FUNdamentals series

Q:  Who is this program appropriate for?

Individuals who have experienced a TBI and are:

  • Interested in being in a group setting

  • Able to move independently

  • Open to communicating and following instructions

  • Can commit to attending all 6 classes in the chosen series

  • Able to drive themselves or be driven to class (or find other transportation)

Q: What if someone who has experienced another type of brain injury, such as stroke or a neurodegenerative condition, wants to join the program?

Currently, our program is available only for individuals who have experienced TBI because we feel we are most capable of serving this population. Although we understand that there are overlapping symptoms in different types of brain injury, we feel that maintaining a focus on TBI is helpful for building community of people with shared experiences. Also, we feel strongly that yoga teachers need to be highly knowledgeable about the injury that they are working with to effectively tailor their classes. The diversity in the etiology and effects of different types of brain injury make it too challenging for us to train yoga teachers to become experts in all types. There are rare occasions when we will make exceptions if a person has a brain injury that manifests similarly to TBI. We will discuss any exceptions with teachers so they are fully prepared.  

Q: How many FUNdamentals series should our studio offer per year?

Ideally, we suggest holding at least four of these 6-week series per year.  We recommend allowing several weeks between the time one series finishes and the next one begins. This timeframe will vary depending on the demand, but generally is 4-8 weeks.

Q: Can participants complete the FUNdamentals series multiple times?

Absolutely.  As long as you can accommodate all new students, we encourage anyone to return and take the series more than once.

Q: What if a student misses a class in the FUNdamentals series?

We require that students attend the first class, and do not allow anyone to join once the series has started. However, it’s important to remember that short-term memory loss is one of the most common effects of TBI, and “life happens”, which may result in missing a subsequent class.

Q: What if a student misses more than one class in the FUNdamentals series?

We require students to attend at least 4 of the 6 classes to receive the discounted rate for the LYB-friendly classes.

Q: Do caregivers have to attend with survivors, or can they attend classes alone?

Caregivers are not required to attend the FUNdamentals series. They are also are welcome to attend alone.

Q: What happens when I need to find a substitute for my FUNdamentals series class?

First choice is to reach out to the LoveYourBrain trained teachers at your own studio.  Second choice is to reach out to a LoveYourBrain trained teacher from another studio in the area (if possible).  If neither of those are options, then we recommend canceling the class.    

Q: How do I participate in the group conversation if I don’t have experience with TBI?

Share what motivated you to teach LoveYourBrain Yoga, or a time when you found yoga to be particularly healing.  Don’t be afraid to be vulnerable.

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LYB friendly classes

Q: What are LYB friendly classes?

LYB friendly classes are existing classes offered at partner studios that have been identified as accessible for the TBI community and are taught by teachers who have completed the LoveYourBrain training.

Q: What if a student wishes to start attending LYB friendly classes before completing the FUNdamentals series?

We require all students to attend the 6-week series before accessing the LYB friendly classes.  This allows the opportunity for teachers to understand an individual’s physical abilities and level, and make suggestions on which LYB friendly classes may be suitable.  Once participants complete the 6-week series, they will be asked to complete a feedback form, granting them access to the discounted LYB friendly classes. Completion of the series is defined as having attended at least 4 of the 6 classes.

Q: What happens when I need to find a substitute for my LYB friendly class?

First choice is to reach out to the LoveYourBrain trained teachers at your own studio.  Second choice is to reach out to the list of LoveYourBrain trained teachers from other studios in the area (if possible).  Because LYB friendly classes are community classes, we cannot recommend that you cancel these classes, but do ask that you make every effort to ensure that the substitute teacher has completed the LoveYourBrain training, or has experience teaching therapeutic yoga.

Safety

Q: Can we have access to the Eligibility Survey, to better understand our students’ injuries?

Although we respect your motivation to best serve your students, we respect the HIPAA Privacy Rule, which protects individuals' medical records and other personal health information, and thus cannot share this information.  If your studio has its own intake form, we encourage you to use that. To date, teachers who have offered our program have not found this information to be necessary to their teaching abilities. However, before your series begins, we will share information about students’ special needs, such as if they experience weakness on one side of the body.  

Q: What should I do if I think someone is having a seizure or a medical emergency?

Call 911 IMMEDIATELY.

Q: What if a student shows up without having completed the Eligibility Survey?

All students, survivors and caregivers, are required to register for the FUNdamentals series by completing the Eligibility Survey found on the LYB website.  The survey includes a waiver of liability, which is necessary for all students to complete before attending their first class.  The Eligibility Survey only takes a few minutes to complete, so if it is possible to access the survey (via Smartphone, etc.) the student can complete right then and there.  The survey is accessed through the following page: http://www.loveyourbrain.com/yoga/practice

Q: What happens when a student has limited mobility?

If accessible, we recommend using a chair.  There are photos and suggestions of how a chair can be used in the LoveYourBrain Teacher Training Manual.  If a chair is not accessible, suggest modifications for the student based on their mobility. If a student feels uncomfortable physically moving at all, offer the option of remaining stationary and instead visualizing the movement. Pranayama and meditation exercises are always useful tools. We have heard from survivors that just being in a yoga studio, a community space, and having the freedom to rest without feeling like they have to move, can be very beneficial.

Logistics

Q: What can I expect in terms of support from LoveYourBrain?

We will schedule a series of mentorship calls with yoga teachers during each FUNdamentals series, as well as regular touchbase calls with studio managers/program contact. Our goal is to schedule an annual in-person follow-up visit at each program location.

Q: How do I invoice LoveYourBrain for the FUNdamentals series?

Following the last class of the 6-week series, please submit an invoice, along with an attendance report for the FUNdamentals series, to kim@loveyourbrain.com.  LoveYourBrain is offering primary teachers a compensation of $50 per class, total of $300 for a complete 6-week series, and we are offering assistant teachers a compensation of $25 per class, total of $150 for a complete 6-week series.

Q: What about insurance?

We require that all partner teachers have their own liability insurance.  LoveYourBrain does not offer insurance for teachers or studios. All students (survivors and caregivers) sign a liability waiver on the LoveYourBrain website when they register for the program, releasing LoveYourBrain from all responsibility.  We ask that you ensure that all students also sign your studio's waiver on their first visit to the studio.

A FEW QUESTIONS WE’VE HEARD FROM THE TBI COMMUNITY

Q: Is it normal to feel light-headed during yoga?  

This may happen occasionally without any safety concerns. But, this may be an indication that they are moving too quickly, particularly in/out of forward folds. Depending on the cause, suggest that they keep their head above their heart, etc.

Q: I am having a difficult time because my eyes are particularly sensitive to light.  What should I do?

In general, please avoid bright lights. Some individuals find it more comfortable to wear sunglasses during the class. You can also arrange the class so people are not looking out windows.

Q: Can I bring my service animal to class?

The Americans with Disabilities Act states that, “A service animal must be allowed to accompany the handler to any place in the building or facility where members of the public, program participants, customers, or clients are allowed. Even if the business or public program has a ‘no pets’ policy, it may not deny entry to a person with a service animal. Service animals are not pets. So, although a ‘no pets’ policy is perfectly legal, it does not allow a business to exclude service animals.  When a person with a service animal enters a public facility or place of public accommodation, the person cannot be asked about the nature or extent of his disability. Only two questions may be asked:
1. Is the animal required because of a disability?
2. What work or task has the animal been trained to perform?”

To read more, visit:  https://adata.org/publication/service-animals-booklet

CONTACT

Q: Who should I contact with questions, etc. at LoveYourBrain?

Questions about teaching the series:

Kyla Pearce, the Director of Yoga Program Design & Evaluation

(e) kyla@loveyourbrain.com (p) 802-345-1703

Questions about program implementation and logistics:

Kim Baker, the Director of Yoga Program Implementation

(e) kim@loveyourbrain.com (p) 646-509-5219