It’s National Brain Injury Awareness Month and we are excited to have the opportunity to support not only one of our students, but an entire community with our donation based Hot 26 class March 15th. Angie came into the studio a few weeks ago and asked us to be part of a national campaign supporting the Love Your Brain Foundation by offering a donation based class. The goal is to have one yoga studio in every state offer a donation-based class and we are proud to represent Nebraska on their journey.
Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) is a very serious medical condition that can drastically change one’s life in the blink of an eye. A brain injury is very different than a bone fracture or deep laceration and no two brain injuries are alike. Each injury is unique to the person it’s affecting, making it difficult to both diagnose and to treat. Brain injuries not only can affect one’s physical abilities, but can also alter one’s mental abilities and even personalities. From headaches, mood swings, and memory problems to loss of limb function, language & speaking difficulties, and unresponsive states - brain injuries can have a vast range of challenges. These types of injuries don’t heal like physical injuries either. The recovery process is a long, trying road full of a lot of unknowns. Although on a journey in a land of uncertainty, many of those who suffer from a traumatic brain injury have amazing recoveries and live to share their stories.
Karma Yoga is honored to introduce Angie Bingham, a student here at Karma Yoga and a Traumatic Brain Injury Survivor. We have asked Angie to share her story with us so that we may help spread the awareness of TBI to our yoga community. We can all create positive change in the world and it all starts with reaching out and supporting each other. Thank you Angie, for sharing your story and allowing us to support you on your recovery. We are happy you are here!
It’s hard to believe I am writing a blog post for Karma Yoga. Many thanks to Lisa and Emily for allowing me the opportunity to share my story to those of you I have not had the privilege of meeting.
Allow me to introduce myself. I am Angie Bingham, a daughter, wife, sister, and mother to two adorable kids (Elizabeth & our “four legged child” Bam Bam), community volunteer, and leader within a national non-profit organization who spent many days in other cities throughout the country working for the greater good of humanity. I thought these titles would be my legacy as a working professional but little did I know what life would truly lead me.
On November 29, 2013 I was involved in an ATV accident while we were spending Thanksgiving break with our friends in Tennessee. Within the first few hours of the accident my husband and I were told I had a minor concussion, was cleared by the hospital to fly home the next day, and continue on with my life. It was so minor that my husband and I didn’t even to bother our family and friends and sent out a generic email the Monday after Thanksgiving stating “I was involved in a minor ATV accident over the holiday weekend.” Little did we know then what we know now.
Fast forward sixteen months, an emergency anterior cervical discectomy fusion resulting in screws and a plate being placed in my neck a few days before Christmas 2013, and over fifteen emergency room visits and/or hospital stays and here I am-a moderate traumatic brain injury and spinal cord injury survivor who has found serenity in yoga. Why you may ask? Well frankly yoga has become my one outlet to release my stress and tension. I recognize many of you have found yoga to be an outlet to release life’s stressors for years but as a marathon runner prior to my accident I viewed yoga as a cross-activity to enhance my training. Yet within the past few months I have discovered that I truly yoga to connect my mind, body, and spirit.
As a traumatic brain injury survivor (TBI) my brain doesn’t deal with the every day stressors like it did before my accident. So learning the breathing techniques, to be still in the moment, and to stretch and feel the healing has allowed me the opportunity feel like whole again. In addition, yoga has given me the opportunity to take a more holistic approach to my healing which has been comforting. I truly can’t imagine life without yoga now.
I hope to be able to meet many of you in the coming months as I take more sessions at Karma! If you’d like to learn more about TBI’s and my journey feel free to visit my blog: www.mycrazybraininjury.com