Kevin’s Monthly Highlight: Bringing The Power Of Yoga And Meditation To Kids

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Kevin’s Monthly Highlight: Bringing the Power of Yoga and Meditation to Kids
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I truly believe that no matter who you are, where you are in your life, or what you are doing, yoga and meditation practice will help improve your quality of life.  My recovery process has been so hard.  At times it is painfully slow and unbelievably tiring. But experiences like the one I had last month, talking to 900 teenagers about the power of yoga and the importance of mindfulness, make all that I’m doing and working towards feel so worth it.

I had been asked to go to Iowa to speak at the annual SPECTACULAR sports and leadership camp, and after a long day of travel, I finally made it to Des Moines for the first time in my life. We headed to Graceland University, the host of the camp, where the campers were in the midst of watching The Crash Reel. When the movie ended, the camp director, Jamie, shared with the kids why he thought The Crash Reel was such a great fit to show at camp. He also talked about how cool it would be to have me come to the camp to talk more in depth about my experience and what my journey and recovery has been like—but, he didn’t tell the kids that I was actually right there listening the whole time! 

This is when it got totally nuts. I was in the back room waiting, and Jamie said, "I thought it might be cool to bring Kevin in to talk to you guys." This was my cue, and I walked out into the gym and all 900 kids lost it. And when I say lost it, I mean they went absolutely crazy! It was one of the most amazing feelings I have ever felt in my life. For about four minutes—which felt like four hours to me—the kids were on their feet going wild. When they finally calmed down, I got to share all the pieces of my experience that were not in the movie, including where I’m at in my recovery process now, and what LoveYourBrain has been doing for TBI survivors around the world.

 
"When Kevin said, 'when the mind and body are one, it’s a powerful thing' I knew
I needed to come and try (yoga) again ­­this time with a different mind­set."
 ­- 
Caleb, 17
 
The theme of the camp was "Let Go," so it felt like the perfect space to share my experience: how incredibly hard letting go of certain dreams has been, but also how much I have learned and how rewarding it has been to create new dreams and opportunities. One of the most memorable parts of my experience at SPEC was talking about how yoga and meditation has changed my life and ultimately changed my brain. For me, yoga and meditation give me a chance to slow down, cultivate self‐awareness and acceptance, and find a more positive outlook on life‐‐essentially, to Love My Brain even when dealing with the many challenges I face. Coincidentally, they were holding a yoga class every morning at camp, and the day after my talk, the class doubled in size and had to be relocated to the amphitheater outside to accommodate all the new yogis!
 
"I was SHOCKED at how calm I felt afterwards.  My anxiety was completely gone.  I couldn't believe it.  And I didn't feel silly or out of place.  It felt amazing." ­ - Vanessa, 17

The LoveYourBrain Foundation is launching a nationwide gentle yoga and meditation program for traumatic brain injury survivors­­from concussions to severe brain injury. We are hosting yoga teacher training workshops to equip teachers with the skills, knowledge, and confidence to tailor their yoga and meditation classes for this population, starting in Burlington, Vermont on August 28th­- 29th.

Learn more and apply here:
http://www.loveyourbrain.com/yoga-­teacher-training
Help support the program here.
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