Book Review: Recovery 2.0

Recovery 2.0: Move Beyond Addiction and Upgrade Your Life by Tommy Rosen

What Amazon Says:

Through more than 20 years of recovery from addiction, noted yoga teacher Tommy Rosen learned a lot about what works and what doesn’t work in recovery. From his explorations on the yoga mat and in 12-Step rooms, he found a path to sustainable recovery that includes mind-body practices, a profound look at diet, and a more holistic and inclusive perspective on the 12 Steps. This led him to realize that recovery happens in stages and that by utilizing the best practices of the 12 Steps in combination with yoga and meditation, he could achieve lasting freedom from addiction. In Recovery 2.0, Tommy shares his own past struggles with addiction and the powerful insights that helped him to identify and break free from the obstacles that stand in the way of recovery. Building off the key tenets of the 12-Step program, he lays out an innovative approach where deeper levels of detoxification and transformation allow you to uproot addiction and thrive. The point is not to survive addiction. The point is to thrive in recovery and live a life second to none.

What I say:

First, a disclaimer. Tommy Rosen has become a dear friend as well as teacher and colleague. We’ve spoken at numerous conferences together, and I’ve sat at his feet learning from him on his retreat. He’s a wonderful human being, and an incredibly articulate writer and speaker. I appreciate that about him. 

The way he lays out his book is sequential.  It begins with his own story, which I think is instructive because when you meet someone in long term recovery, it helps to hear what it was like for them ‘before.’ It humanizes them. From there, Tommy does an incredible job of articulating the 12 steps in his own words. This was incredibly enlightening because frankly, the 12 steps sound like they were written by a bunch of old white guys close to a hundred years ago… oh, wait… they were. Tommy calls exploring early recovery through the steps “Recovery 1.0.” “Recovery 2.0” is a real line in the sand where Tommy stakes his claim that there is another level of recovery possible, but not through the 12 steps alone. There are three core areas Tommy focuses on in the next stage of recovery, of which only one is barely mentioned. Tommy asserts that yoga, meditation, and diet are crucial practices that will lift a person beyond ‘the frequency of addiction’ and into a life where one might become ‘recovered.’ This is controversial in the recovery world, as attitudes and beliefs around addiction and recovery vary widely. However, for me personally, there came a point where I was looking for ‘an advanced course’ of recovery beyond the original 12 steps, and Tommy gives clear instructions for what practices might just constitute such a ‘next stage.’

If you or someone you love is looking to break the chains of addiction, you or they need to read this book and then ‘wax on, wax off’ as Mr. Miaggi famously said in The Karate Kid, for recovery is something you do, not something that is done to you.

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