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Trini Foundation’s Heart Wide Open Campaign Funding Addiction Recovery Through Yoga

Nancy Alkire Nancy Alkire Trini Foundation’s Heart Wide Open Campaign Funding Addiction Recovery Through YogaTaylor Hunt of Trini Foundation demonstrating a yoga position for Heart Wide Open.
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“Everyone is now so much more aware of addiction and the problems surrounding it… I am psyched that we have 250 yoga studios helping us raise money for addiction recovery,” says Taylor Hunt, executive director of the Trini Foundation. A recovered poly-substance abuser and the author of A Way from Darkness, Hunt is an Ashtanga yoga teacher who knows firsthand that yoga can help people not only recover from addiction, but also maintain sobriety.

Another example of a Heart Wide Open backbend position.

“We should be celebrating recovery,” he says. “There are some great examples of survivors out there, and that needs encouragement.”

The Trini Foundation was formed in 2016 as a way to introduce the healing practice of Ashtanga to people recovering from addiction as well as individuals in other underserved communities.

“We have been amazingly successful in our first two years,” says Communications Director for the Trini Foundation, Dawn Blevins. “We have surpassed our goals for the number of people involved. Fundraising is ongoing, and so important for the work we do. One hundred percent of the money collected goes to fund treatment-center yoga classes and yoga scholarships for people who need help with recovery.”

National Recovery Month happens every September. This year, the Trini Foundation has the “Heart Wide Open” (#heartwideopen) Instagram challenge starting today, August 22. Every day from today until September, there is a suggested heart-opening backbend pose. Trini invites people to post their own backbend poses every day for the ten days. At the end of the challenge, 10 winners will receive prizes from Trini Foundation sponsors, such as DVE Clothing and local artist, Amber Fogel. Events are not only local; yoga studios from Finland to California will have classes to raise recovery money, too.

Yoga teachers in all 50 states and eight other countries will be holding donation classes to sponsor yoga recovery scholarships during National Recovery Month.

“We have long-term partnerships with studios in 10 different states,” notes Blevins. Columbus’ largest yoga company, GoYoga, has multiple events planned. GoYoga’s marketing director, Chelsea Bragg notes they have always supported the Trini Foundation. GoYoga also hosts AA and AlAnon activities regularly.

Lisa Owns at L Yoga Flow will have a special Radiance hot yoga class on September 24 at 9:30 a.m. September 16 at 11:30 a.m., Ashtanga Yoga Columbus has a special beginner class, then on September 30 is a donation yoga event in Schiller Park.

Since its beginning, the Trini Foundation has awarded 26 individuals yoga scholarships, and it has helped hundreds of other students in their recovery from substance abuse by teaching free yoga classes in treatment centers and recovery programs in Central Ohio.

“Our goal is to be in all 50 states,” states Blevins. Currently, the Trini Foundation holds yoga classes in sites such as Syntero and the Ohio Addiction Recovery Center.

“We encourage students from treatment centers to continue their journeys with us by applying for a scholarship once they leave the treatment center,” she says. “Ashtanga Yoga in particular really helps people find a steadiness and structure as they rebuild their lives … and as their bodies get stronger, they start gaining confidence.”

“When people recover, we all win,” says Hunt, and as Blevins says, “This epidemic touches every single one of us, whether it is because of our own personal struggle with addiction, or that of a friend, family member, or other loved one.”

The activities during National Recovery Month are the biggest fundraisers of the year for many recovery programs like the Trini Foundation. For more information, visit trinifoundation.org.

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