PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) -- Getting sober can be the most important and difficult decision of someone's life. Success depends on a variety of factors, including lining up the right support system and giving yourself the tools needed to maintain sobriety during stressful times.
Jacob Daffner knows this journey personally.
"When I was 12, I started using and drinking. Then, for 10 or 11 years I went through a progression that got worse and worse, lower bottoms, using harder substances, doing things I said I would never do," he explains, reflecting on those burdens while calmly sitting cross-legged on his yoga mat in the Sweatshop on Central yoga studio. That's where he teaches.
"I got into all this crap -- life-threatening, bad habits ... I needed tools, and yoga is one of many that helped me shed that so I could get back to who I am," he said.
Now sober, Daffner shares his passion for spiritual healing and yoga with others who are in a detox or recovery program.
"Spiritually Fit provides yoga and meditation services specifically geared to those in varying stages of the addiction recovery process," according to Daffner's website.
Lisa Moody, the clinical director of Scottsdale Recovery Center, says yoga is an important component to their programs.
"It is so great for [clients in recovery] because you're learning how to breathe, how to meditate, how to make your body more healthy because in addiction people are not taking good care of themselves."
She describes Daffner as having "a beautiful spirit."
Daffner has taken his heated flow class beyond the recovery centers and into three local studios, offering donation-only session on Friday, Saturday and Sunday evenings. He says the class is powerful, and the timing of the activity is important because that can be a difficult time to stay sober.
Zach Workman and Cydne Grindel are using their yoga practice as a tool in sobriety and attending the classes whenever they can as they make important life changes.
"I just realized I wanted more out of life, " Workman said. "So, with the support of family and friends and people who I've met through the program like Jacob and Cydne, I have no intention of going back."
Grindel says the yoga practice in a room full of people on a similar journey gives her the support she needs.
"It is just you on your mat here, sharing each other's breath and space and heat, giving each other strength," she said.
Daffner says he, like all other addicts and alcoholics in recovery, will encounter tough times ahead.
"I have tools and support so I can deal with them, so I don't have to act out in an unhealthy way like picking up drugs or a drink," he explained.
He hopes he's helping his students feel confident that they can say the same thing and that they're finding more strength, calm and peace each time they come to their yoga mats.
For more information about Daffner's yoga programs for addiction recovery, visit his website -- SpirituallyFitRecovery.com.