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Yoga Therapy for Brain Injury - 2021 BIAYR Programming Series

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Yoga Therapy sessions for brain injury survivors and caregivers.

About this Event

Brain Injury Association of York Region is pleased to present:

Yoga Therapy for Brain Injury: Rise and Shine

Hosted by Kristina Borho, MSc. OT, OT Reg. (Ont.) and C-IAYT

Occupational Therapist and Yoga Therapist (certified with the International Association of Yoga Therapists)

This 75 minute Yoga Therapy session aims to support individuals to develop a morning routine of moving their body, connecting with their breath, meditating and setting a positive intention for the rest of their day. Focus will be on releasing tension that builds up from sleeping, activating and energizing the system through breath and movement, using the practice to focus their mind and supporting them to explore how a morning yoga practice can support them to become aware of how they set up the rest of their day in their mind and body.

The class will consist of gentle energizing poses in standing, seated on a chair and lying. The use of a chair or a wall for support is recommended.

Participants will be offered variations of the poses to support individuals to move within their abilities safely. There will be time for participants to connect with one another briefly to build on a sense of community.

These sessions will take place on Tuesdays from 9:30am - 10:45am starting January 5, 2021 to June 29, 2021 (no class March 16).

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Yoga Therapy for Brain Injury: Release and Restore

Hosted by Sangita Balsara, C-IAYT

Yoga Therapist (certified with the International Association of Yoga Therapists)

Participants will be facilitated through an evening practice to release accumulated physical tension and mental stress that has built up over their day and week. Participants will be led through gentle mindful movements, coordinating with their breath and focusing their mind in the present moment. They will be guided through a breathing practice and meditation to support their parasympathetic nervous system to elicit the relaxation response in the body.

This practice aims to support the participant to have a more restful sleep and support their body and mind to learn how to reset for the following day. Through repeated practice of an evening routine, participants may learn tools that they can incorporate into their everyday life.

These sessions will take place on Thursdays from 6pm - 7pm starting January 7, 2021 to June 24, 2021 (no class January 14 and March 18).

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More About Yoga Therapist: Kristina Borho

I graduated from University of Toronto with a Masters of Science in Occupational Therapy in 2004. I worked at Toronto Rehabilitation Institute in outpatient neuro-rehabilitation from 2004 until 2011. I then worked at FunctionAbility Rehabilitation Services from 2011 until 2016 providing Occupational Therapy and Yoga Therapy to individuals with complex trauma including brain injury. In 2016, I started my own company, Empowering Mind and Body to provide Occupational Therapy and Yoga Therapy both individually and in group settings to all ages and abilities.

I have been practicing Yoga since 2006. In 2014, I completed my 200-hour Yoga teacher training in Vinyasa Flow and have taken workshops and received certification to teach Yin Yoga, Restorative Yoga and Yoga for Children. In 2016, I became a Yoga Therapist upon completion of Yoga Therapy Toronto’s 800+ hour (2 year) Yoga Therapy Program and obtained my certification with the International Association of Yoga Therapists (C-IAYT). During my training to become a Yoga Therapist, I led a 10-week Yoga Therapy group at Community Head Injury Resource Services (CHIRS) for 6 people living with the effects of brain injury and presented my case study work on Yoga for Brain Injury. I went on to become trained in Heart Math as a complementary tool in my work with clients and completed a workshop on Pain Care Yoga with Neil Pearson, PT.

I have gained experience using the tools of yoga therapy for clients with varying severity and complexity of symptoms including but not limited to headaches, double vision, sensitivity to light and noise, decreased balance, foot drop, pain, decreased sensation, dizziness, fatigue, poor sleep, decreased range of motion, strength and coordination, increased spasticity, difficulty following instructions, decreased memory and attention, impulsivity, disinhibition, emotional lability, anxiety, depression, PTSD and delusions. If the client has a desire to participate in Yoga, I meet them where they are at in their recovery and their unique experience living with a brain injury and empower them to focus their mind, calm their breath and become more aware of their body to improve their quality of life.


More About Yoga Therapist: Sangita Balsara

Yoga has been an integral part of my household since childhood, although at that time I did not realize it. Whether I was practicing asana with my mom, chanting at spiritual gatherings, or watching my parents meditate these powerful tools of Yoga have supported my upbringing and led me to where I am today. I completed my first Yoga training in 2007 with Patanjali Yogpeeth Canada, and went onto deepening my practice and knowledge by completing a 350hr Yoga Teacher Training with East to West yoga in 2009. Since then, I have continued to study, practice and teach and have certifications in Children’s Yoga, Teens yoga, Athletes Yoga and Yin & Restorative Yoga. The more I immersed myself in learning and teaching the more I recognized the healing capacity of Yoga. This led me to complete a 2-year intensive Yoga Therapist Training program in the lineage of Krishnamacharya.

As a Yoga Therapist, I work with people on a one-to-one basis to enable and empower individuals to heal from within. Where general Yoga keeps us on the steady path of wellness and regular practice provides the equanimity to cope with the stresses and various stages of life, Yoga Therapy specifically targets the root cause of affliction. The goal of Yoga Therapy is to heal by appeasing the symptoms, positively enhance quality of life and thereby reduce suffering. In my classes the emphasis is always on the incorporation of breath in asana (postures) to create a deeper level of practice and cultivate body awareness. Body awareness not only creates a safer practice for students, but translates into their daily lives, resulting in a healthier lifestyle. My mission is to make the practice and benefits of yoga easily accessible to anyone who wishes to practice. I believe that yoga offers a wealth of benefits that everyone must have a chance to explore.

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