Creating Community & Connection for Recovery Month, a message from Nicole Breen, our Recovery Program Director

I'm feeling a little overwhelmed to be honest. This is a blog post, it can get a little gushy, right? Here it goes...

There is an overwhelming feeling of honor and privilege that I have in working alongside the folks on my team. Sometimes I feel shocked that we all found each other in doing this work. My passion for Recovery runs deep, I am amazed every time I hear another person's story or perspective, and how we are all impacted. The suffering that goes on behind closed doors is deeper than anyone would ever want to imagine. Our Yoga for Recovery team has come together to think of ways to serve and provide external support in community. To answer any questions and to make this September campaign easy to navigate. It was super fun to work on but it's also a passion project.

When I get the opportunity to lend an ear on a call, or offer my advice to anyone on my team, I realize it is a humbling experience to just be a part of this larger collective. We set out for 30 donation classes, could we do it? We wanted to celebrate 30 years of Recovery Month. What if we don't make it to 30 classes? I laughed and said that I would teach as many as I could to get us to the mark. But thanks to Nina Wong, we didn't have to go that route. Nina created so many new connections and reconnected with many others along the way.

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The yoga studio world is close and dear as that is where most of us got our start but the time to spend in a studio space becomes limited when embarking in a yoga service journey that takes us throughout many different spaces. A home practice becomes sacred. With Nina Wong taking on this mission to deeply connect TYP within the yoga studio community, we had no idea what the feedback would be. The generous and welcoming response is overwhelming. The thought and care and the number of "YES" responses we had collected is a true dream. This is a month-long fundraising effort unlike anything I've ever seen. It is a honor to watch it unfold.

The majority of the programming that we focus on offering as TYP is within institutions, our partnerships are in closed and private facilities. There are not many public discussions on the work we do inside as we strive to honor our participants and reflect on the conscious relationship of service. We are there holding space and providing group facilitation. The service in action is not a mystery, it's an offering of privacy that is both lawful and ethical. As we fundraise to sustain and grow these programs, we reach out beyond these spaces to ask for support.

So here we go ... the schedule is set and surprisingly still growing. We have 46 more classes and opportunities to celebrate Recovery during September! Let's meet on our mats. Let's see one another and be present with each other as we enter into these spaces. Let's leave any pre-conceived ideas of what a class should look like behind. Let's open our hearts and our minds to community based support and healing. Let's try to be in a circle together and for one another. Let's create space to feel truly safe and connected. I invite you to join us. All of the information can be found here. Reach out if you have any questions.

There are also two opportunities to practice with me this weekend:

Both classes will be offered with a trauma-aware lens and everyone is welcome! All donations are met with gratitude. Please bring a mat, wear something comfortable, and arrive early.

Thank you for your support of Transformation Yoga Project!

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Week Two: September Recovery Month "30 for 30" Classes Sept. 8 to 14

The first week of Recovery Month “30 for 30” donation classes was a great start to the month, and we are excited to see new and familiar faces throughout the month at all the classes. We’ve even doubled our goal, with 60+ classes throughout the month!

This week we have many classes across the Philadelphia area for all levels to join us. Remember to bring your own mat, if possible, wear comfortable clothes, and please arrive at least 15 minutes before class begins to check in.

Check out our Week Two schedule below, and make sure to check back for any updates to classes.

9/8 Tulaa Yoga*, Wilmington, DE: 11:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
Unity Yoga*, Philadelphia, PA: 1 – 2 p.m.
9/9 Rebel Yoga Studio, Philadelphia, PA: 7 – 8 p.m.
Yoga & Movement Sanctuary*, Philadelphia, PA: 8 p.m. – 9 p.m.
9/10 Unity Yoga*, Philadelphia, PA: 5:30 p.m. – 6:30 p.m.
9/11 Rebel Yoga Studio, Philadelphia, PA: 4:45 – 5:45 p.m.
9/12 Westminster Presbyterian Church*, West Chester, PA: 5:15 – 6:15 p.m.
Moondog Yoga Studio*, Quakertown, PA: 7:15 – 8:15 p.m.
9/13 Twisted Monkey Yoga Studio, Rockledge, PA: 5:30 – 6:30 p.m.
Unity Yoga*, Philadelphia, PA: 5:45 – 6:45 p.m.
Yogasphere*, Newtown, PA: 6 – 7 p.m.
Indigo Healing Arts Collective*, Swarthmore, PA: 7 – 8:30 p.m.
West End Yoga Studio*, Lancaster, PA: 7 – 8 p.m.
9/14 Whole Foods Market — Exton Rooftop*, Exton, PA: 9 a.m. – 10 a.m.

*Classes will be offered from a trauma-aware lens.

Please arrive at least 15 minutes before class begins.

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Twisted Monkey Yoga Studio Classes

We are grateful to be partners with Twisted Monkey and very thankful that the studio hosts four classes throughout Recovery Month. Three more Friday night classes remain at the Rockledge studio — September 13, 20 and 27, each from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m.

This week, one of our long time instructors, Matt Engler, will lead the class. Matt was a graduate of our very first 200-hour Yoga Teacher Training at State Correctional Institute – Graterford. He has recently returned to his community, and shared his experiences about mindfulness-based yoga with NBC10 Philadelphia.

Nicole Breen, our Recovery Program Director, had this to say about our great partnership:

“It's beautiful to take a moment to reflect on the history of the Twisted Monkey in Rockledge, PA just on the outskirts of Philly. There were no yoga studios in the Northeast Philadelphia area. In the early 2000s, I used to practice hot yoga with Bill in the basement of the space that is now known as the Twisted Monkey. The classes were always open and welcoming to anyone who was curious about yoga. That's one reason why I am so grateful for our current partnership with Twisted Monkey. Their yoga community is so strong and open to others, it's a joy to witness!”

Click here to download the full “30 for 30” calendar, and make sure to check back for any class updates.




Vote Mike and TYP for Be Well Philly's Health Hero 2019

Our founder, Michael Huggins, is nominated for Be Well Philly’s Health Hero 2019, and you can help us raise $15,000! Voting for the Health Hero finalists is open through October 1, and you can vote for Mike once a day.

The Health Hero Challenge recognizes community members leading the charge for “the diversity and innovation of Philadelphia’s health and wellness scene.” The group of 10 candidates represent various important social causes, but all stand together in working toward a better future for everyone. These candidates were selected from the hundreds nominated by the members in the Philadelphia community.

“When I see the life-transforming results that yoga and mindfulness create for individuals dealing with trauma, substance abuse, incarceration, PTSD and other challenges, I’m inspired to dedicate my life’s work to helping empower Philadelphians and the Philadelphia community to achieve better health through a true body/mind connection.”

Mike, on what motivates him to try and make Philadelphia a healthier place

With your help taking just a few minutes each day, Mike and TYP could raise up to $15,000 as one of the finalists in the Be Well Health Hero Challenge. Also, make sure to share the voting with friends and family!

To vote for Mike and learn more information about the Health Hero Challenge, visit Philadelphia Magazine’s Health Hero Challenge 2019 website.



Week One: September Recovery Month "30 for 30" Classes Aug. 31 to Sept. 7

September is here and so are our “30 for 30” Recovery Month Donation classes! We are thankful for all the spaces who are supporting our Recovery Month fundraising campaign, with the 59 classes throughout the community.

From our kickoff class in Sea Isle, NJ to our rooftop class at Whole Foods Market in Exton, PA, we have classes all across the area for anyone to join us during the first week. Remember all levels are welcome to our classes all month, so bring along friends and family, both experienced and beginners alike.

A few other reminders for our classes all month:

  • Bring your own mat, if possible

  • Wear comfortable clothes

  • Please arrive at least 15 minutes before class begins to check in

Check out our Week One schedule below, and make sure to check back for any updates to classes.

8/31 Soulrise Yoga*, Sea Isle, NJ: 10:30 a.m. – 12 p.m.
9/3 Unity Yoga*, Philadelphia, PA: 11 a.m. – 12 p.m.
9/4 Rebel Yoga Studio, Philadelphia, PA: 4:45 – 5:45 p.m.
9/6 Twisted Monkey Yoga Studio, Rockledge, PA: 5:30 – 6:30 p.m.
Unity Yoga*, Philadelphia, PA: 5:45 p.m. – 6:45 p.m.
Dragon Spirit Arts*, Lansdowne, PA: 6 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.
9/7 Whole Foods Market — Exton Rooftop*, Exton, PA: 9 a.m. – 10 a.m.
Blue Tortoise Yoga*, Aston, PA: 4 – 5:30 p.m.
The Healing Fields Yoga, Philadelphia, PA: 5:15 – 6:30 p.m.


Whole Foods Market – Exton Rooftop Classes

Each morning of the first three Saturday in September, TYP instructors will host a class on the rooftop of Whole Foods Market in Exton, PA. The space is a great place to practice yoga outside and start your weekend.

The first class at Whole Foods will be Saturday, September 7 from 9 – 10 a.m. Our director of training, Colleen DeVirgiliis, will lead the first week’s classes. We hope people can join us for our first class outside of the month! Let’s hope for beautiful weather - if we aren’t so lucky be sure to check our website or social media for any schedule updates!

Westminster Presbyterian Church Classes

Another donation class location only a few minutes away, Westminster Presbyterian Church will host two classes during September. The church in West Chester will have classes Thursday nights on September 12 and 26 from 5:15 to 6:15 p.m.

We are so grateful to connect with spaces outside of yoga studios as well to host classes and connect with more community members.

TYP Yoga for Recovery Programs in the West Chester Area

We facilitate a number of Yoga for Recovery classes in the West Chester area, near Westminster Presbyterian Church and Whole Foods Exton. On Monday evenings, TYP offers a Yoga for Recovery program on Monday nights at United Methodist Church in West Chester before the Narcotics Anonymous meeting, from 5:45 - 6:45 pm.

In addition, one of our larger partners offers adult and adolescent partial hospitalization programs to several locations that Pyramid Healthcare group serves. Pyramid Healthcare has a unique 360° recovery system & provides services for all stages of addiction- including detoxification, inpatient treatment, methadone and Suboxone maintenance therapy, outpatient treatment and halfway and transitional housing. They focus on supplying a safe, supportive environment at all of our rehabilitation center, where individuals learn and practice recovery and coping skills - including through our weekly trauma-sensitive, mindfulness-based yoga classes. Learn more about TYP’s Recovery and Behavioral Health Services.

Click here to download the full “30 for 30” calendar, and make sure to check back for any class updates.

Make sure to follow our social media to keep up with classes and to learn more about Recovery Month and TYP’s recovery programs!