yoga teacher training. a long time coming

UPDATE: thanks to those of you who have made donations towards my yoga teacher training. I’m now officially enrolled. I’m excited. It’s the first ongoing commitment I have made (outside of my home) in 10 years. I was explicit about my limitations and they remained enthusiastic about my participation. I will continue taking donations. I’ve paid for one third of the $3000 tuition fee. I have until June to finish paying in monthly installments. Any help will continue to be much appreciated. donate with PayPal  here. More on that here: yoga teacher training. a long time coming


I’m applying for a yoga teacher training. Very excited about it. If you’d like to help me get there and you’ve ben I would very much appreciate donations. Below is my application for a scholarship which will hopefully pay for part of the tuition which is $3000. Most of that I do need to come up with myself.  If you’d like to help you can donate here.

Any amount is welcome:  EVERYTHING MATTERS: BEYOND MEDS PAYPAL account. Whatever you send will be  forwarded to the yoga center until I reach the total needed.

Dear Asheville Community Yoga,

I’ve wanted to take this training for several years now and my physical condition has made it impossible to pursue. I have multiple brain injuries that I’m coming back from and over the last decade now I’ve been slowly rehabbing. I was bedridden and nonverbal for several years and the last 8 years it’s been back and forth in and out of bed and slowly, slowly cleansing and healing the over-taxed damaged microbiome and nervous systems. (Brain injuries impact the autonomic nervous system, thus causing havoc in any and all bodily – and subtle-bodily – systems).

It’s been a highly chaotic and lonely journey since the entire medical establishment denies what is happening to those of us impacted in this way, I’ve had to go within and learn to intimately listen to and respond to my injured body. Mine is a radical self-healing journey. I have done this while advocating for and documenting the plight of many multiple thousands of people harmed by the same pharmaceuticals I was taking. As a social worker in San Francisco I worked with clients impacted by the same pharmaceuticals that injured me. I have seen, up close what happens to folks on these drugs, both as a professional and as a patient. I have emancipated myself from the system and no longer utilize the psychiatric system at all.

I’ve become well known in critical psych circles and my work is now taught in some college classrooms. It has yet to make enough impact on delivered medical care, however, and people continue to be harmed in the multiple thousands. My work is not done. My site helps folks emancipate themselves from the psychiatric system and learn holistic ways of healing. This is done with the understanding that people need to do all they do at their own pace in their own unique ways, and sometimes that means taking psych drugs in a world in which appropriate alternative options are simply not offered or available for most people. My work is done in the hope that we can change this so that no one need ever be hurt again in the name of medicine.

So, with that intent, I’ve been helping folks navigate yoga and learn how to do home practices with challenged nervous systems for many years now. (see yoga posts here) Yoga has been one of my main practices in a life that now is always, 24/7, about healing myself and the collective. Most of us with these injuries cannot handle the classroom for some years. Indeed, for many years I rarely made it through a class, often leaving in 10, 15, 20 minutes and then doing most of my practice at home…a few minutes at a time as my challenged body allowed. Now finally, just this year, I often make it through entire classes and I can go to the more advanced vinyasa classes though my stamina is still only just developing. I often still have to skip those classes or sometimes leave early…but WOW! It’s such a revelation to make it through a whole vinyasa class, hot and sweaty. What JOY.

Yoga saved me. Literally resurrected me out of my bed when I was totally atrophied. I could barely make it to the toilet. I didn’t leave my house for a couple of years. I started yoga by sticking a leg up in the air and rotating my ankle. Then my arm and rotating my wrist. Just that for some time, actually. Slowly, slowly I did those little bits of one or two minutes of yoga, here or there, wherever I was laying down, until I could do it while I was sitting…then sitting on a mat…and slowly slowly, I did more and more…it’s taken YEARS of being totally proactive. People do not appreciate that these sorts of chronic illnesses (and most of the serious chronic stuff we see these days are all related in some ways…I could have gotten multiple diagnosis if I wanted…you know fibromyalgia, lyme disease, CFS…on and on…these illness are all variations on a theme…the body in overwhelm due to highly toxic environments we all are now subject to) In any case…healing isn’t straightforward quite often and for those of us with these long-term nightmarish illnesses it can take a very long time and the medical establishment as well as alternative health options rarely have the patience required to help us figure out what we need…again, this is why we need to do it largely for ourselves once we get out on the fringe of what we understand as a collective, we’re really on our own. Our bodies, of course, are a mystery and the health establishment doesn’t actually know how to work with that. In this regard it’s been a gift to learn the listen to the whisperings of a screaming body. To take heed and care for it in a way that has been largely forgotten by our species.

Anyway, Asheville Community Yoga has been a real, consistent, ongoing partner and ally in my care and healing transformation. I tell people about what you all have done for me all the time and generally start crying while doing it. I have offered most of what I do free of charge to those I advocate for … my work has been done largely without compensation and your generous existence has allowed me to always do as much yoga as my body can handle. I’m so deeply grateful for that. I want to raise as much of this class fee as possible and intend to start a fund-raiser on my site as I send this application off to you. I will send you whatever money is donated as I receive it via paypal. Any amount you can help me with would be great.

I would like to talk about a couple of details in terms of accommodations too. I still honestly cannot tell if this application is premature or not but I know I want to do this more than anything right now. It’s burning in my heart.

Let’s talk soon. Thank you so much for this opportunity. Please know that you can be clear and straight with me in communicating any reservations you might have etc. Let’s make this happen and work for all of us.  I understand that might mean doing it on a different timetable or whatever.


If you’d like to donate and help me get to this training, any amount is welcome:  EVERYTHING MATTERS: BEYOND MEDS PAYPAL account 


For a multitude of ideas about how to create a life filled with safe alternatives to psychiatric drugs visit the drop-down menus at the top of this page. 

About Monica Cassani

Author/Editor Beyond Meds: Everything Matters

2 Responses

  1. Good to hear . . . just one foot circle then another . . . I’ve got my whole routine you know as an old dancer, and if I didn’t do that, I’d lock in place. My next step is Medical Qigong . . . for vertigo. It’s just down the street, but either I’m too tired or too poor or both. Tai Chi would be good too . . . I don’t know too much of it.


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