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Knoxville yoga studio celebrates Fridays with 'Sober Happy Hour' to help those recovering from addiction

Renegade Yoga Center ends the work week with mindful sobriety through an addiction recovery yoga class.

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — There's a local yoga spot bringing a new meaning to "happy hour" on Fridays with recovery yoga. 

For people in addiction recovery -- the words "Friday Night" can strike the fear of relapsing. According to the American Addiction Centers, weekends can trigger high stress for people in the first days, weeks, or even months of recovery.

"Sober Happy Hour" is a yoga class that promotes mindful sobriety to kick off the weekend. It’s been in action for about seven years thanks to Heather Hutcheson, who started the class.

Just off Sutherland Avenue, Renegade Yoga has become a home to many searching for a healthy fitness regimen. Jeanie Matthews is both a massage therapist and yoga teacher there.

"I do my 12-step program as well as a yoga program because they're both an austere program for that spiritual connection," Matthews said. "Your body and your mind connect with the divine.”

Sweating their way to and through sobriety, these yoga students and teachers are finding a way to well-being.

"Yoga and a strong recovery program essentially have the same aim," Matthews said.

Jeff Bell started working the front when he moved back to Knoxville years ago. Celebrating his eleventh year of sobriety, he said he’s found a sense of home at the yoga studio.

"Everyone who comes in here is coming to better themself," he said.

It’s an environment he said soothes the soul and welcomes anyone and everyone to participate in yoga as a way of maintaining sobriety or overall mental and physical health. Bell is now the manager of this studio.

"At first this was really just a part-time job for me," he said.

Now it's a lifestyle. Bell said he's found his revival in the positive energy that greets him there daily.

"Everyone's on their own path, and I'm happy with mine," Bell said.

Now he works alongside the Sober Happy Hour creator, helping others on their journey.

"Heather is just amazing. She donated her time, she collected yoga mats and clothing for people who need to come to yoga but don't have it or can afford it," Bell said.

Sober Happy Hour classes are not free, but there’s no set price either. Yoga students have the opportunity to pay what they can. For some, that means paying less than a normal class fee. For others, it will mean paying more.

"We just pass around the karma bowl, and people pay what they can so that anyone can be here who needs to be," Bell said.

This yoga studio helps more people than just those on their road to addiction recovery. Bell said all those seeking serenity are welcome.

"To heal themself from an injury, emotional damage, some type of trauma scars," he said.

Find more information and schedules on Renegade Yoga Center’s website.

If you or someone you know is struggling with addiction, there is help. The McNabb Center is ready to take your call 24/7 at (865) 539-2409. Find 10News resources here.