Love Your Brain Yoga for Brain Injury Survivors

Meghan Kelly is a survivor of brain injury. She graduated from The Cridge Brain Injury Services – Transitional Housing with Supports Program (Mary Cridge Manor) back in Oct 2019. During her time at Mary Cridge Manor, Meghan participated in Love Your Brain (LYB) Yoga class offered in our community – together with a few fellow survivors also living at the Mary Cridge Manor (MCM). She shares, “In 2018 when I participated in the LYB program for the first time, I was in the peak of my rehabilitation and appointments. My weeks felt long, and at that time, I felt very isolated and was really missing connection and community. As a former yogi and teacher, when I saw the program tailored for people experiencing many of the same symptoms I was, I felt hopeful and excited. The other survivors from MCM and I would walk down to yoga together, which helped us build a connection throughout the six weeks. The program gave me something to look forward to, and amazing friendships flourished. I began noticing my confidence and mood improving as well as my mind/ body connection. It was an incredibly positive experience that I will always cherish and is symbolic of a significant milestone in my healing.”

Just before moving out of MCM, Meghan received a grant to cover the expenses of her becoming a certified Love Your Brain Yoga Instructor herself.

Fast forward into early 2020, when Meghan was ready to begin offering classes to individuals of all abilities and ages through various Cridge programs, COVID happened. So Meghan did what survivors do and tried to find another way! In September, she offered an outdoor, socially distanced yoga class for survivors living at MCM. It was so popular! Six clients participated, and one of them shares, “Thank you for Love Your Brain Yoga. It was really nice to be outside practicing yoga with other brain injury survivors. It was helpful to be instructed by a brain injury survivor. I learned life-affirming yogic skills with a group of survivors, and I was given hope by an instructor who was also a survivor of brain injury. The fact that everyone had experienced brain injuries was crucial to me and something I could only experience through Love Your Brain Yoga. Thank you! It was meaningful, and I really appreciated it!”

Meghan shares, “Offering the program to survivors at MCM has been a rewarding and beautiful experience. To see other survivors who started the program with me back in 2018 and how they have grown is so inspiring! Meeting new survivors and learning from them and their experience helps me keep moving forward and want to keep learning and helping. It was truly magical to know how much MCM has helped me; I wouldn’t be a Love Your Brain Yoga teacher without their support. To be able to give something back to this amazing community is truly an honour. I feel so grateful!”

In the new year, Meghan will join our team of support workers and offer direct support services to survivors walking the journey of rehabilitation and offer specialized wellness consulting to clients exploring meditation, mindfulness, exercise and other wellness activities as part of their rehabilitation plan. We look forward to providing another outdoor and socially distanced Love Your Brain Yoga class in the spring as the weather warms back up.

By Tori Dach, The Cridge Brain Injury Services Community Program Coordinator