Tommy Rosen is pretty smokin' hot, so it's hard to imagine him as a scraggly, cigarette-smoking, drug-addicted Deadhead. But the 47-year-old abused substances from the age of 13 and later suffered from a major gambling problem.
Most of us have some kind of addiction that's holding us back, Rosen points out -- not just drugs or alcohol but food, online shopping, or technology.
The reason that addicts frequently fall back and relapse, Rosen says, is very simple: "Because they are triggered and don't have a practice or ritual to help them deal with it, so they fall back to an old behavior."
But he makes the solution sound just as simple -- and desirable. Rather than looking at sobriety as a giving up of something pleasurable, he says, addicts need to find "upgraded forms of getting high."
"You're missing the high?" he asks. "It's called yoga. And meditation. It's called running. It's called making love. It's called connecting with people or making beautiful artwork. It's called dancing, singing, praying, laughing. These are sustainable highs. And we don't need marijuana or anything else to do those."
The key is to "create a consistent practice -- move out of the darkness of addiction into the light of recovery... We need people, support, love, and care in the moment every day." The more you build support systems, he says, the less likely you will relapse.
Rosen said he once went to drug rehab and then to a 12-step program to get his life on track. After suffering back problems in 2003, he went to see a man named guruprem who got him into yoga. "This guy just took my life to the next level. He taught me so much about body breathing, kundalini yoga, how to approach women, how to relate to everything in my life, to become more conscious and aware, and to bring me to happiness." After that, the serial entrepreneur became a yoga teacher, mentored people, and developed yoga and recovery workshops. He also writes for the Huffington Post.
On Sunday, Rosen will release his new book, Recovery 2.0: Move Beyond Addiction and Upgrade Your Life -- to a lucky audience before its official release in New York City two days later. A yoga workshop ("for students at any level -- prepare for good energy and a lot of love") starts at 1 p.m., followed by a book signing at 3:30. Participants can go to one or both. The event takes place from 1 to 5 p.m. Sunday, October 19, at the Yoga Source, 3510 S. University Drive in Davie. Tickets are available here.