The Connected Yoga Teacher Podcast
Ep 137: Yoga and Brain Injuries with Ann Green
Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) is a condition that is far more prevalent than we might think. An estimated 69 million people worldwide suffer from Traumatic Brain Injuries each year, and the thing is, it’s often not possible to tell just by looking at a person if they have experienced TBI. Ann Green joins me to share how we as yoga teachers can learn a few things to help people on the road to recovery.
Ann Green is a yogi, a runner, and a surfer with over 30 years of teaching yoga, and almost fifteen conducting yoga teacher training. She has a background in sport psychology and physical education, and a Masters in Exercise Science from the University of Toronto. Ann is skilled in Coaching, Wellness Coaching, Pain Management and Prevention, Yoga, and Fitness Training.
Over the years, Ann has had her own experiences with concussions and brain injury. In her line of work, she has also come across many individuals who have experienced TBI, and this has inspired her to shift her focus to offer yoga that caters specifically to the needs of those coping with brain injuries. Ann shares her own journey living as a person with brain injury, and how this has informed her practice and her work in this space. She has some tips on what we can do in a yoga class, or with breath and movement to assist someone on the road to recovery with a brain injury, as well how empowering it can be just to understand what someone with this condition may be going through.
Whether you have experience working with students with brain injury, or this is something you have never even considered, this episode is sure to be informative for all yoga teachers.
[5:36] Shannon introduces her guest for this episode - Ann Green.
[7:30] When did Ann start to tie in yoga and brain health?
[12:38] Ann shares her personal experience with concussions and brain injury.
[19:17] What are some symptoms that might come up for someone with brain injury?
[25:26] Ann highlights some of the reasons she believes the concussion rates are highest for women between 45 and 55 years of age.
[26:42] Ann has learned and grown from her experience with brain injury, and has framed her experiences in a different light.
[29:02] What does Ann do in her classes with her students dealing with brain injury?
[32:16] Ann has created a program called Brainstorm, for people with concussions or who work with people with brain injuries to connect in community and find their calm.
[40:54] Ann shares some key aspects of the Building a Blissful Brain classes.
[46:40] Shannon and Ann discuss working with people with concussions and how you may need to help them push a little further in their recovery process.
[48:27] What are some language cues that can be helpful (or unhelpful) when working with someone with a concussion or brain injury?
[50:46] Talking about neuroplasticity, what are some movements that can be useful to integrate into the class?
[1:00:53] Ann has some final recommendations for yoga teachers working with students with brain injuries for the first time.
[1:03:02] Shannon shares some of her biggest takeaways from this interview with Ann.
Quotes from this episode:
"You can't do movement without the awesome, excellence of communication with your brain."
"The only reason that people don't get so incredibly worried about [concussions] is, most people don't die of a concussion."
"The numbers show from the States and from Canada, that we are beyond epidemic levels of concussion, minor brain injury level."
"Your mess becomes your message."
"I want people to realize something that's not recognizable and it is invisible, we need to make it recognizable."
"Let tenderness be your teacher.