Presentation on theme: "Adapting Yoga for Veterans with Brain Injury Amy Moran, MA, RYT Casey Linstad, CTRS Rose Collins, PhD, LP Minneapolis VA Health Care System April 28, 2011."— Presentation transcript:
Adapting Yoga for Veterans with Brain Injury Amy Moran, MA, RYT Casey Linstad, CTRS Rose Collins, PhD, LP Minneapolis VA Health Care System April 28, 2011
Objectives 1.Introduce the concept of Adaptive Yoga. 2.Experience how Adaptive Yoga feels. 3.Broaden your vision of what Yoga can look like.
Outline Yoga Yoga Yoga Research & Brain Injury Yoga Research & Brain Injury Adaptive Yoga Program Adaptive Yoga Program Veteran Yogis Veteran Yogis Program Evaluation Program Evaluation Looking to the Future Looking to the Future
Definition “…physical postures [asana], breathing techniques [pranayama], and meditation [dhyana] or relaxation…use…part of a general health regimen, and also for a variety of health conditions. (www.nccam.nih.gov)
History MVAHCS MVAHCS Polytrauma/TBI Nathan Newhall Nathan Newhall Corepower Yoga Matthew Sanford Matthew Sanford Mind-Body Solutions
Adaptive Yoga All yoga is adaptive… All yoga is adaptive… Adapting yoga for a variety of physical and mental health conditions. Adapting yoga for a variety of physical and mental health conditions. Making yoga accessible on many different levels. Making yoga accessible on many different levels. Demystifying yoga Demystifying yoga Dispelling myths/stereotypes What does class look like? What does class look like?
Structure of ClassWelcome/introductions What is yoga? How to approach practice? Check-In (1-10) Options for practice Guidelines for practicePractice Breathing/movement Relaxation Check-Out (1-10) Check-Out #2 Describe practice (one word)Namaste
Veteran Yogis DEMOGRAPHICDESCRIPTION AGE RANGE21-90 GENDERGreater numbers men, lower numbers women, both represented ERAOperation Enduring/Iraqi Freedom OEF/OIF Persian Gulf War Post-Vietnam/Peace Time Vietnam War World War II PRIMARY DIAGNOSES Traumatic brain injury (TBI) Cerebrovascular Accident (CVA)/Stroke Lower Back Pain (LBP)/Pain Major Depressive Disorder (MDD) Other mental health condition Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) Spinal Cord Injury (SCI) Obesity SECONDARY DIAGNOSESChemical Dependency Depression Pain (knee/joint) Osteoarthritis Other anxiety/mood disorders Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) Sleep Apnea/Insomnia CAUSES OF BRAIN INJURYBlast Brain tumor Drug overdose Fall Motor vehicle accident (MVA) RELIGIOUS AFFILIATIONLutheran Pentecostal Roman Catholic Protestant
Cognitive “Adaptations” Repetition Repetition Recreational therapy assistance Recreational therapy assistance Simple demonstrations Simple demonstrations Several models to follow Several models to follow Group adjustments Group adjustments Non-comparison, non- competition, non-criticism Non-comparison, non- competition, non-criticism
Language Matters Yoga is an opportunity to… Yoga is an opportunity to… Practice with what is available to you today Practice with what is available to you today Choose option that makes sense for your body today Choose option that makes sense for your body today Option/alternative vs. challenge/modification Option/alternative vs. challenge/modification Relaxation vs. meditation Relaxation vs. meditation Stress response & relaxation response Stress response & relaxation response You are the expert of your own body You are the expert of your own body Your body gives you information Your body gives you information Practice listening to your body Practice listening to your body Use wisdom -what is too much/not enough Use wisdom -what is too much/not enough
Descriptive Words Frequency Descriptor 1.RELAXED or RELAXING 2.CALM or CALMING
In their own words… “I know more about yoga today – I want to learn more. Felt better after the first time.” “The stiffness in my arm is almost gone from all the stretching. I feel relaxed after each class. I have a beginner course at home and try to do yoga every day.” “Made my back feel better. Also improved mood. Visualizing is powerful.” “Helps me with ortho problems as well as bipolar & PTSD episodes.” “Very relaxing and interesting.” “It is great, really helps with the stress.”
What did you think of yoga before you started practicing? “I didn’t understand it. It seemed hokey, bogus, tricks, people blowing smoke.” -Olaf “I’ve been watching it on Channel 2. Some people have issues but I was anxious to try it.” -Jim “Eastern, control, in shape, has it together.” -Jo “DUMB. Would have never considered it.” -Rick “I thought it was painful, impossible, that I had to be strong. I didn’t think I could do it.” -Suzanne
What did you think of yoga now? “Very relaxing, helps me prepare for the week, to be more accepting. Can’t do what I did 30 years ago.” -Olaf “It has given me a more relaxed feeling. I didn’t think I would be using muscles that I haven’t used. I generally get stiff from not moving.“ -Jim “My perception of yoga was always positive, but I have an even more positive attitude now.” All positive, calming, lovely, gold, and blue-green, and feels good.” -Jo “I like the stretching. Loosens up your body. Pain has gone away in my shoulder. Relaxing and warmth of your body.” -Rick “I like it now because it’s relaxing, breathing is healing. I can lose weight through mindful breathing. Here, I am comfortable, I’m not overweight.” -Suzanne
What was the hardest thing for you when you started practicing? “The breathing. I could go even slower. Sometimes I have to tune the teacher out.” -Olaf “First time was getting to class, long hallway.” -Jim Always felt I was behind on the positions, getting more familiar and catching up.” -Jo “Moving my arm and not being able to stand (in a wheelchair). This continued from my rehab process. I can do this for the rest of my life.” -Rick “Relaxing different parts of my body. I’m still not sure if I am relaxing them or not! I’m amazed that you know my tongue is on the roof of my mouth! How do you know that?” -Suzanne
Why do you continue to practice? “I can’t even explain. It gives me so much. It gets me out of my house. I have time on my drive down. I like people, but I hate crowds. I can’t do this myself. Here I can be with people. I’m comfortable here. There’s nothing better for me. I get cabin fever (in the winter), depressed, compulsive eating.” -Olaf “It feels good, a positive experience – always. Helps to control myself, calming. Lessens stress in my life.” -Jo “Stretching feels really good. I get really stiff, but am so relaxed after meditation. My mood is much better.” -Suzanne
Adaptive Yoga “I relax more each time. Better breathing even with COPD. I use breathing techniques to relax and hopefully my muscles will start working better.” -Jim Star Pose/ Tarasana Why continue to practice?
Adaptive Yoga “Fitness, being with my friends here. Stretching and loosening my body.” -Rick Warm- Up Why continue to practice?
On days that you practice, do you notice anything different? “I feel good when I leave. Relaxed. I look forward to coming. I get energized about it. I feel better in general. It’s not a chore.” -Olaf “Yes, I think it has a calming effect. I used to show more anger, I show less now. I’m more relaxed.“ -Jim “Feel that mind/body more in control – I’m more centered. I feel good about myself.” -Jo “My body is looser, relaxed, warm. Able to move further each time (arm).” -Rick “I feel better. I feel happier, more relaxed. Whatever was bothering me before is gone.” -Suzanne
If you were going to tell another Veteran about yoga, what would you say? “Do it! What do you have to lose? It’s a very individual experience. Unless they try it more than once, they won’t have a clue. Cannot describe. It is very individual.” -Olaf “I would recommend it because you’re working with aspects you never worked with breath before. Movements that you don’t think will be strenuous are strenuous.” -Jim “Yes! I would recommend it for vets, anyone. Would let them know I think it helps with my perception of myself, PTSD, depression, and weight issues.” -Jo “I would recommend trying it. Gets your body loose no matter what you do.” -Rick “Yoga is for everybody. They even have people in wheel chairs practicing yoga. That was a whole new perspective for me. I used to be nervous around people in wheelchairs, now they’re my friends.” -Suzanne
Specific Lessons Work in progress Work in progress Constant re-evaluation Constant re-evaluation Challenging our own assumptions Challenging our own assumptions Every class is different Every class is different Things change Things change Going with the flow… Going with the flow… Many ways to be challenged Many ways to be challenged Broadening criteria for success Broadening criteria for success
Plans for the Future Expansion Expansion Dedicated space Supplies/props Tailored classes Tailored classes Women’s clinic Spinal cord injury Measurement tools Measurement tools Biofeedback equipment Physiological measures Research Research Funding
Relaxation… Guided relaxation Guided relaxation Take time to prepare for relaxation… Take time to prepare for relaxation… Types of relaxations Types of relaxations Self-Acceptance Chakra/Rainbow Healing/Golden Light Forest/Nature Starry Night
Bringing Practice to a Close… Checking-out Checking-out Share a word to describe your practice Share a word to describe your practice Bow & Namaste Bow & Namaste “The Teacher in me Honors the Teacher in you.”
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