Along the path, I found myself drawn to serve individuals living with disabilities. My Seva began in Colorado where I volunteered with organizations, such as National Sports Center for the disabled, which offered therapeutic recreation programs. I taught snowboarding and rock climbing, and recognized a need for a deeper practice. I saw the disconnection in the body/mind relationship for people living with disabilities and knew from my own experience that their lives could be enhanced by incorporating the principles of yoga.
I partnered up with yoga instructors with the same desire to heal and together we created Adaptive Yoga classes that were suitable for anyone and for any level of disability. From my knowledge, these types of classes had not been offered until now, so we were extremely proud and excited. Samadhi Center for Yoga and Meditation in Denver generously donated a beautiful large space where we could practice. We collaborated with other local organizations that worked with this population and promoted Adaptive Yoga. These classes have been growing strong in Denver since 2009, serving students with spinal cord injuries, brain injuries, amputations, and more. These classes have enabled the students to deepen their mind/body relationship, by safely assisting them through yoga postures, breathing exercises and guided meditations that have given them more freedom in their body and an overall sense of well-being. The confidence drawn from this practice is evident on their faces every time they stroll into the room. The studio, teachers, volunteer assistants, students and care givers have created a loving and supportive community, one which has extended outside of the studio walls and has created lasting friendships.
I have taught adaptive yoga for Awakenings Health Institute, a non-profit that offers holistic healing modalities to individuals with neurological disorders. In 2012 myself and other volunteers, traveled to Santa Teresa, Costa Rica with Ocean Healing Group. We taught adaptive surfing and yoga for kids with disabilities, giving the kids an unforgettable experience and the families a vacation of a lifetime. I have had a strong relationship with the Chanda Plan Foundation, and served on the fundraising board to assist in their mission of raising money for disabled people, giving them the option of alternative healing therapies that are not currently covered by insurance.
Currently I teach an Adaptive Yoga class at the Challenged Athletes Foundation and work individually with clients living with cerebral palsy, spinal cord injuries, and traumatic brain injuries. This underserved population needs rehabilitation that brings awareness to the mind, body and spirit, addressing a missing piece in our western medical model. A holistic healing approach would serve as preventative medicine for the constant health struggles that arise for people living with a disability and a sustainable practice that empowers and educates them, increasing their independence. This career path has been challenging and rewarding. I love what I do but I struggle to continue due to the low income it provides. The need for more skilled instructors that have the confidence to work with the disabled population is huge. I believe that with my 8 years of teaching