Yoga helps heal brain injuries

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Brain injuries happen every nine seconds in this country,  whether it’s an accident, concussion, stroke or illness. Close to three and a half million people are affected.  One famous, near Olympian suffered a brain injury while snowboarding in Utah in preparation for the Vancouver Olympics.  Kevin Pearce’s injury is now part of an award winning documentary.  But what became of Pearce and his foundation, goes well beyond that day in late 2009.

“I think he’s inspiring other people to not run away from their injury,” says Kyla Pearce, the sister-in-law of Kevin Pearce. “he believes people with brain injuries should lean into it and try to make wiser choices to help themselves.”

Kyla Pearce helps with Kevin’s Foundation: Love Your Brain. In fact the foundation has partnered with Embarque Yoga Studio in Indianapolis.

“Brain injury often times leads to individuals being isolated,” says Wendy Waldman, a Brain Injury Specialist. “They don’t know about resources and services out there. And if so, how do they navigate them and obtain them.”

Every quarter Embarque offers a free six week yoga and meditation series for people who have experienced a traumatic brain injury. Caregivers can be included. They participate in gentle yoga adapted by the TBI community. They learn meditation techniques to promote relaxation and they connect with others who have experienced a TBI, through group discussion.

“They’re going to do slower movements that are really targeted to help with that coordination and that brain body connection,” says Alyssa Phennig, owner of Embarque. “There’s a sense of there’s someone else just like me, who understands this invisible thing that’s going on, that no one can see.”

Heidi Whitrock is proof. She survived a brain aneurysm. And yoga has helped her heal as well.


“It calms me, it stretches me, it kind of reorganizes the brain. It does a lot of things for me,”

For more on the TBI program at Embarque and “Love Your Brain,” click on the link below.

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