is 39 years old from Oslo, Norway. He started experiencing with drugs when he was 14 and turned to harder drugs when he was 20. For the last twenty years he has been in and out of jail and various rehabs. During his last sentence, two years ago, he managed to get off Subutex and is now completely clean. Nicolai is a great amateur boxer and is fighting his way back to a normal life and aspires to get a normal job. His greatest dream is to marry a beautiful woman from an upper-class family, and then settle down and have some kids.
Nomzi Kumalo Polteau (38) has a beautifully spirited 10 year old son. They have lived in Oslo for 9 years. Nomzi has her Master studies in Fine Art and was a painter for many years. Nomzi has battled with anxiety and alcohol abuse for twenty years. She has been sober for 9 months since admitting herself into rehab. She wants to live that authentic life she has always dreamed of with her son. Nomzi truly believes that sobriety, yoga and music are important keys to her successful life as a mother and as an artist.
Helge is 40 years old from Lier, Norway. At 15 he started experiencing with drugs and became hooked on Heroine at the age of 29. After seven years he managed to get enrolled in a Methadone program and for the last three years he has not touched heroine once. Helge has always been fond of gymnastics and was on the Norwegian National team in his youth. He is now fighting his way to reclaim his physic and believes yoga is the greatest way to do this. Helge's greatest dream is to one day become a yoga teacher and share some of the great yoga experiences with others.
Six years of heroin addiction almost killed Ole when he was infected with hepatitis and delta virus in 1994. After a liver transplant in January 2011 he was taking 460mg of methadone a day for the pain. One year later he was able to come down to 90mg and in June 2012 decided to go cold turkey off the medication. After a few months of pain he finally succeeded and has now been completely clean for two years. In his teens he was educated as a chef and has worked in hotel, restaurants and in the army. He was a master chef for two years before he became hooked on heroin. Once caught up in the drugs, his life became a living hell. After his liver transplantation he found himself very weak, never expecting to regain his physique and stamina. However, due to the last months of dedicated yoga practice, Ole now feels as fit as a fiddle and as physically strong as his early twenties, before the drugs start to wreck his body. Now, due to his regained health and strength, Ole has enrolled in a study program to graduate from the Norwegian Institute of Sport, hoping to specialize in yoga. Ole wants to incorporate his love for great food, by learning “conscious cooking”, supported by ethical rules and dreams of opening a vegetarian restaurant in Oslo one day.
Sven started with alcohol, marijuana and tablets when he was thirteen years old. Otherwise, he lived a normal teenage life, until he eventually tried morphine when he was seventeen. Eventually he cleaned up and went to a Maritime school for a few years. After being at sea for a few months, he moved with his family to Oslo, Norway where he started using drugs again. Eventually he got in to rehab, was clean for four years, but then had a few relapses and was back in the race. Now he is on medication (Subutex), but has a deep longing to go off it completely. Sven’s first experience of yoga was in rehab, and he feels privileged to be part of the “Back in the Ring” project and deepen his understanding of Yoga. Sven is a firm believer that the joy and happiness he founds in Yoga helps him to live a more meaningful life. He also believes yoga gives him a similar experience as drugs, but in a more natural, organic way! Sven has great dreams of finding a beautiful wife one day and a job where he hopes to express his creativity. Money is secondary, as long as he can use his talents.
From Hashish to Heroin, Fredy has tried it all and was hooked on Heroine for 8 years. Being caught up in the race, Fredy felt incredibly lonely and lost. He went through great hardships to get money, but managed to hold onto his own apartment. During the last few years Fredy has worked really hard to get his life back in order and now, at 34, he is working with people with disabilities and brain damage. At present he is a volunteer secretary in an organization in Oslo called "Mental Health". Fredy is also really fond of writing and enjoys using his words to express how he feels and seeing the world. Fredy is also a great football player. When Fredy returns from India, he will go back to school to get his proper qualifications so he can enroll in a study program and eventually become a nurse. Fredy wants to use his experience with drugs to help others. If possible he even dreams of making an educational book for children, where they can come to learn about all the negative side effects from using drugs. Yoga gives Fredy inner peace and he feels it improves his physical and mental health dramatically. Fredy firmly believes yoga can help him stay clean and achieve his goals in life.
Rebecca is 36 years old from Oslo, Norway and the mother of four. She was a heroine addict for ten years. For eight years she received methadone treatment and for the last two years she has been taking Subutex. Rebecca shows great interest in arts and loves theatre, drawing and making jewelry. Rebecca is also a great sport enthusiast and is up for any challenge. Her greatest longing is to gain more contact with her children and gain more self-confidence to do the things she wants to do.
Lars André is 30 years old from Vestby, Norway. When he was 14 he started experiencing with amphetamine and various pills. A few years later he got caught up in the house/techno scene and experienced with all kinds of party drugs. By the time he was 22 he begun experiencing with Heroine hoping to get some sleep and relax. A few years later he was hooked on the needle and then his life quickly fell apart. Three years into the race he finally understood he needed help and tried various rehabs. During his last stay at Tyrili (a rehab institution in Norway), he finally got off Heroine and has stayed sober for two years. Lars André is a great baker and fond of sweets. He has been a dedicated practitioner of yoga for six months and feel it helps his recovery tremendously.
His greatest interests are snowboarding, running and theatre. Lars André keeps a list of all the greatest films ever produced and his greatest dream is to get a good permanent job one day and eventually get his own apartment – and then hopefully – have his own family.