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Saturday, June 23, 2012

Veterans Health Care: Veterans, Trauma and Yoga: Are We Moving Quickly Enough?




Ways to Help
There is a growing community of yoga therapists and studios wanting to give back to veterans the gifts that they have received from the practice and teaching of yoga. Want to teach yoga effectively and safely in military settings, or offer free classes to veterans?

The Veterans Yoga Project, http://www.veteransyogaproject.org/, offers yoga as a therapeutic practice for veterans coping with PTSD and other trauma-related psychological problems and training for yoga instructors wishing to serve veterans. The focus is on practices that are breath- and sensation-oriented, inviting veterans to come back into their bodies in a safe, predictable, and controllable manner.

Warriors at Ease offers training and certification for yoga and meditation teachers (and other professional mind/body instructors/practitioners). The training includes cultural sensitivity skills critical to a teacher's success and effectiveness and steps to navigate the military healthcare systems. Check out www.warriorsatease.com for more information and resources.

• More than 300 gyms and yoga studios nationwide are participating in the YogaForVets.org program so far. Founded by Paul Zipes, a former Navy deep sea diver who started doing yoga in 1995 on a dare from his wife, this grassroots initiative's goal is "to make sure that someday all war vets return and receive our welcome home gesture of providing 4 free yoga classes where they live." Sign up to offer veterans four free classes at www.yogaforvets.org.

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