Helping Veterans Recover Through Yoga

by Simona Terron
Being in stressful situations for a prolonged period of time can lead to Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). No one understands this better than armed forces personnel. While not all veterans suffer from PTSD, many individuals are better off seeking professional counsel and engagement with the community.

The Veterans Yoga Project is an educational and advocacy organization dedicated to improving the health and well-being of military veterans. They work in partnership with veterans, active-duty military personnel, student veterans organizations, and other non-profit organizations, in order to support recovery and promote resilience among veterans, their families, and their communities.

What is it about yoga that helps vets? It improves their sense of wellbeing. It also allows them to sharpen their focus and stay calm during panic episodes.

Yoga is great for people who are already in great shape, but it’s even better for individuals with reduced activity and fitness levels. Being able to bond with others who are going through the same situation is immensely healing, and allows for vets to share their suffering with others who have been in similar situations.

The project also organizes healing retreats that provide veterans and their family members with instruction and practice in evidence-informed, clinically tested self-regulation techniques. It offers them a chance to engage in various therapeutic recreational and community-building social activities. It also helps them to make and implement healthy lifestyle choices by educating them about the role of nutrition in recovery and resilience. The best bit, however, are the retreats.
During these multi-day retreats the veterans practice Mindful Yoga Therapy, where they learn that breathing, meditation, and other mind-body skills can significantly reduce symptoms of PTSD.

If you know a veteran who would benefit from this yoga project, head on over to their place and introduce them to this wonderful phenomenon.


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