gabrielle Baty, founder of Resilient Yoga. In barely a year, Gabrielle has taken a practice that has helped her own mind, body and soul as she proceeds down her path of sobriety, to sharing what she has learned and grown to love with others.
Soberocity [S]: Where are you from?
Gabrielle [G]: Michigan
S: How do you define sobriety and what does it mean to you?
G: Sobriety, for me, isn’t just about abstaining from alcohol. Sobriety has been about self awareness, letting go of things that no longer serve me and allowing my life to blossom into its full potential.
S: What led you to choosing the name Resilient Yoga?
G: I chose this name as I felt it was a reflection of my life and my sober journey. Yoga was a major key in my recovery and through this practice I found myself again; yoga helped me to find my inner strength again; yoga reminded me of my resilience. Resilient means to be able to withstand or recover from difficult conditions. Through heartbreak, trauma, abuse and my struggle with alcohol, I was still standing. Even though life had knocked me down many times, I was able to find the strength to get back up and keep fighting.
S: What do you see in your future as you further dive into your practices and continue your road to recovery?
G: I would love to open my own yoga studio for those in recovery and those looking to heal from trauma. I also have started writing a book about the impact of trauma, healing from trauma and sobriety.
S: What have been the most rewarding things you received as a yoga teacher?
G: I have been teaching at addiction treatment centers since I graduated from yoga teacher training. Being able to share the practice that has helped me so much in my sober/healing journey with others who have experienced similar struggles has been so beautiful and rewarding in itself. I will never forget teaching a yoga class at a woman’s addiction treatment center that ended with a beautiful mediation session that left all of us in tears. It was such a beautiful moment of release. A beautiful moment of unity and a beautiful moment filled with so much hope.
S: If someone were to ask you about getting into and sticking to yoga what would you tell them?
G: I would say just go for it! There are so many benefits to the practice—mind, body and soul. There are tons of great resources for beginners: books, DVD’s, YouTube tutorials. Remember that it is your practice and there is no right or wrong way to go about it. Your practice won’t look the same as someone else’s.
S: How has it been staying on the path of sobriety during this COVID-19 pandemic?
G: For me it’s been pretty easy. When I made the decision to get sober I was determined to stay sober. I’m aware though that situations like these can truly test us, so it’s important to practice healthy coping skills. During this pandemic I focused on spending more time with my children, finding new activities for us to do together. I also started dabbling in new hobbies such as crafting and revisiting old hobbies I hadn’t spent much time on such as reading.
S: Are there any new initiatives/work that you’ve begun during this pandemic?
G: Working on my book.
S: What advice would you give to someone who is fresh on their road to sobriety and/or is there anything you wish you knew or had when you began?
G: When you make the decision to get sober, do it for you. Getting sober has to be a choice you want to make for your life. In my own journey I wish I had connected with like-minded people sooner and formed a solid support system.
As we proceed through this pandemic — as Gabrielle said — let us be mindful of our minds, bodies and souls. Make time for the things you love; or even try something new, like yoga! Let us all continue to stay strong and stay connected.