Day 31: A Path to Clarity

Led by Ramsay Pierce

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Ramsay Pierce, E-RYT 200, YACEP is the LoveYourBrain Yoga Program Manager, serving to help sustainably scale LoveYourBrain's TBI-centered Yoga program across North America. As a certified yoga instructor with over 1,000 hours of teaching experience, she assists in leading LoveYourBrain's teacher trainings to empower yoga teachers and clinicians in how to adapt yoga and meditation practices for TBI. She is a yoga instructor in Denver, Colorado where she also teaches the LoveYourBrain FUNdamentals series.

Day 30: Self-care after injury

Led by Pam Stevens-Snyder

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March is Brain Injury Awareness Month, so I wrote and recorded this meditation with the hopes of helping someone else recovering from traumatic brain injury. I know first-hand what it's like to work through a brain injury, having suffered one 7 years ago during a random assault. I fully understand the pain, the confusion, the frustration! Meditation has given me hope and has allowed me to fully accept who I am now, with peace, love, and compassion, and I felt compelled to share that with others.


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Pam is a yoga instructor who shares yoga and meditation with people recovering from mild TBI, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, and anxiety.  Having suffered a TBI in 2010, she fully understands the mental and physical impact of such an injury and the importance of offering hope and joy to her students. She teaches people with and without injuries, and offers all of her students classes that best suit their needs.  Her most popular classes are those that combine slow flows, meditation, and breath work to allow her students to reconnect internally without judgement, and with peace. 

Day 29: Finding Love Within

Led by Kevin Pearce

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After my TBI, I found myself going down a road of thinking negatively, wishing things were different, wishing I was different. When I met with my doctor, he explained that my mind was in a pattern of having “automatic negative thoughts (ANTS).” This was a huge revelation and helped me become more proactive about ways to shift my thinking to a more positive space.  

For me, meditation has been a really effective way in and a way out of my ANTS. It’s been a way for me to dive into my mind to become aware of these patterns and then learn how to find ways to release them. Meditation has given me a path to slowing down, being present with what I do have, and finding perspective about how I create my reality--not my ANTS. So, the meditation I am going to share is all about this idea that love and positivity come from within. When I give myself the space to just be as I am, accepting the parts that I am proud of and frustrated by together, I feel happier and more optimistic about life.


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Kevin Pearce experienced a severe TBI in 2010 when training for the Vancouver winter olympics. Since that time, he founded the LoveYourBrain Foundation alongside his brother, Adam, and has been working to build a positive community for others affected by brain injury.

 

Day 28: Tonglen

Led by Kyla Pearce

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Kyla serves as the Senior Director of the LoveYourBrain Yoga program, overseeing the design, implementation, and evaluation of the program on a national level. She has been part of the Pearce family for years, and, following Kevin's accident, played an integral role in the launch of LoveYourBrain. Kyla has blended her expertise as a yoga teacher and researcher to develop a TBI-centered yoga curriculum, which she trains yoga teachers and clinicians to deliver through workshops across the country. She is also pursuing a doctorate from Dartmouth College with research interests in the application of yoga and meditation for therapeutic purposes.

Day 27: Tonglen

 Led By Asa Angel

 

This meditation practice helps to cultivate a sense of compassion for ourselves and others. Instead of avoiding suffering, through this practice we can open our hearts and change pain into something that is more loving and kind. Practicing tonglen gives us a method of cultivating our mind to become change agents in creating a more positive world.



Asa is a yoga teacher based in Providence, Rhode Island and also works for LoveYourBrain as a Yoga Program Coordinator. She is deeply committed to cultivating meditative spaces, through which we can access deeper parts of ourselves and bring about lasting transformation. Asa understands that it is in the spaces between thoughts, words, and actions where we can achieve a sense of relaxation and connection to the world around us.

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Day 26: Mudra Meditation for Tension Relief

Led by Kathleen Burr

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Today’s practice focuses on relieving tension from the entire body, especially from the head and neck. This meditation uses a Mudra or hand gesture to facilitate the release of stress and tension. Mudras expand and channel the breath to promote balance on all levels of being.


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Kathleen Burr is a Certified Yoga Therapist (C-IAYT) and Registered Yoga Teacher (RYT). She teaches Therapeutic and Restorative Yoga at PranaShanti Yoga Centre in Ottawa, Ontario.

 

Day 25: Meditation on Connection and Love

Led by Marlysa Sullivan

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Today’s practice focuses on the cultivation of qualities of connection and love to help build compassion. This practice starts with a brief attention to the breath and then an exploration of what brings you connection and love. You are invited to feel that love and connection in your body and to share it with other people in your life.


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Marlysa Sullivan is a physical therapist and yoga therapist. She is an assistant professor at Maryland University of Integrative Health in the Masters of Science in Yoga Therapy and adjunct faculty at Emory in the physical therapy department. She also helps to lead yoga teacher trainings through the center for integrative yoga studies and is an active participant in research.

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Day 24: Karuna (compassion)

Led by ian wilkes

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This meditation is designed to grow our heart of compassion toward ourselves and others, especially in the face of inner difficulties. .
 


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Ian is a yoga and meditation teacher from Norwich Vermont USA. Ian has traveled the world extensively as student to the sacred and ancient healing practices from many indigeounous cultures. From living in silence with Buddhist monks in northern Burma to being an apprentice to indigenous plant shamans in the Amazon to living in yoga ashrams throughout India, Ian brings a unique and dynamic approach to opening the heart, grounding the mind in the present and creating the conditions for insight by utilizing healing practices from around the world.  In 2016 Ian created the grassroots charity organization Anahata Ma which brings teachers of healing practice from all over the world together to share their gifts by donation to raise money to build clean water systems in tribal villages and support a small orphanage in southern India.  Ian continues to travel globally both as a teacher and student and holds a summer teaching residency at various yoga studios and Buddhist temples in Berlin Germany.  

Day 23: On the B.R.N.C OF COMPASSION

Led by Kyla Pearce


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Kyla serves as the Senior Director of the LoveYourBrain Yoga program, overseeing the design, implementation, and evaluation of the program on a national level. She has been part of the Pearce family for years, and, following Kevin's accident, played an integral role in the launch of LoveYourBrain. Kyla has blended her expertise as a yoga teacher and researcher to develop a TBI-centered yoga curriculum, which she trains yoga teachers and clinicians to deliver through workshops across the country. She is also pursuing a doctorate from Dartmouth College with research interests in the application of yoga and meditation for therapeutic purposes.

Day 22: Earth Release Meditation

Earth Release Meditation

Led by Laura Hand

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This is a nourishing meditation for the mind and body designed to help release any heavy thoughts, patterns, and emotions by energetically giving them to the earth.


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Based in Hanover, New Hampshire, Laura is a yoga teacher, travel enthusiast, and above all else, a believer in love. She believes that in all forms, in all ways, love is at the heart of healing. Laura teaches in the LoveYourBrain yoga program and has witnessed again and again that breath and movement are universal, self-inquiry is human, and community elevates. Inspired by the people she has met along the way, Laura is committed to offering an accessible practice and being a part of the movement to reshape the way we think, feel, and talk about our brains. She understands that we can find sanctuary inside the four corners of a mat or any place where we choose to drop into the state of yoga, to regularly experience a sense of wholeness and belonging. It is for this reason that she feels a sacred responsibility in providing a container for others to explore and practice.

Day 21: Stillness & Ease

Led by Jamie Surya

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This meditation practice will encourage you to find stillness in your physical body and ease your breath to feel an overall sense of softness and peace. This practice, that can be done anytime, anywhere, will allow you feel the physical and mental benefits of pausing and slowing down. All you need is yourself, and the willingness to be at ease.


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Jamie Surya E-RYT 200 has owned the Jamie Surya Yoga Studio RYS 200 in Sparkill, N.Y. since September 2012. She has been practicing Yoga since she found it at 18 years old as a way to ease the pain that comes with life. With a connection to the philosophy of Yoga, Jamie’s teaching is deeply rooted in the ancient art of the practice, along with an emphasis on anatomy and physiology. She views Yoga as a method to heal, strengthen and support the body, mind, and soul. Jamie is passionate about offering yoga to all bodies and abilities. She offers a series of Adaptive Yoga at her studio, including the LoveYourBrain Fundamentals Series, Trauma-Sensitive Yoga and Yoga for Mental Health (PTSD, anxiety, depression, eating disorders and substance abuse).

Day 20: Withdrawing our Senses

Led by Holle Black, E-RYT 500

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Pratyahara--withdrawing our senses--is a yoga technique on the pathway to finding greater peace. The outside world can be distracting and overwhelming, so we can use Pratyahara to bring greater calm and focus to our mind.


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Holle Black, E-RYT 50 is a Yoga Therapist with a strong interest and passion for teaching yoga therapeutically and in underserved populations, especially in the trauma population. She is part of an ongoing study and has led 2 pilot groups and 4 research groups studying the medical benefits of yoga on women with PTSD from sexual trauma while in the military. Her love of teaching yoga and seeing the benefit of yoga for both underserved and the trauma population has also led her to co-develop and co-direct Centering Youth, a nonprofit organization whose mission it is to bring Yoga and Mindfulness to people in the juvenile or adult criminal justice system, those who have been sexually exploited, abused or are homeless and others who have not had the opportunity to experience the benefits of Yoga and Mindfulness. You can learn more about this organization at www.centeringyouth.com.

Day 19: Breath Calming Meditation

Led by Kelly Boys

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One important--yet often overlooked--aspect of resilience is rest. Try this practice just before bed as a way to use deep breathing and body sensing to sleep more deeply.  


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Kelly Boys is a meditation teacher and freelance producer at Sounds True Publishing and the host of Mindfulness Monthly, an online training and practice community dedicated to exploring mindfulness in daily life. Kelly has worked at Google, in prisons and veteran centers, and with United Nations humanitarian workers in the Middle East delivering mindfulness programs.

Day 18: Cultivating Inner Silence

Led by Erin Collins, RN BSN RYT

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This meditation practice turns our attention inward, to our own ability to find a quiet place within. It is helpful in times of busyness, when we get overstimulated by external commitments or internal chatter.


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Erin Collins is a registered nurse and yoga instructor in Bend, Oregon. She is honored to teach the FUNdamentals series for the Love Your Brain Foundation. Her style is warm, nurturing, heartfelt and casual. Her teaching is focused on the inherent beauty of breath and movement  in yoga, and her classes offer quiet and space for internal study with gentle guidance to find the awareness of our bodies that asana offers. Learn mor at www.breathelovepeace.com.

Day 17: I am Resilient

Led by Courtney Amber Kilian

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Today's practice focuses on deep and gentle breathing for relaxation, and uses mantras to awaken the stability, strength, and resiliency within you.


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Courtney Amber Kilian teaches writing, meditation, and gentle yoga in San Diego. In 2012, she had a brain injury in a car accident. Her healing journey led her to yoga and meditation, which have been instrumental in her recovery. She received her MFA in Creative Writing at UCSD, and loves working with others to inspire their creativity, deepen their intuition, and use writing and yoga as therapeutic practices. Learn more at www.om-and-ink.com, subscribe to her newsletter here, and follow her on Instagram @Om.And.Ink.

Day 16: On The B.R.N.C of Resilience

Led by Kyla Pearce

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Today’s practice will use our familiar framework, Breathe, Relax, Notice, and Choose -- this time with an invitation to explore our inner resilience. Resilience is our ability to overcome adversity and move forward with our lives. One important aspect of this is learning to let go. If we can learn to let go, it offers the possibility of rebounding quicker, and not getting stuck rehashing what we can’t change.


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Kyla serves as the Senior Director of the LoveYourBrain Yoga program, overseeing the design, implementation, and evaluation of the program on a national level. She has been part of the Pearce family for years, and, following Kevin's accident, played an integral role in the launch of LoveYourBrain. Kyla has blended her expertise as a yoga teacher and researcher to develop a TBI-centered yoga curriculum, which she trains yoga teachers and clinicians to deliver through workshops across the country. She is also pursuing a doctorate from Dartmouth College with research interests in the application of yoga and meditation for therapeutic purposes.

Day 15: Guru Mantra

TINA PASHUMATI JAMES

 

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Guru is the remover of darkness: Gu means darkness, and Ru means remover. By reciting or listening to this mantra with a sincere heart, you will see that the power that enlightens is all around you at all times. The mantra asks for the ability to see the guru in all names and forms -- the guru is your own self, the inner guiding light. The most difficult circumstances to accept in a positive way are the injuries and disasters that befall us physically or mentally. The big challenges in our lives actually provide us with the greatest opportunities for clearing away ignorance and embracing all that happens to us as a gift. Destruction always opens the door for transformation.

 

Tina Pashumati James lives a committed life doing all she can to make her time on earth one that enhances the lives of others. She will not only climb mountains, swim oceans and walk deserts to get to someone who is in need, which she has done, but she also has invested her precious time in the practice of yoga, meditation and sanskrit in order to gain the necessary knowledge and wisdom to enable her to truly be of service to others. Tina james is a powerful, advanced Jivamukti yoga Teacher who walks her talk.

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Day 14: MINDFUL EATING

Led by Kyla Pearce

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Mindlessness is the way most of us lead our lives. We are often distracted and live in the past and future thinking about how to change experiences that are out of our control. This causes unnecessary stress, so finding ways to return to the present is an important starting point for accepting what is and living from a more balanced place. So, today’s practice supports you to connect with and explore the many dimensions of your present experience through mindful eating.


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Kyla serves as the Senior Director of the LoveYourBrain Yoga program, overseeing the design, implementation, and evaluation of the program on a national level. She has been part of the Pearce family for years, and, following Kevin's accident, played an integral role in the launch of LoveYourBrain. Kyla has blended her expertise as a yoga teacher and researcher to develop a TBI-centered yoga curriculum, which she trains yoga teachers and clinicians to deliver through workshops across the country. She is also pursuing a doctorate from Dartmouth College with research interests in the application of yoga and meditation for therapeutic purposes.

Day 13: Clarity Meditation

Led by Courtney Amber Killian

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Using breath and color visualization, today's practice focuses on calming the nervous system and releasing tension to help you recharge and find clarity in your intentions. It ends with an invitation to journal anything that came up for you during the practice.


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Courtney Amber Kilian teaches writing, meditation, and gentle yoga in San Diego. In 2012, she had a brain injury in a car accident. Her healing journey led her to yoga and meditation, which have been instrumental in her recovery. She received her MFA in Creative Writing at UCSD, and loves working with others to inspire their creativity, deepen their intuition, and use writing and yoga as therapeutic practices. Learn more at www.om-and-ink.com, subscribe to her newsletter here, and follow her on Instagram @Om.And.Ink.

Day 12: Mindfulness Meditation

Led by Andres M Alves

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This calming and grounding meditation allows you to check in with your body and mind. As we bring awareness to our physical and emotional states, in connection with our breath, we learn to accept what’s going on in the present. This acceptance is the entrypoint to feeling greater contentment, positivity, and and more mindfully navigating our day-to-day challenges.


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Andres is a physical therapist working in neurology, a yoga teacher, and a vegan animal rights activist. He believes that all living beings deserve to be happy and free. His goal each day is to live a life that in some way contributes to that happiness and freedom for all. He teaches a vinyasa style class with an emphasis on safe alignment and inner awareness at the Jamie Surya Yoga Studio in Sparkill, NY, where he is also the co-teacher of their 200 Hour Teacher Training.