National Yoga Therapy Presentation

$3,848 of $3,800 goal

Raised by 32 people in 41 months
Brooke West Yoga  LOS OSOS, CA
People with mental and/or substance use disorders typically die years earlier than the general population.

My sister, D'Arcy, died at the age of thirty.
I believe that, because I practice Yoga and meditation,
I survived.

I have been accepted as a presenter at the Alternatives Conference 2015 in Memphis, Tennessee, October 14-18. 

I am appealing for donations to fund my presence at this conference.  

Conference production is federally funded SAMHSA, The Substance Abuse Mental Health Services Agency, part of The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. 

SAMHSA's mission is "to reduce the impact of substance abuse and mental illness on America's communities."

SAMHSA has mandated that public health agencies nationwide integrate proactive and holistic recovery interventions, such as Yoga-based practices, led by peers in recovery.

I am a peer in recovery. 

I am also a  Certified Ananda® Yoga Therapist .

I am a researcher, teacher, sister, gardener and friend living with bipolar disorder, in recovery.

I have been invited to this conference to introduce Yoga-based practices and meditation as therapeutic interventions for anxiety relief
to leaders in healthcare:
policy makers,
pharmaceutical representatives,
mental health advocates
and others.

Presenters must pay to attend. 
Please participate in helping me to achieve the goal of educating the nation's behavioral health leaders on relaxation, breathing and attention training. 

Therapeutic, Yoga-based interventions complement these federal mandates:
(1) wellness and empowerment 
(2) prevention services 
(3) treatment and support services and
(4) surveillance, research, and evaluation.

I have been guaranteed a 75-minute slot to teach trauma-informed Restorative Yoga, Yoga nidra, therapeutic breath and meditation to attendees.

I have also applied to lead two 90-minute caucases to present current, relevant, evidence-based research and the biology behind mindful breath and movement in small groups. This may add three more hours to my forum, if my proposals are accepted.

I live in a remote region of California.
Two days of travel will be required.
I will forfeit one week of income from my small, private Yoga therapy practice to attend this extraordinary event.
The cost of conference registration, airfare, hotel accomodations, meals and transportation must be covered. I would also like to visit Graceland.

The response to this, my first, GoFundMe campaign has been enormous.  I am encouraged and grateful. I have adjusted my goal to include the cost of purchasing a  laptop computer. To be able to create PowerPoint presentations to plainly illustrate the science behind why Yoga-based practices are effective will improve my reach and credibility as an educator.

Please contribute to make the world a better, more compassionate place - and to make simple recovery tools accessible to those suffering the most: our community with mental health issues and our community struggling with addiction. They are, often, the same people. They are, often, ourselves.

Yoga-based interventions work. 

Breath, movement and relaxation are strong, instant, long-term and affordable medicines that relieve anxiety, depression, post traumatic stress, mood disorders, anger, insomnia, compulsive behaviors, chronic pain and lifestyle illnesses.
It takes a generation for research to hit the streets. 
We must begin to educate now.
I am willing to be a grateful pioneer!

Thank you so much for supporting this accomplishment!

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Update 9
Posted by Brooke West
41 months ago
This is the third update from my new little Macbook - the other two disappeared. I will override my frustration with the joy and gratitude I feel...
This campaign is still going and contributions are still rolling in , both online and off. You campaigning for me and sharing this has brought in donations from folks I have never met. I am grateful for all of it. The money has been well spent on airfare, hotel accommodations and this beautiful little machine. I will continue to apply all contributions to support this appointment.
Thank you.
Julie Garvey, a Yoga student and campaign contributor, generously gave me beautiful Samsonite luggage for my trip. Thank you, Julie!

Look what else you all have done:


It may be in California, so for those of you whom have expressed interest in attending, it may be coming to you!

I will be leading a Friday morning Yoga class, called Morning Breath and Movement, at the conference, in addition to my workshop (according to the AltCon director, securing an actual workshop is "competitive") and perhaps a caucus or two. NOT calling these presentations "Yoga" has its benefits and is intentional on my part. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services SAMHSA approves every bit of text in the program, so the top guns have heard of me now and of trauma-informed, Restorative Yoga-based practices for emotional self-regulation. AUM!

I will arrive in Memphis a few days before the conference to spend some time with the sole Ananda Kriyaban in Memphis and her family. We hope to visit Hellen Keller's home during my homestay with my new friend and gurubai. We look forward to practicing meditation together as the soul-friends that we have always been.

I worked locally this week, meeting with the The County of San Luis Obispo Behavioral Health Director, Ann Robin, regarding the implemention of Yoga-based practices and innovation studies in this public health agency. Keep good thoughts.
I also fell in love with the at-risk, adolescent girls to whom I introduced trauma-informed, Yoga-based practices at Grizzly Youth Academy this week. Six of the twelve girls fell asleep in the first pose. One stayed asleep the entire class. Trauma, being away from home and living in an intensive, quasi-military environment... you can imagine their gratitude at the end of the session. Fantastic. I go back once a week until November. We are surveying the participants with a control group to assess the benefits of this program. The girls will be tracked for one year post-program.

THANK YOU ALL for this marvelous adventure! Thanks for the true love.
Miracles, man. Miracles.
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Update 8
Posted by Brooke West
41 months ago
I was feeling very mixed about raising my goal. When I actually met my goal, GoFundMe sent me an email SUGGESTING that I raise my goal, so I guess I did it right after all.
They also want to send me a four foot check, like the one I made once for the Los Osos Modelo Pro Ping Pong Tournament. Here's a shot. Thank you to everyone who made this happen during my birthday month and the month that marks my sister's passing. What a wonderful celebration of alchemy.
I suggested that GoFundMe send the check to the conference site in Memphis and that we take a group photo with my Yoga students there!
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Update 7
Posted by Brooke West
41 months ago
August 22, 2015

Hello Brooke.
We know you are planning on facilitating a Yoga session as a workshop, which should prove to be an excellent addition to the workshop line-up.
Would you consider also facilitating a Yoga session on another day (or two) outside the workshop session times?
Donita Diamata
Peerlink National Technical Assistance Center
A program of Mental Health America of Oregon

Thank you for the opportunity.
My answer is Yes, I would be happy to!

"Belief In Recovery Changes Lives"
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Update 6
Posted by Brooke West
41 months ago
The good fortune of having mentors and gurus allows us to evolve in the context of wisdom .
My teachers have suggested changing my campaign .
I am a rather inexperienced traveler and quite naive when it comes to computers and technology. My talents lie in other areas.
I am grateful for everyone standing beside me. You make this campaign and Yoga therapy presentation successful,. You support much-needed and valuable therapeutic services.
Thank you for your contributions!
From the mud, the lotus.
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$3,848 of $3,800 goal

Raised by 32 people in 41 months
Created August 9, 2015
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40 months ago
41 months ago
41 months ago
Rae Anne Robinett
41 months ago


Stacy-Colleen Nameth
41 months ago

Namaste Brooke

41 months ago
stevie anderson
41 months ago

Go, Brooke!

41 months ago
alice hamrick
41 months ago

You are a pioneer. Onward and upward for you.

Karyn Staymates
41 months ago

Good luck!!

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