Yoga, Meditation, and Community for individuals affected by traumatic brain injury
Last summer, I took a jaunt to Chicago to become certified to teach yoga and meditation classes designed especially for people who have experienced traumatic brain injuries (TBIs). It was an incredible weekend of learning, and I came home inspired to be able to share the gifts I’ve experienced from yoga with a population who may be able to uniquely benefit from the practice.
We are all familiar with concussions and brain injuries that occur in the course of sport. This is big news these days, especially in the NHL and NFL. But TBI is far more commonplace than most of us realize. According to the Journal of Neurosurgery, 69 million people worldwide experience TBI annually, and the World Health Organization predicts it will become the third leading cause of death and disability in the world next year.
That’s a lot of people.
Many of us who practice yoga regularly have experienced the benefits of enhanced strength and balance, decreased levels of stress, improved attention and memory. A growing science has shown these practices are especially beneficial for the TBI community.
The Love Your Brain (LYB) Foundation was developed by brothers Kevin and Adam Pierce. Kevin was a world class snowboarder who suffered a near-fatal TBI while training for the 2010 winter Olympics. Several years later, when Kevin was introduced to a yoga and meditation practice, it changed his life.
A Path to Resilience is a 6-class series that is based on the Love Your Brain program. Class begins with 10 minutes of focused breathing, followed by 45 minutes of asana. Each posture has been chosen to address or compensate for common TBI symptoms. The sequences progress slowly in order to prevent cognitive processing overload.
After the asana come 15 minutes of guided meditation and then 20 minutes of facilitated discussion.
The series is offered at a discounted rate to individuals who have experienced TBI and their caregivers. TBI-friendly classes are offered at the lower rate for all students who successfully complete A Path to Resistance.
If you have experienced a brain injury or know someone who has, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more.
Kali's Gift Yoga Blog
I began practicing Hatha and flow, and fell in love. Not only did my body get stronger, my mind quieted and I was better able to focus. I began to develop more steadiness and ease not only on the mat, but in the rest of my life as well.