Five Ways To Navigate Social Gatherings After Quitting Alcohol
by Radha Metro-Midkiff – New York City

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Enjoying a night out with friends after quitting alcohol can be refreshing and deeply rewarding, when approached from a Yogic perspective.
Here are five tips to help you navigate social gatherings with mindfulness and presence, drawing from the principles of Integral Yoga:

Set an Intention (Sankalpa)

Take a moment to set a personal intention for the evening. This could be anything from wanting to deepen your connections with your friends, to simply being fully present and enjoying the moment. This intention-setting is called a Sankalpa in yoga, which is described as an unwavering vow or commitment. It helps guide your actions and keep you aligned with your own inner values.

Practice Mindful Listening and Speaking (Satya and Ahimsa)

Engage in conversations with honesty (Satya) and compassion (Ahimsa). Open yourself up to listening to others when they speak. Give them your full attention without planning what to say next. When it’s your turn to speak, speak honestly but with kindness. This can foster deeper and more authentic connections with your friends.

Engage in Non-Alcoholic Fun Activities

Plan activities that don’t center around drinking. This could be going to a live concert, attending a nighttime yoga class together, participating in a dance class, or exploring new exhibitions at a museum. Activities that stimulate your mind and body can be incredibly fulfilling and ensure that everyone has a great time without the need for alcohol.

Practice Breathing Exercises (Pranayama) if You Feel Anxious

If you find yourself feeling out of place or anxious and wanting to get a drink to even out the discomfort, turn to your breath. Use simple breathing techniques such as Nadi Suddhi (Alternate Nostril Breathing) or Deep 3-part breaths to center yourself. This can help manage anxiety and keep you grounded in the present moment. One favorite technique is to breathe in for a count of 4, and out for a count of 8.

Be Present and Enjoy the Moment (Aparigraha)

Embrace the concept of Aparigraha, which encourages non-attachment allowing you to enjoy the present moment most fully. Resist the urge to think about what you should be doing or what you’re missing out on. Focus on enjoying the time with the people immediately in front of you and the experiences you are sharing together. This mindfulness will enhance your enjoyment of the evening and help you create lasting memories.


Radha Metro-MidkiffRadha Metro-Midkiff is a Certified Life Coach and the Executive Director for the Integral Yoga Institute New York. Her upbringing in Yoga began at an early age, having been raised under the tutelage of Sri Swami Satchidananda at Yogaville. Her parents, Integral Yoga Ministers Bhagavan and Bhavani Metro, moved several times to ensure her and her five siblings received an Integral Yoga School/Yogaville Vidyalayam education from 1st to 12th grade. At the young age of 18, Radha was already certified as both a Hatha Yoga and Raja Yoga instructor. Furthermore, she was among a select group of four individuals to receive the direct blessing of Dharma confirmation from Swami Satchidananda, a rare and highly coveted honor.


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