Tag Archives: community

“wow! what a class!” – Healthy Lymph Workshop Feedback and Afterthoughts

icybrookandmossyrocks1jan2012
lymph (lĭmf) n.
2. Archaic A spring or stream of pure, clear water.
[Latin lympha, water nymph, from Greek numphē, young bride, water nymph.]
bro͝ok
noun
a small stream.
“wow! what a class! Brooke, that was an amazing workshop… I left feeling that I wanted to go to a few more lymph workshops, or a series so that I could integrate this practice more into my own daily life. I really felt that I didn’t know what I was there to learn, that I was following an intuition to be there, and that I was generally disconnected with my lymphatic system, poor overlooked and overworked system, no more! Whatever happened in there was kind of mysterious… The exercises were subtle and yet I felt worked. I went really deep in the savasana, I felt so much more integrated with all levels of being: physical, mental, emotional and the subtle body. Thank you for all of the print outs, I had no idea that there is such a subtle intercellular path for clearing toxins.
Thank you for helping us to awaken our lymphatic systems and for awakening us to supporting it. You inspire me!” -JH

I have just discovered a poem by Alfred Lord Tennyson called The Brook. It is about the transience of human life and the eternity within which life flows.

www.youtube.com/watch?v=X5L0ih3RLjw

The Brook

I come from haunts of coot and hern,
I make a sudden sally
And sparkle out among the fern,
To bicker down a valley.

By thirty hills I hurry down,
Or slip between the ridges,
By twenty thorpes, a little town,
And half a hundred bridges.

Till last by Philip’s farm I flow
To join the brimming river,
For men may come and men may go,
But I go on for ever.

I chatter over stony ways,
In little sharps and trebles,
I bubble into eddying bays,
I babble on the pebbles.

With many a curve my banks I fret
By many a field and fallow,
And many a fairy foreland set
With willow-weed and mallow.

I chatter, chatter, as I flow
To join the brimming river,
For men may come and men may go,
But I go on for ever.

I wind about, and in and out,
With here a blossom sailing,
And here and there a lusty trout,
And here and there a grayling,

And here and there a foamy flake
Upon me, as I travel
With many a silvery waterbreak
Above the golden gravel,

And draw them all along, and flow
To join the brimming river
For men may come and men may go,
But I go on for ever.

I steal by lawns and grassy plots,
I slide by hazel covers;
I move the sweet forget-me-nots
That grow for happy lovers.

I slip, I slide, I gloom, I glance,
Among my skimming swallows;
I make the netted sunbeam dance
Against my sandy shallows.

I murmur under moon and stars
In brambly wildernesses;
I linger by my shingly bars;
I loiter round my cresses;

And out again I curve and flow
To join the brimming river,
For men may come and men may go,
But I go on for ever.

Alfred Lord Tennyson

“Gratitude for you…this is the most profound medicine I have ever experienced.”

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Hi Brooke,
Thanks for today’s session.  And thanks for taking such good care of JT, he felt really nurtured and safe.  We both needed that.
I’m bummed that I will be missing meditation tomorrow night.
I’ve been wanting to share with you how profoundly restorative yoga has affected my life and well being, and to share my gratitude with you for offering this, and being willing to do the ground-breaking work.  Thank you!  You are so beautiful!
I have been incorporating some of the soul and body nourishing techniques that you shared with me on our individual session.  I will never forget that night, the deep peace I felt inside me.  I have a little altar at the door, with flowers from the garden that I had not “bothered” to bring inside since I see them out in the garden.  But it has been transformative to bring some beauty into my home.  I have some beautiful things that I have gathered, crystals and shells and things that I leave there.  And I light a candle to offer prayers.  It has transformed how I feel in my home, grounded and at peace, not restless, like I should be outside working.  Tending to my little altar helps to calm the voice of criticism I have had about my housekeeping habits.
I’ve also been practicing some meditation and gratitude prayers in the morning, waking up just before sunrise.  I have felt recently uninspired and unmotivated, and waking up after a solid night’s sleep just feeling unrested, but mostly uninspired and unmotivated.  And I’ve listened to the voice in me that says that sunrise is the medicine I need.  So I’ve been going up the hill behind the tiny house and sitting in the chaparral listening to the bird’s morning chorus and giving my gratitude, trying some affirmations and short meditations, including breathing techniques and mudras, and journaling.  When I finish this practice I feel at peace and full of gratitude, and inspired and energized.  I am so grateful to have so many tools to connect me to the present moment, and the peace that can be found there.
JT and I have both been enjoying the warm oil self massage, what a nurturing practice, and with the amount of time we spend in the elements we both immediately felt the energetic shielding or buffer from exposure, and the ability to tend to the inward calm.
In combination with the restorative yoga postures and the beautiful, safe and nurturing space that you create at the yoga center, this is the most profound medicine I have ever experienced.
I did want to write something that you could use on your website as well.  “With Brooke’s gentle guidance, I have come to know a profound peace within my body.  I am deeply grateful.  Restorative yoga is the most holistic medicine I have ever experienced.”
Congrats on your presentation and the amazingly supportive response you got in funding!  I am so grateful to be one of your guinea pigs 🙂 I’ll be seeing you soon and often!
Much love and peace,
J
August 11, 2015
AUM peace AUM

National Presentation Campaign at ALTCON2015: Bringing Trauma-Informed Yoga-Based Practices to the Top

Going National

I have been featured in The Rivard Report, an online hyper-local magazine serving San Antonio’s urban core.

Deborah Charnes from The Namaste Counsel and The Write Counsel was in the audience at SYTAR and heard my story. She asked if I would like to write a blog for her. What I didn’t know was that she was connected to all of these national blogs.

http://www.therivardreport.com/veterans-and-yoga-the-perfect-mix/

I am so very grateful for the opportunity to write about Yoga, Yoga therapy and the medicine that is available for people. As Annie Okerlin, founder of The Exalted Warrior Foundation, said to me on the phone yesterday, cross-pollinating with iRest and Yoga nidra, Warriors At Ease, SYTAR, IAYT, The Expanding Light’ s Ananda Yoga Therapy Training, Facebook, phone calls and research, with cheerful perseverance, a sense of humor, the occasional potty mouth and tons of Yoga Love will make the world a more accessible place to seek healing for those blessed with a delicacy of spirit.

Yoga, Mental Illness and Summertime Fun

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“Mental illness” is not my favorite term to use as a Yoga therapist or as a peer in recovery. I prefer “behavioral health,” “mental health issues,” “mental health” or “mental wellness.” Affirmations are powerful medicine, and a fundamental pranayama practice. Thoughts are energy, and every little bit adds up.

People identify with the term “mental illness” in our culture, as a label and as something to fear. As I move through the world as an advocate, researcher, teacher and friend, I recognize more and more that mental illnesses are the norm, and that behavioral health issues affect everyone. Values, ethics and relationships define our behavior. We need models, and Yoga and 12-Step Recovery offer structure, community and best practices to improve our health and our lives.

As a presenter at The International Association of Yoga Therapist’s Symposium on Yoga Therapy and Research last month, I was moved to receive feedback all weekend on the impact of my twenty-minute talk. Over and over, people approached me and said, “My mother…”, “My son…”, “My father…” Mental health affects us all.

Other take-aways from the conference:

  • Yoga is strong, slow medicine.
  • I will likely be going to India to understand the full context of Yoga Therapy, to continue mental health research for bipolar disorder and personality disorders
  • Even famous Yoga therapists are people, too
  • Friendship happens when vulnerability trumps ego

The name “Genevieve Yellin” kept surfacing at the conference as I spoke of developing a Yoga Therapy for Bipolar Disorder program to other participants. She has spearheaded the Overcome Anxiety Project, incorporating Yoga and mindfulness into an online program accessible to anyone for mental health relief. I was able to speak to Genevieve last week. She was very generous with her experience, with business information on how her programs have achieved success and with encouragement – because pioneering this field is overwhelming due to the sheer need for services. I love my colleagues who run with me in the spirit of collaboration. It takes sincere self-study to not feel threatened by our peers. We must continue our personal practices to be able to embrace one another with integrity for the greatest good of all.

Tomorrow, I leave for Southern California to attend Part 2B of Warriors At Ease Training for Yoga and Meditation Teachers in Military Communities. I will be graciously hosted by the owner of the studio where training is to be held, at jabulaniyoga, Jill Manly. Our trainer and facilitator, founder of Exalted Warrior Foundation Annie Okerlin, and a woman flying over from Okinawa, Japan named Faith will also be boarding at Jill’s. This promises to be a rich weekend.

I continue to teach classes, workshops and individual clients in private practice this summer. Jumping on the momentum post-SYTAR,  I have written the editor of Yoga Therapy Today to summarize my IAYT SYTAR presentation; I am communicating with The County of San Luis Obispo Behavioral Health Program Director, Judy Vick, to promote further Yoga programming for mental illness recovery, behavioral health wellness and research; I applied as a presenter to The Alternatives Conference in Memphis in October, 2015; and I continue to practice self-care in the face of personal health issues and relationships with others who live with and without mental health diagnoses and symptoms.

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The “Fare Thee Well” Grateful Dead concerts this Independence Day week were moving for me. My sister, D’Arcy, and I loved The Grateful Dead and I am sure that she was singing along over the rainbow with hundreds of thousands of Dead fans, here and beyond, who appreciate peace, love, colors, roses and sound therapy. I danced next to a gentleman who works at Atascadero State Hospital, and he gave me names of a psychologist and a psychiatrist interested in mindfulness therapies. You never know who you might meet on Shakedown Street.

AUM

International Association of Yoga Therapists Symposium on Yoga Therapy and Research Community Interest PowerPoint Presentation

Brooke West IAYT PDF

I am presenting to an international conference in the Mental, Emotional and Spiritual category on Thursday, June 4, from 1:30pm to 5pm in Newport Beach, California.

I have just submitted this PowerPoint – the first ever that I have created.

May your life be art.

Brooke West IAYT ppt

International Bipolar Foundation Original Blog: Yoga Philosophy for Bipolar Disorder 101: Part 2, Satya

Please visit The International Bipolar Foundation to read the second installment of my series of blogs on the Yamas and Niyamas.Honesty

Check out World Bipolar Day on March 30 and look for my picture and meme!

http://ibpf.org/blog/yoga-philosophy-bipolar-disorder-101-part-2-satya