Maggie Flynt graduated from our Classical Yoga Teacher Training program in 2016. Soon thereafter, the k-12 school psychologist made a big transition relocating to beautiful Pahoa, Hawaiʻi —“a dream come true”, to use her own words. Maggie credits so much of her inner and outer transformation, indeed her very life, to participating in our 10 Day Yoga Detoxes. Her story is courageous and inspiring, motivational and moving.
So, how many detoxes have you participated in? Generally, what has been your experience of them?
Well, being honest about it, I’ve signed up for four and I’ve completed three! I find that they’ve gotten harder for me because, at first, the experience of participating in the detox was new and exciting for me. As I got used to the detoxes and the novelty wore off, I found that I went deeper, and the experience of doing them got harder. I truly believe that your body knows what you’re capable of handling, though, so while it can be really difficult emotionally and spiritually to do a detox, I knew I was up for the transformation.
I learn something every time I do a detox. I feel like I learned what I was supposed to learn. Even when I didn’t complete one of the detoxes, I still learned an important lesson in being compassionate with myself. It’s about pushing yourself to do it, but also knowing when to say, “I’ve got too much on my plate already. It’s ok to stop this one.”
You have a powerful story around how the detox helped you end your alcohol addiction. What happened?
I think this is the biggest transformation I experienced, and I am completely grateful for it. I am totally different now. The detox absolutely cleansed me of my addiction to alcohol. Before my first detox, I was seriously falling apart. I weighed 300 pounds and I was drinking daily. I was depressed, suffering from severe anxiety and in therapy.
The night before the first detox, I really went for it, drinking an entire bottle of pink lemonade vodka. I “pretoxed”. In fact, that was a Friday night, and the detox was supposed to start the following day, but I was too hungover to start! So, I delayed a day, and started on Sunday. The following Monday, I went to attend one of the daily yoga classes and, unbeknownst to me, I walked into a Yoga for Addictions class! Not only was it a yoga class, but it also featured an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting at the end. I KNEW I was exactly where I needed to be.
Please say more about your experience of sobriety and the other benefits of doing the detox.
I know this will sound unbelievable, but since that last vodka binge, I’ve been sober for almost a year and a half! I know some people really struggle for a long time with giving up drinking, but something just “clicked” for me right away. A part of me said, “I don’t want to do this anymore. I don’t want this in my life anymore.” I felt like I shed something.
Since the first detox, I’ve lost a total of 60 pounds, losing about 12 or so pounds per detox. My whole attitude changed. I don’t crave things the way I did before the detox. Cravings are now for healthier things, and it has become easier to choose wisely and stick with it. I can actually feel that change in me. I felt like I flipped a switch or hit a reset button. Since the first detox, I feel so much more confident, self-assured and able to take a leap like live out my dream and move far away to live in Hawaii where I just love being.
I feel like I am more grounded and content in the best way. I don’t feel the need to reach out impulsively for something to make me feel better or to try so hard to control my life. I feel so much more trust for my life and what the Universe has in store for me.
What would you say to someone who’s considering doing a detox for the first time?
Just trust the process and do it. The detox teaches you so much about yourself and how strong you can be. It’s not always easy. It can be hard on every level but, seriously, anyone can do it. You’ll get out of it what you’re meant to get out of it. And what I also loved was the sense of community that exists while we are doing it. You can feel it. Feel the connection. I found it very motivating to know that I was never alone when things got hard. And every morning, there was a helpful and encouraging email from Swami to look forward to. You really do feel the support and the love.
So, do you think you’ll participate in this upcoming detox?
I KNOW I need to! I feel it! I feel a little more tired and bloated lately. And, being real, just the other day, I found myself eating five mini-milky ways! But they were ONLY minis so it could have been far worse!!!
I’m ready. I just know. I love that I’ll be able to participate from afar, dialing in for the face-to-face sessions and getting my package of detox supplies sent to me in the mail. And I look forward to feeling that sense of connection to Kashi Atlanta, which I desperately miss, even here in this beautiful place.