Practicing yoga can greatly benefit us both physically and mentally. Yoga can help to condition and heal our bodies, and also promote a sense of calm and peace. Because of this, yoga can prove very beneficial for veterans. Not only can the practice heal the body, it can also help us to deal with the traumas and memories associated with combat and war.
Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, or PTSD, is a condition that many veterans experience. It is an anxiety disorder that can develop following exposure to a terrifying or traumatic event that caused or threatened serious physical harm. PTSD can be triggered by a number of traumatic events including accidents, violent personal assaults, and military combat.
For some veterans suffering from PTSD, yoga can help. Hatha yoga emphasizes stillness and peace, and the practice of asanas, or postures, can help to bring a sense of balance and calm. By practicing asanas, we are encouraged to find peace with our experiences and to release our fears and frustrations. Yoga can be a healing a process that helps us to let go of traumas and the anger we may feel as a result.
While yoga cannot cure PTSD, it can show us how to deal with the symptoms and may even minimize them to some degree. Yoga can help to relieve anxiety, increase relaxation and promote better sleep. Yoga has historically been a path for warriors like Arjuna who was the hero of the Bhagavad Gita, as well as many of the Hindu deities who were also warriors.
There are many yoga teachers and studios offering yoga classes free of charge to veterans. You can find a list of them at www.yogaforvets.com.