Heartland Yoga Community
Aspiring to bring therapeutic yoga to those in need of adapted practices and individual assistance to heal or manage illness, Heartland Yoga Community was created in January 2009.
We began at the Indiana University Simon Cancer Center, teaching the soothing and self-regulatory practices of yoga to patients and their families: in-patients undergoing intensive cancer treatment, those receiving IV infusions, and the strong, determined, young adults with Sickle Cell Anemia.
3 East team, thank you for your kind welcome and support for our nascent yoga therapy program!
Glasscock Family, thank you for your friendship, your faith in us and yoga, and your support!
Since healing in the brain after an injury is expected to slow to a stop after some time, we were encouraged to see positive changes in our participants who averaged 4 1/2 years post stroke/brain injury. We wondered how beneficial the yoga practices might be if we could get them to people soon after an injury, while still in rehab hospitals as in-patients, so we did just that. It too was well received and successful, and broke our hearts and filled them at the same time.
We have a professional organization of yoga therapists and are so inspired and proud of this group and it's leaders; the International Association of Yoga Therapists - www.iayt.org . We are delighted to have this "In-Patient" study with Dr. Schmid published in the 25th Anniversary edition of the International Journal of Yoga Therapy! (IJYT) "Yoga Influences Recovery During Inpatient Rehabilitation: A Pilot Study" :)
When our Indianapolis Roudebush Veterans Affairs Medical Center invited us to provide the yoga protocol and interventions in research studies there, we were honored!
Our first study was to see if yoga would reduce falls and increase social engagement in chronic stroke survivors. (HEALTHY After Stroke; Arlene A. Schmid, PhD, OTR) With 47 mostly Vietnam veterans, the results surpassed expectations, read about it here, an article published in Stroke Journal.
In a smaller "case study" we explored how individual yoga therapy might help folks who'd suffered a severe traumatic brain injury. Three traumatic brain injury survivors received 16 yoga therapy sessions in 8 weeks.
Next, we were invited to provide yoga therapy in a study to reduce pain in veterans with Overall Pain Syndrome and Fibromyalgia. (POYSE; Matthew J. Bair, MD, MS) A main cause of these pain syndromes is toxic chemical exposure which causes nerve-end damage; far too common in our veterans. POYSE is a 4 year study and will complete in mid-2017.
ps, good news here - this study was called "important" by the VA reviewers and has been extended!
We have now completed our study to relieve symptoms of severe PTSD - Post Traumatic Stress - through yoga. (RELIEVE; Louanne W. Davis, PsyD) We are in the process of writing papers for publication discussing this study and our findings. (Yoga helped the most!)
Our Veterans Affairs yoga research has been well-received and generally very successful... except one thing; after each veterans' series of classes was complete, there was not a "continuation plan". They wanted to continue their yoga practice but for many reasons, yoga classes in the community are generally not right for them. To fill this need and support our veterans in practicing their yoga, "YES to Vets" was formed! YES stands for Yoga Education and Service - offering no-charge yoga classes in the community for veterans and their families, based on our successful research - and this is what we've been doing for over 4 years.
We created this video in spring 2016, to introduce
our YES program to other interested veterans and to help with our fundraising efforts. And, we want to express our joy and gratitude in the benefits we're receiving and the camaraderie we share.
You can watch the video here: https://mynettrainer2013.wistia.com/medias/hjbm7p0ydf
Thank you, Kungu Mbathi of Ni Sisi Media and Bill Dean of My Net Trainer - www.MyNetTrainer.com
and our veterans who spoke so beautifully from their hearts.
The story continues...
Our 3 YES to Vets classes are well attended and going strong. We see that more locations and a variety of classes are needed; one or more in the Southport/Greenwood area, evening and weekend classes, as well as several levels or series to accommodate everyone's needs and the wide variety of physical abilities in our veteran participants. We are also planning a class specifically for women veterans.
You can help us reach these goal by donating to our program - THANK YOU!! Donate here!