Healing addiction through bhakti yoga

2016-04-14 06:00
Photo: SUPPLIED George Mukesh

Photo: SUPPLIED George Mukesh

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YOGA has been taking the Western world by storm for decades, with scores of enthusiasts across the globe squeezing into their spandex to take part in this alternative form of exercise.

Another form of yoga, however, known as ‘bhakti yoga’ has been hailed by thousands of recovering and former drug addicts as a healthy and effective solution to their drug problem.

George Mukesh, a 45-year-old North Coast resident from Etete, near Shakaskraal, said his long and painful journey with drug and alcohol addiction came to an end as a direct result of the healing powers of bhakti yoga.

“I started using drugs when I was about 21-years-old and it led to an 18-year struggle of addiction to cannabis, cigarettes and alcohol.

“I was in and out of rehab for years, and while it did keep me alive at times, I would always relapse when I was released. When I discovered bhakti yoga, however, everything changed and I have been 100% clean for six years now,” said Mukesh.

He added that while the conventional form of yoga is more about exercise, bhakti has a spiritual focus which is routed in a quest for self-realisation and what he calls ‘God realisation’.

“Bhakti means to love or adore God and it requires dedication before it can become a lifestyle. In realising the self, you become aware of the parts of your spirit that need urgent attention, while in realising God, those parts can once again be purified.

It is human nature to seek pleasure, which is what addiction is all about. The reason bhakti is so successful among recovering addicts is that it replaces their addiction to drugs or alcohol with an addiction to the bhakti lifestyle of love and purity,” said Mukesh.

He added that committing oneself to bhakti yoga removes one’s desire to take their drug of choice entirely, but the process is only as fast as you allow it to be.

“For severe addicts like I was, it is crucial to heal as soon as possible - your life depends on it. I have also met a number of former drug users from across the world, who are now my friends and they have put their success solely down to the powers of bhakti yoga.

As an addict, you have two choices; you can decide to live or you can choose to die, and I almost died a few times. Bhakti yoga truly saved my life,” said Mukesh, which he said is all explained in his book Heal Addiction with Bhakti Yoga and Stay High Forever, which is due to be released later this year.

One of Mukesh’s main focuses now is to realise his dream and open a bhakti yoga rehab centre for anyone struggling with addiction as he said he wants to share his successful recovery with those who want and need assistance.

I started using drugs when I was about 21-years-old and it led to an 18-year struggle of addiction to cannabis, cigarettes and alcohol.

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