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How Can Yoga Help
Yoga’s physical postures promote healthy, flexible bodies and often provide relief from pain. The class is so gentle that veterans, many of whom have other health conditions or serious physical limitations, find the postures comfortable and easy to do.
Yoga directly addresses the fight-or-flight response, which is at the heart of PTS. The fight-or-flight response is a reaction that prepares the body to fight or flee from perceived threat. Because yoga deals directly with the mind-body connection, it helps veterans retrain the fight-or-flight response. Now, when they confront a situation that triggers their memories, instead of resorting to aggression or drowning in fear, they have other options: deep breathing, for example, as a means to self-calm. Other benefits include:
- The release of emotional issues.
- Help towards relaxing and strengthening the body.
- Unfreezing bad memories and creating new bodily memories.
- Giving feelings of joy and personal empowerment.
- The mind becomes more clear and open.
- It produces acceptance of the self.
- Life feels better balanced.
- It allows one to safely express stored emotions such as guilt, shame, anger, sadness and grief so those feelings can be understood and integrated.
- A regular yoga practice helps alleviate symptoms of PTS including anger, anxiety, depression, guilt and paranoia.
Yoga Warriors is designed specifically to assist soldiers in coping with Post Traumatic Stress as well as the daily and specific stresses that military members are exposed to. The classes are also open to those from other high stress environments in addition to the caregivers and family members of those affected.