People in Your Community: Yoga teacher Tommy Rosen
There are many ways of dealing with addiction, but for Venice-based Tommy Rosen, nothing beats “the magic of yoga and meditation.” Twenty years sober, Rosen perceives his past two decades as a wonderful journey.
Rosen is trained in kundalini and vinyasa flow, pranayama, and breath meditation. He’s married to yogi Kia Miller, whom he describes as “a bright light,” and when the two teach together, it is a delightful, light-infused flow of energy, yin and yang, that makes class feel like literal child’s play.
But Rosen isn’t resting on his shavasanas. He’s just mounted his website and is editing two yoga DVDs on yoga and recovery, and has completed a book. In his spare time he teaches at numerous festivals around the country, including locally at Bhakti Fest.
I moved to LA from northern California because… my wife and I wanted to be nearer to the businesses of creativity here in L.A. (film, TV, writing). Then we met our life teachers here and that was that.
One thing that I didn’t anticipate here is…the astonishing explosion of yoga. Also the community feeling here defies what most people think about L.A.
The least understood aspect of yoga in my opinion is… Breathing. As strange as it sounds, most people, even yogis, still do not know how to breathe and how to use the breath to purposely shift their consciousness. Some people’s ideas about yoga don’t even include the breath at all, yoga is more of a great workout. This is a big misunderstanding.
If I could say just one hopeful thing to someone struggling with addiction it would be… There is a way through every block. Never despair and never give up. Addiction is a disease of isolation. Do not be alone, and work your program to the best of your ability.
When I’m looking for inspiration I… do three things: Try to be of service to another person, ride my mountain bike into the Santa Monica mountains, write or journal.
When I have down-time, I like to… Does anyone still have downtime? (LOL). I love live music and travel a lot to music and yoga festivals.
My friends would describe me as… gregarious, enthusiastic, communicative, kind, funny and loving. And sometimes a bit rambunctious.
The adjective I’d most like to hear about myself is . . . inspiring.
What’s most surprising to me in my life is… There has been so much magic and strangeness in my life that I’m rarely surprised by anything at this point. I do remark how incredible it all is, but when the strange “coincidences” keep coming, I just look up at the sky and smile.
The one thing I still haven’t done and hope to do is… press a handstand starting from a seated position. I’d also like to walk the John Muir Trail.
For more about yoga and recovery, see also “Healing Addictions with Yoga,” by Annalisa Cunningham (Findhorn Press).
addiction, meditation, recovery, yoga