Brain Injury … Why brain injury?

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I was contacted in 2007 with an inquiry to lead private yoga sessions for a woman 25 years young, AnnaMarie who had survived TBI, Traumatic Brain Injury four years prior. I was honest over the phone that I’d never worked with any anyone in this healing situation and I knew nothing of such a trauma or how I would ‘teach’ her yoga. Her mother was comfortable with this and without hesitation I arranged to meet her and see if we had a good connection and we’d decide how to move forward from there.

It was a slow start but we connected well and agreed to take it one session at a time to see how it would pan out. It took time to become comfortable with each other and I had to assess what I could ‘teach’ her.

Our first visit took her out of her familiar setting (which I found out later is very important to have routine for people with brain injury) and definitely was a challenge for her.

It was amazing to see in just a few sessions AnnaMarie progressed from lying on the floor to assisted bridge to the point we were on the floor side by side practicing bridge pose. Immediately she caught on to moving herself in and out of poses with an awesome awareness of her breath. I introduced breathing techniques to calm the brain and the entire nervous system.

I was surprised that she was as strong and at times more flexible than a lot of my advanced yoga students. I knew nothing of ABI, Acquired Brain Injury and I never focused on what AnnaMarie couldn’t do and tried everything. She was inspiring with her trust in me and her zeal to try any poses I introduced to her.

Little did I know how my teaching would be challenged and changed forever, how my heart would be touched, my mind would be expanded by AnnaMarie and her family. I feel such joy in helping people of all abilities with healing, self-support, and moving forward.

I knew nothing of TBI or ABI until 2007 and the more I learn the more I realize we ALL need to be informed, preventive, and willing to help each other. Anyone with an ABI needs help and at anytime that could be someone we love or us ourselves.

I hope you’ll feel moved to help : Team AnnaMarie ~ Register or donate to today!

Annual Walk for Thought
Sunday October 24, 2010
Rentschler Field in East Hartford, CT


1 comment

1 Chris Warren { 10.08.10 at 1:05 am }

Your impact on Anna-Marie’s recovery is huge. You have all her Dr.’s amazed as the only thing to attribute her added strength and agility is Yoga. She has regained so much with your teaching. Brain injury is not easy and at times can be the most trying experience for both of you but your patience, caring and support has sustain a life long friend in Anna-Marie and in me. I will always remember you saying to me,” I never ask what she can’t do and teach as if she can do anything… xoxoxox