Can Yoga Fix Charlie Sheen? ~ Kimber Simpkins

Via elephant journal
on Mar 4, 2011
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From the great blog by Steve Bossenberger

Imagine: Charlie Sheen walks into your yoga class, rolls out a mat, and takes a seat. Over eight years of teaching, I’ve seen yoga help all kinds of crazy, including my own. Depressives who admit there’s a bright side, compulsives who learn to laugh at themselves, Anxious Annies who sit and breathe through the static. One frequently raging student surprised himself by not yelling at a passing car.

Can you be too crazy for yoga to help?

From the fantastic blog Why Fame

Yoga’s definitely got the goods Charlie Sheen needs—centeredness, focus, peace of mind, even, dare I say, humility. There’s nothing like a face-plant while launching into an arm-balance to assure you, nope, that is not tiger blood running through your veins.

And breathing—do you suppose that’s what’s ailing him? A shortage of oxygen to the brain?  An entire ninety minute class of ujjayi breath and hip openers might be exactly what it takes to land him back on planet Earth.

Certainly yoga could help him channel that drug he’s on—known as Charlie Sheen—toward good rather than evil, toward sun salutations and handstands instead of couch surfing daytime talk shows. And the self-awareness yoga offers might be a revelation to Charlie—yes, you are special. And so is everyone else. He might find himself responding instead of reacting, pausing thoughtfully before he speaks, or god forbid, placing someone else’s well-being before his own.

I’m not saying it’s likely. Just possible. Though much less entertaining.

If he could contain his manic magic on his mat long enough to hold some standing poses and forward bends, a few back-bends and twists, I imagine he would meet his tired body in savasana and finally find himself at home. A refuge within himself that his celebrity and crazy-making never touch.

What do you think?  What kind of yoga would help Charlie Sheen?


Kimber Simpkins is a Certified Anusara Yoga Instructor and the author of the memoir Finding Fullness: How one woman found yoga, eased her inner hunger, and started loving herself (yet to be published). Currently, she’s writing her second book, The Love Your Body Book, on her blog based on the workshop in which she shares with women the tools that led her from loathing her body to loving it. She comes from a family of lay preachers, teachers, singers, and healers and is happy to have found an occupation that seems to blend all of these roles.  When not on her yoga mat, Kimber may be found playing, writing, or hula-hooping in her backyard garden.  You can reach Kimber and find her schedule at her website or email her directly at [email protected]


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14 Responses to “Can Yoga Fix Charlie Sheen? ~ Kimber Simpkins”

  1. I would have to ask why do you think Charlie Sheen or anyone else for that matter needs to be fixed? People in general can't be fixed by another. when someone wants to fix another it is control issue they themselves have and need to go look in the mirror. Love and acceptance is what people first and foremost are looking for and only then will they entertain the idea of the self responsibility of change, if it is apart of their path. And who are we to judge that what he is doing, saying and acting is wrong? we don't live with him or live his life, we get snipets of what the media and Charlie Sheen wants us to see. Its quite arrogant of anyone, including myself, to assume someone needs fixing. Yoga worked for you plus millions of others because the mind, body and soul was ready to take that particular path of self responsibility. We all have our path/journey…our path/journey is ours and ours alone…

  2. keely says:

    hi kimber!

    thanks for this post. charlie seriously needs some yoga, but i imagine he needs a very heart-centered class and years of daily practice to really tone it down.

    good to see you on here!


  3. Enjoyed this, Kimber. I hope something helps Charlie.

    Posting to Elephant Yoga on Facebook and Twitter.

    Bob W.
    Yoga Editor

  4. boulderwind says:

    Charlie has a mental illness. I believe he is bipolar and an addict who self medicates to manage his mood disorder. I think he needs meds to stabilize his brain. Only once he is stabilized, would he be able to do a regular yoga practice, which I am sure would benefit him immensely. But until then, I think that it is naive to think that in his state (unmedicated bipolar) he could even focus enough to do a consistent daily yoga practice which is what he would need to break through.

  5. Kimber says:

    @boulderwind: Yes, just from a practical point of view, if he couldn't sit still long enough to get through a yoga class, he wouldn't be "present" enough to get anything out of it. (Though it might make for a hilarious episode of Two and a Half Men.) And to do yoga long term requires commitment,: hard when you're emotionally cycling. In mild cases, someone might be able to receive quite a few benefits from it, but I'm not sure what Charlie Sheen has can be called "mild." I wonder if anyone out there has had personal experience with this they'd like to share?
    @Christi: Fix also means to steady or influence. I think yoga can have a steadying influence on nearly everyone. Charlie Sheen is no exception. I'm fond of Suzuki Roshi's quote: "You are perfect just the way you are, and you could use a little improvement." A little improvement might go a long way for Charlie Sheen. He doesn't do small.

  6. 13thfloorelevators says:

    One of the most heinous consequences of medical-coercive psychiatry is that it has encouraged people to substitute real insight for lay "diagnosis" of various personalities, public figures, friends, and family members. While his behavior suggests he's not doing well, this response is largely inappropriate.

  7. 13thfloorelevators says:

    Do you really believe Charlie Sheen is happy? She never said he *should* do yoga. She asked whether yoga *could* help him. The answer to that question is helpful for everyone reading this. It's not really about Mr. Sheen, but the benefits of yoga for anyone who occasionally or frequently finds themselves suffering from a bit of the Sheen.

  8. boulderwind says:

    I actually work in the field. And while he is not a client and I cannot speak to his exact situation, he seems to be a classic case. And psychiatry does help people. Some people need pharmaceutical meds. And while I do not doubt that yoga could help someone like him as part of a treatment plan, my experience with this sort of person is that they would not have the discipline to do a daily yoga practice unless they were medicated.

  9. 13thfloorelevators says:

    The "field" engages in a wholesale abuse of the public by improperly applying the medical model to mental illness, and that you openly embrace that doesn't help your case. It isn't particularly flattering to your intellect, either.

  10. boulderwind says:

    Much mental illness is biochemical , biological and genetic in origin. Sounds to me like you have had a lot of negative experiences with mental health professionals. There are good ones out there, and bipolar is one that responds well to the meds a lot of the time.

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  12. Hanuman says:

    I took the maximum recommended daily dosage of one-or-another SSRI for seven years before I took my first yoga class. The teacher talked about how we treat our minds and our bodies as if they were separate, not part of our whole self. Within the first hour of the ninety-minute class, I was hooked. I was in an altered state, a good one, for about three days.

    The next month, I took my first class from Kimber. She talked about how difficult it is to really communicate, when we each have our own meanings for the words we use. She spoke to me! It seemed she was reading from my mental copy of Godel, Escher, Bach: An Eternal Golden Braid.

    I noticed myself calming, almost from the very first class. I'm healthier. I've lost more than forty pounds that Paxil packed on me. I started to pay more attention to my spending, and reduced it to less than my income. And I got off the psycho-pharmaceuticals within a year or so of starting yoga.

    And, I stopped yelling at passing cars.

  13. guest says:

    I took SSRIs for seven years before I found yoga. I was hooked from my first class: it left me in an altered (for the better) state for three days. I became calmer, almost at once. Within eighteen months, I was off the psycho-pharmaceuticals. I lost the weight Paxil put on. I started paying attention to my finances, and started spending less than I took in. And, I stopped yelling at cars!

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