The Mind Body Project Crew was fortunate enough to spend this summer in the iLab with Logan Brich. Immediately apparent to us was Logan's work ethic, passion and interest in self-reflection and growth. After the incubator, we asked him to join our team for assistance with the website and promotion, and were touched by his weekly reflections on breathing, moving and evolving with us. Here's the first edition:
Week 1 – The Beginning
Allow me to preface this by stating first and foremost that I am not a yogi, or at least I don’t see myself as one. It’s not so much that I choose not to be, but rather that I never saw the possibility of myself becoming one. In fact, I quite admire the lifestyle of grounded-ness and light, the openness to what was and what is and what will be. Bending and twisting into impossible shapes, the meditative Sanskrit mantras echoing brass singing-bowl tones, feeling the energy flow through my body and core–it all intrigues me. But that connectedness and love has always seemed beyond me, unattainable.
No longer. This is my transformation and my journey towards a better mind and body, and I’m thankful to you for joining me.
A bit about me, my name is Logan Brich and I am a rising second year at the University of Virginia (go Hoos!) studying Human Biology. I’m currently working for a biotechnology startup in Charlottesville, and through this enterprise I have access to the UVA Darden Business School Innovation Lab. This is where I met The Mind-Body Project team, and from the moment we interacted I felt the genuineness and love that each of the members had to offer. That’s what got me interested in joining them on my journey.
For most of my life, I have struggled both physically and mentally. Old neck and back injuries from football continue to present as issues, making it difficult to relax and even sit for a prolonged period in certain positions. Because of this, I can feel my shoulders slouching forward, my back arching, and my chest closing, even when I am simply sitting still. When I stretch, my bones creak and joints crack, nerve pains shoot through my legs and back; at only nineteen years of age, I feel old. These impairments aren’t just a result of my physical injuries, however, but also my mental injuries.
Anxiety, stress, depression, and insecurity have plagued me for as long as I can remember. Persistent feelings of self-doubt have crippled my ability to interact with other people and share myself with the people I love. I’m a self-professed work-a-holic who often dedicates most of his energy to the task at hand, often at the expense of myself and others. As a result, I have pushed away people who have been close to me, and I have isolated myself when that was the exact opposite of what I needed. This, combined with those past physical insults, has caused me to become closed-off, afraid, and incomplete.
Needless to say, attending a group yoga class for the first time was the antithesis of my being, everything that scared me. Stretching meant nerve pain, sitting still meant the eventual discomforting degradation of my posture, silent meditation meant that I had to be alone with myself.
But the acceptance I felt from the moment I entered through the bright yellow door of the Mind-Body Project space assured me that I was safe. The open windows, casting light and breeze into the space reminded me to breathe, relax, and feel. Tea sessions before and after the movement portion allowed me to connect with community members, people with whom I would never have interacted or cared to interact before. The team and other yogis were inviting and warm, even loving, and I knew that I had begun a journey towards healing.
Though I have only attended a few sessions of yoga at the Mind-Body Project studio, I can say that I was hooked from the beginning, and that I will continue to attend sessions for as long as I am in Charlottesville. In a way, I’ve found a home, a safe place of warmth and community, somewhere I can share with others the essence of my being. It’s because of this love and light that I’ve been able to begin this journey towards a better mind and better body, and I am truly honored to have you join me in this transformation.