Today, we explore the inspiring journey of Cole Chance. Her transformation from the depths of addiction into a beacon of hope in the recovery world is both challenging and enlightening. As a trauma-informed yoga instructor, she skillfully blends the wisdom of yoga and Buddhism with insights from modern neuroscience and psychology. Her approach prioritizes compassionate self-inquiry, guiding students to explore their mind and body for deeper understanding and freedom.

Cole’s journey began at age 13, marked by numerous treatment programs and relapses before she acknowledged her addiction and the need for change. A significant turning point was her discovery of yoga during treatment, which played a crucial role in managing her stress and breathing. We also discuss the concept of nervous system allyship in recovery, emphasizing the importance of recognizing our mental states and actively learning how to shift them when necessary. Cole’s story highlights the profound impact of self-awareness and mindful practices in overcoming addiction.


Links mentioned in this episode:

Audio Timestamps:

  • [05:01] Cole was having social anxiety, and the minute she began drinking she felt better. She was 13.
  • [06:25] She felt so great, she decided that she would do it forever.
  • [08:55] She grew up and was living in Santa Cruz, and she started drinking vodka and orange juice in the morning. She was also  hiding drinking from her partner who was also a big drinker. 
  • [12:08] After getting a DUI, she had court ordered treatment. She went to treatment six or seven times, but she wasn’t supposed to be there.
  • [12:57] Cole shares her first AA meeting experience.
  • [15:04] She had a seizure but blamed it on stress. 
  • [15:37] She had a pattern of going to treatment whenever she hit a wall, but then after sobering up a bit she realized she wasn’t supposed to be in treatment.
  • [19:23] She didn’t want to admit that she had a problem, because then she would have to do something about it.
  • [25:55] She had repeated relapses and the alcohol wasn’t making her feel better. 
  • [27:16] A friend said that she was going to come to a point where she could either be high or happy.
  • [28:02] This realization was when she called a sober living facility and asked for help. 
  • [29:28] Her first job was to make it sober for 3 days. That was 10 years ago.
  • [30:39] Our lives are a culmination of what happened before so the previous treatments did build.
  • [31:19] Just because you relapse, treatment isn’t for nothing.
  • [35:49] Yoga during her treatment really had an affect on her. 
  • [39:32] Yoga is great for the stress of recovery, and it regulates your breath. 
  • [43:09] Tim talks about the benefits of a cold plunge and how it can be similar to yoga. 
  • [43:30] Nervous system allyship in recovery. The nervous system and brain like to work in patterns and being an ally means you’re working with your nervous system.
  • [47:18] We shut down when we are in danger. We can mobilize our energy to make something change or just give up.
  • [48:40] It’s healthy to be able to move through all of the different states that we go through. 
  • [49:46] When we understand how we respond, we can do things to help us recreate better patterns. We become an active operator of our nervous system.
  • [50:45] Understand how your nervous system responds and then find ways to settle down. If you’re anxious, you can hum. This will help stimulate the vagus nerve. Shaking can also help.
  • [51:53] If you’re shut down, you need to use energy to get to the green. Invite some movement to move into yellow, and then you can move into green.
  • [53:42] Whatever state our nervous system is in will be the reality that we see.

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