By Libby Smith

DENVER (CBS4) – Yoga on the Rocks has returned to Red Rocks Amphitheatre. The River Yoga will be hosting the first four weeks, and it’s donating $1 of every ticket sold to a nonprofit called Love Your Brain. The national organization works to ease the lives of people with traumatic brain injuries — TBI. Love Your Brain holds retreats at Rocky Mountain Village in Empire, offers specially designed yoga classes at The River Yoga and has online programming.

(credit CBS)

Michelle Malek is among those suffering from a TBI who accesses the services of Love Your Brain.

“The trajectory of my life changed in 2017,” she said of the car crash that injured her brain.

Malek went from being an endurance athlete doing marathons and triathlons to having to be helped through the competitions.

(credit Michelle Malek)

“I lost a beautiful community of endurance athletes and triathletes. They’re lovely people, but I can’t do what they do anymore,” Malek explained.

In addition to losing her community, her TBI has taken a physical and mental toll. Malek has also lost a lot of her freedoms, like driving and working. Every aspect of her life has changed.

“It’s been hard,” she told CBS4. “There’s a lot of grief, and grief is not a one and done thing. It just comes back with a vengeance.”

Malek has found a new community in Love Your Brain, and healing in the programming the organization offers.

“The Love Your Brain community is just so supportive, so understanding…empowering,” she said.

(credit CBS)

The Love Your Brain yoga classes are research-based, the transitions between poses are slower, and head movements are limited. It’s adaptable  to each person’s needs.

“I think that programs like this are radical, and that they provide spaces for healing, individualism, and collective community, and a lot of space for care,” said Steph Winsor, an instructor for Love Your Brain, and lead teacher trainer and instructor at The River Yoga.

“It’s a chance not to reflect back, nor to look forward and worry about the future. You’re just right here in this moment, and you’re just worried about this breathe,” Malek added.

LINKS: Love Your Brain | Yoga On The Rocks | The River Yoga

Libby Smith