Recently, I had the privilege of working with the Exalted Warrior Foundation to bring yoga to wounded veterans at Haley VA Hospital. I would love to inspire everyone to give back in their own way by sharing my experience and ideas for adapting yoga for people with big challenges. This work is for anyone with a caring heart who wants to make a difference. Maybe you will choose to share the gift of yoga as well!
What drew me to working with people’s trauma was having worked my own way through trauma and realized that there is a way out of these hells. When I am looking at someone that has got a brain injury, or is crippled, or has a spine injury, I can look back into my own life and the hideous experiences that I survived have new meaning, when I apply what I learned to help another. Healing my wounds has become part of my wisdom, part of my polished treasures that I have to offer.
Whether working with someone with big physical challenges like brain injuries or paralysis, or someone who is getting older and restricted or a person who spends most of their life as a desk jockey: Everyone has their gates, their resistances, their challenges, their despair points, and they can come through them in a heroic way. To be able to nurture these triumphs is really exciting for me.
I encourage everyone to volunteer and share the gifts they have to offer. If you want to teach yoga, then find someone who needs more attention, who can’t come to a regular class because they have a spinal cord injury, or they get migraines, or they have depression or are a senior. Volunteer your time. Reach out and encourage these individuals to do yoga. It will help them feel better in their body, and enrich their quality of life.
There are also great people out there already doing this work, like the Exalted Warrior Foundation. Seek them out in your community and volunteer with their group. Or go to a local hospital or senior center and ask what you need to do to get a yoga class started. You may need to audition or do some extra training, which means you get to learn something in this experience — how great is that! Stay alert enough to learn something more every class you teach.
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