Dry January is a time for people to start the year new and re-assess their relationship with alcohol. Being sober brings a lot of challenges, especially when so many social activities revolve around clubs, bars, or parties with heavy drinking. However, taking this month to abstain from drinking brings light to how someone may feel when they don’t drink regularly. Dry January can highlight the physical and mental changes one experiences by cutting alcohol out. The pandemic has only added to the stress of our daily lives and many people are facing an increase in alcohol or substance abuse. The loneliness of addiction may make one feel lost or alone but the Phoenix offers a unique form of support for these individuals.

The Phoenix is an organization that provides free fitness to anyone who is at least 48 hours sober. Their mission is to “build a sober active community that fuels resilience and harnesses the transformational power of connection so that together we rise, cover, and live.” But what makes this organization unique is not just the fitness classes or gym access – it’s the community bond that holds them together.

I spoke with Zobel Belisario, the Volunteer Manager for the Phoenix. They said: “What I think is so unique about us as an organization is that it is about the work out but it’s also about the people you meet and the community you build and the support you find here.” As of December 2021, 77,234 people have been served, 87% of which have reported remaining sober after 3 months. For the Phoenix, the ultimate goal of their work is about more than a good workout: it’s about giving more people access to free programs, finding community, and encouraging sobriety.

For Zobel, their work with the Phoenix is more than a job – it’s about the people they’ve met and the events that have fostered a community of mutual support. This work is deeply personal to them. They stated that “I do still hit highs and lows but the community that I found and the support I found helped me stay sober so I wish I got that earlier.” Through classes and events, members are able to focus on both physical and mental health by getting a good workout and finding support for continued sobriety. What makes the Phoenix unique is the relationships formed and the connections made. The Phoenix supplements therapy or meetings or the support of loved ones by creating a community based on health, self-improvement, and sobriety.

In support of the Phoenix, Three and Half Acres’ Junior Board is hosting “Raising Spirits & Sober Support”, a mocktail event for the THAY community that encourages sobriety by making yummy drinks without the alcohol. Hosts and participants will meet with a bartender, Warren, over zoom to learn how to make a delicious mocktail. This takes place on Thursday, February 17th, 2022 from 7-8:30 PM, a wonderful night to get cozy with loved ones and make a fun drink. Join us for a spirited Thursday night without the spirits! All proceeds help sustain THAY’s work.


THREE AND A HALF ACRES YOGA is a nonprofit, trauma-informed yoga collective based out of New York City, bringing yoga, meditation, and mindfulness programs to underserved communities and vulnerable populations.

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