Yoga & Mindfulness Practice Contribute To Recovery
As a veteran caregiver, I know that many caregivers of veterans and military service members neglect their own care. When a military caregiver or veteran comes into one of my classes, I immediately connect with them on a deeper, supportive level. I’ve been there and I get it.
~ Pam Stokes-Eggleston
In theory, practice and theory are the same. In practice they are not.
~ Yogi Berra
TBI, PTS, Combat Stress, & Life Stress All Respond To Yoga Practice
Reality Changes Everyday – Stress From Reality Change Can Create Barriers To A Full Life
Stress cam undo reality. In this CBJ/029 Episode Pam provides a fresh perspective, a useful blueprint with specific practice tools to overcome stressful, unpredictable barriers to personal progress. To continue growing, to keep you unstuck, you must connect those stretched and corrupted mind-body connections. Yoga is simultaneous exercise for your mind and your body, with proven healing potential. As Yogi Berra so adroitly pointed out above: you just have to do it.
Yoga takes you to your own improved reality – one that supports your personal growth and self management skills.
Pam Looks Carefully At Options
Pamela Stokes-Eggleston is the founder of Yoga2Sleep. She teaches yoga, meditation and wellness practices to cope with insomnia, sleep deprivation, and stress. Her classes serve unique, often underserved populations, including veterans, service members and their families. As the daughter of an Air Force veteran, and granddaughter of an Army veteran, she fully understands the downstream effects of combat stress.
But it wasn’t until she became the actual caregiver of a wounded warrior, her own husband, that she struggled with sleep deprivation and anxiety herself. Pam is quick, engaging, fun and fast on her feet as shares fresh perspectives on recovery from post trauma, TBI, and the stress of everyday life for military spouses.
In this episode she tells us details about her personal evolution and significant contributions.
How She Hit Her Wall
“I started my yoga journey 15 years ago because I wanted to manage stress. Teaching yoga was not a thought to me, even as I progressed through Yoga Teacher Training. The idea of actually teaching yoga occurred organically as I strengthened my personal practice and more importantly, as I discovered that I wanted to share more of myself and my passion with the people and communities around me. Subsequently, this journey has transformed into more than I could have imagined.
As I struggled with knee issues and sleep deprivation from living with a wounded warrior dealing with his PTSD and TBI, I began to consider yoga as more than my personal spiritual practice or a vehicle for my students. I next wanted to use yoga to cultivate change in those the larger populations I’ve worked with throughout my professional career: veteran and military families, those incarcerated for abusing drugs, and people living with mental illness.
However, it wasn’t until I had an “a-ha” moment about a new role in my own military family that my personal path came full circle. Interestingly, my father is an Air Force veteran and my grandfather served in the Army, but it wasn’t until my husband was injured in Iraq and began recuperating at the Walter Reed Army Medical Center, that I understood the deeply personal significance of this new challenging reality, and fully recognized how yoga would change my own, our own lives.
Soon after his injury I began to use the tools of Pranakriya yoga to work more specifically with military families and the organizations supporting them.
Additionally, I knew when I became involved with Mindful Yoga Therapy [MYT] for Veterans – first through training and then as a support staff member – I realized that I truly wanted to consistently work with this population. I previously worked with veterans and service members who attended my classes, but I hadn’t taught classes specific to them – to their specific needs.
Now I use my MYT training with military and veteran spouses and families. Gerry, an Army veteran and one of my private clients who suffers from PSTD and anxiety, said: “Pamela has rejuvenated my life for the best. I feel that am in the best possible mental and physical condition of my life! I highly recommend Yoga2Sleep to other veterans.
Knowing that I am making a difference in the lives of others keeps me going.”
- Neither CBT protocols nor psychodynamic therapeutic techniques pay sufficient attention to the experience and interpretation of disturbed physical sensations and preprogrammed physical action patterns. Since Joseph LeDoux had shown that, at least in rats, “emotional memories are forever” and that the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (dlPFC), which is involved with insight, understanding, and planning for the future, has virtually no connecting pathways to the brain centers that generate and elaborate emotions, the best therapy claimed to offer is to help people inhibit the automatic physical actions that emotions provoke – limited extinction, and helping people with “anger management” and quieting them down before blowing off the handle, such as by counting to 10 and taking deep breaths. 
- Restorative sleep patterns reset the brain to prevent both mental [thinking and feeling] and physical deterioration.
- Nat. Inst. Health – Total Average Hours [TAH] of Sleep – Different age requirements. Most clinical presentations at CorePsych: less than 7 TAH.
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Pam’s Favorite Reference:
- Clinical Implications of Neuroscience Research in PTSD, NY Acad Of Sciences. PDF – 19 pgs, 64 References
- The Body Keeps the Score, Mind Brain and Body in The Transformation of Trauma, – book by Bessel van der Kolk, PhD – Global Amazon Link
A Military Family Resource:
Complimentary 029 Download
For: Better Sleep For the Best Life – PDF
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Your Next CoreBrain Journal Episode
030: Alan Brown An entrepreneur, ADHD/productivity coach and host of Crusher™TV, Alan is the creative force behind ADD Crusher™, the award-winning video series designed for ADHD teens and adults that was named a CHADD Innovative Program in 2013. Undiagnosed for decades, Alan’s untreated ADHD manifested in underachievement, failed relationships, substance abuse, and worse. Once diagnosed, he found it difficult to learn coping strategies from books, so he developed his own unique “brain hack” strategies while building a successful advertising career and several successful start-ups. He’s a featured presenter at ADHD conferences in the U.S. and abroad, at TEDx, and co-hosts ADDA’s weekly webinars as well as his own Crusher™TV, a weekly online TV show that teaches how to “unleash the power of your brain” via productivity brain hacks. Alan will roll your socks up and down with his wit, his charm and his street-wise details to make a big difference in everyday life. You will love this smart New Jersey ADHD maven from San Diego.
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