#466 – Yoga Therapy for Addiction, Depression & Anxiety with Sarahjoy Marsh

Sarahjoy Marsh


Sarahjoy Marsh, M.A. is a vibrant, compassionate catalyst for transformation to those that suffer from addictions—in particular eating disorders. A sought after teacher of teachers, with a master’s in counseling, she has been training yoga teachers, yoga outreach volunteers, and mental health providers—including clinical psychologists and socials workers—in yoga therapy tools for 26 years.

In her new book, Hunger, Hope & Healing: A Yoga Approach to Reclaiming Your Relationship to Your Body and Food (Shambhala Publications/2015) Sarahjoy fuses yoga with psychology, neuroscience, breathing interventions, and mindfulness techniques, to bring readers with eating disorders, disordered eating, and body image issues a practical and accessible guide to recovery.

Committed to supporting marginalized populations and using yoga for social justice, Sarahjoy is the founder of two non-profits. Living Yoga brings yoga to prisons, alcohol and drug rehab centers, and transitional facilities. DAYA Foundation teaches yoga and mindfulness tools to those with addiction, anxiety or depression; medical issues such as cancer, multiple sclerosis and Parkinson’s disease; and social or financial constraints.

Sarahjoy is a regular retreat teacher at Kripalu Yoga Center in Western MA and Breitenbush Hot Springs in OR and leads annual international yoga retreats to India. Her teachings are informed by personal life events, including serious injury from a car accident, resulting in a hip replacement at 42 and early life struggles with disordered eating behaviors. She resides in Portland, Oregon and maintains a thriving schedule of classes, teacher trainings, and private consults.

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A psychology podcast by David Van Nuys, Ph.D.

copyright 2015: David Van Nuys, Ph.D.



  1. RIch Featherly
    Posted July 30, 2015 at 10:42 am | Permalink

    Sarahjoy is brilliant. This was a wonderful interview. I don’t do yoga but I read Yoga Journal. Well I read some of the articles anyway.
    A few years ago, I was thinking of giving up on my Quaker practice in favor of Yoga. I had a dream that I was up on a very high platform above a lake. I was trying to fish and realized I would never be able to catch anything or land it from way up there. I climbed down and saw a badly damaged canoe on shore. I stepped down onto the water and realized I must be dreaming or else I wouldn’t have been able to walk on the water and woke up. I’ve often had dreams about canoeing which I’ve associated with my Quaker religion. I suspect the platform was symbolic my fascination with Yoga. I suspect Sarahjoy’s yoga would not be symbolized as up on a platform.

  2. Mahyar
    Posted August 2, 2015 at 11:04 am | Permalink

    I agree!!!
    Sarahjoy IS brilliant!
    I also think that the title “Yoga Therapy for Addiction, Depression & Anxiety” does not do justice to the interview. The interview I heard covers much more than what I thought I knew about yoga in a therapeutic context. Her narration is something really different from what I’ve seen as yoga therapy. It’s much more colorful and alive. To me, she also sounds sincere and truthful, as well as lucid and comprehensible.
    I also recommend the listeners to hear Dr. Dave reading out the characteristics she names for a yoga teacher. Those criteria can help you find a teacher who knows how to be of the best possible help.

  3. Jane
    Posted April 30, 2016 at 3:27 pm | Permalink

    Love your podcast, dr Dave. Thanks for flagging SarahJoy’s episode.
    SarahJoy, I am an LICSW and long time practitioner of yoga for wellness. I now have the privilege of providing yoga support on an inpatient dual dx unit and I use this paradigm- (ever so gentle) asanas as a metaphor to learn self compassion, tolerance and grace. I’m going to order your book and teach your skills as well, your language speaks to me. Blessings for sharing your journey with the world. What a gift!

    Dr Dave, your venue contributes to my journey as a healer. Blessings. I’m going to contribute to your pod cast right now! Keep going! You’re brilliant!

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