LoveYourBrain yoga has been the single most positive experience that I’ve had during my recovery. I’ve been through over nine concussions and never found something that I could do to make myself feel better besides waiting it out and weathering the concussion storm.
Each year over 2.5 million people sustain a traumatic brain injury—from concussions to severe trauma—in the United States. Traumatic brain injury (TBI) often leads to physical weakness, balance problems, isolation, and depression that compromise quality of life. This is why we at the LoveYourBrain Foundation have launched a program to support TBI survivors and their caregivers to participate in gentle yoga and meditation classes tailored to their needs. Check out our website and resources.
We are working to partner with yoga studios across the US to offer our program. Sabra, one of the amazing TBI survivors that we have met through our program in Burlington, Vermont, shared how she came to LYB Yoga and why it has resonated with her so deeply.
I signed up for LYB yoga by accident. This happy accident was the beginning of a part of my life that I truly cherish. I was so overjoyed to hear that I could attend six weeks of yoga classes with people that understood my injury. I desperately wanted to feel better and was excited to try this new option. Over my 12-year struggle with concussion, I had yet to be presented with an active recovery option. Most people tell you what you can’t do and LYB told me that I could do something and it was tailor made for me and my recovery!
While nursing myself back from concussions, trying new things or even revisiting activities has seemed impossible or painful. The normal arch of a day can cause immense amount of pain in the form of headaches, nausea, dizziness, whatever symptom of the day my brain decided to trigger. That pain instills a fear of trying new things. So, I was nervous and wondered how would yoga make me feel better? I reassured myself that a yoga studio was one of the only places in public that was guaranteed to be quiet, serene, non-judgment—simply put, a really safe space. I thought if the class wasn’t going well, I could just lay on my yoga mat in the middle of the studio and at least be around people for an hour. Knowing of how accepting yoga is, I felt better and unrolled my yoga mat; ready to try.
After the first class, I physically felt the same. For me, moving for an hour and feeling the same is absolutely huge! I could do this and not feel worse or slide backwards in any way! My spirits were lifted! After two classes, feeling the same stretched into a breakthrough. I forgot for an hour that I had a concussion and all the pain and anxiety melted away. Forgetting the injury and the pain is like peaking around the corner at feeling normal, and LYB yoga was the sole reason I turned that corner of my last concussion. I also felt—for the first time in two and a half months—no headaches and completely pain-free. These classes have become the reset button for my body and my pain levels. It’s absolutely incredible!
Our program meets TBI survivors where they are so that they can draw upon yoga’s myriad physical, emotional, and social benefits to support their healing. To make this a reality, we are conducting teacher training workshops to train yoga teachers how to effectively adapt yoga and meditation for the TBI community. We provide a curriculum that incorporates TBIfocused yoga and meditation best practices, class themes to foster resilience and compassion, and group discussion to build community. We are so grateful to be able to share our training as part of the Sedona Yoga Festival.
The LoveYourBrain Foundation is a social profit organization that aims to improve the quality of life for people affected by TBI. Our message—LoveYourBrain—embodies our positive approach to brain injury prevention, recovery, and health. Learn more about us and our yoga program here.
LoveYourBrain makes me smile. Just the thought of those three little words. It’s involuntary. I have to smile. I finally get to love my brain during a concussion. It’s possibility, positivity, caring, and feeling more normal.
LoveYourBrain Foundation will be part of the faculty for the Pre-Conference Training at SYF2016!