Beauty And The Brain: Five Ways Yoga Has Helped Heal My Brain Injury

By Quenby Schuyler, The Huffington Post

One year ago at thirty-five years old, I suffered a Post-Partum Stroke. An Acute Subarachnoid Hemorrhage; otherwise known as a brain bleed. I lost my vision, left side function, and the ability to enjoy being alert and present with my brand new baby daughter. The months following my stroke I was hit with the aftershocks of PTSD, Anxiety, Post-Partum Depression, and general fear and loathing throughout my body. I sought healing out through the traditional channels of therapy, support groups, regular doctor visits and the like; and I attribute the beginning of my journey toward healing to those first steps. The real change and deep healing occurred when I decided to step out of my comfort zone and try alternatives on for a change. So I started with Yoga. I was weak and fractured physically and mentally the day I stepped onto the mat for the first time. I could barely make it through the class; and I became aware of just how far I had fallen away from my own body. But something kept bringing me back…and within a few weeks I had established a daily practice. No matter what the day held, I made it a priority to show up on the mat and face all those events and issues that had at one time paralyzed me.

Lisa Bertke, the owner and operator of Prana Yoga where I was attending classes noticed my dedication. I told her of my journey through brain injury and the struggles I encountered in the aftermath, and she encouraged me to continue my practice; assuring me that yoga could indeed heal and transform my life. Curious to know exactly how a yoga practice could change my brain and body I asked her to sit down and allow me to interview her. She granted me her time and here are five ways that yoga can change the brain, body, and soul.

1. Asana (the poses)
I wanted to know how these poses and movements had anything to do with the mind. What did the physical activity have to do with balancing the mental activity?

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