Free Yoga Therapy Resources for Veterans and Servicemembers

Major Missy Rosol - Image by Robert Sturman

The Give Back Yoga Foundation is pleased to offer a selection of sponsored materials to veterans or active duty servicemembers at no charge. Simply fill out the form below and we will ship your order to your physical address, or deliver a download link to your e-mail.

Are you a nonprofit program or healthcare facility that serves veterans? Discounted pricing on bulk orders of Yoga for Warriors and Mindful Yoga Therapy Practice Guide is available through our online store. For information on bulk order pricing for other resources, email us at info@givebackyoga.org.

Yoga for Veterans: Available Free Products & Downloads

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These products developed by Give Back Yoga Foundation’s master teachers and program partners have been selected with the goal of helping veterans establish their own daily practice of yoga and mindfulness.

Yoga For Warriors – Basic Training in Strength, Resilience & Peace of Mind:

In an easy and approachable way, this practice guide leads students through physical poses (asana), breath work (pranayama), mindfulness meditation and the deep relaxation practice of yoga nidra. Beautifully illustrated with photos of veterans, this book is a versatile tool for all sexes, ages and abilities. Free to veterans and servicemembers – fill out our request form to receive a copy. 

Mindful Yoga Therapy Practice Guide:

A comprehensive introduction to a simple but effective yoga practice, this multi-media resource developed with the feedback of veterans includes a book, a poster with a visual guide for poses, and access to download two audio resources featuring meditation and Yoga Nidra practices (Breathe In, Breathe Out,” and “Deep Relaxation.”) Free to veterans and servicemembers – fill out our request form to receive a copy. 

Breathe In, Breathe Out: Quick and Easy Breathing Practices to Help Balance the Nervous System (CD):

This series of short breathing practices was developed by Suzanne Manafort as part of the Mindful Yoga for Veterans therapy program, offered at the PTSD Residential Rehabilitation Program in Newington, CT. Free to veterans and servicemembers – fill out our request form to receive a copy. 

iRest Yoga Nidra: Easing Into Stillness (CD):

Release negative emotions and thought patterns while calming the nervous system with 11 meditation practices led by clinical social worker and certified iRest Yoga Nidra teacher Karen Soltes. Free to veterans and servicemembers – fill out our request form to receive a copy. 

Deep Relaxation: Yoga Nidra (CD):

Yoga Nidra, a guided resting practice that helps to calm the nervous system and achieve deep relaxation in a short period of time, is a favorite practice for many veterans coping with PTSD. Available in the Give Back Yoga Foundation online store for $15.95, or as an MP3 download for $9.95.

Deep Yogic Relaxation: Awakening to Peace Within (CD)

Master teachers Patty Townsend and Rod Stryker guide students through powerful physical relaxation, breath awareness and visualization techniques. Available in the Give Back Yoga Foundation online store for $15.

VetsYoga (DVD)

An instructional DVD with basic yoga and relaxation practices led by two war veterans, this tool helps students practice in the privacy of their own home. Available online for $19.99; veterans can get 50% off by entering the coupon code THANKYOU at checkout. Read more about the VetsYoga DVD from Military.com fitness blogger Chris Torriello.

Read More About Veterans and Yoga:

US Department of Veterans Affairs: What Is PTSD?

How iRest Yoga Nidra is Helping Military Personnel

Armor Down: Iraq Veteran Ben King Blogs On How Yoga Is Helping Him Return To Life As a Civilian

Yoga and PTSD: One Vet’s Story

Never, Ever Give Up: How One Veteran Transformed His Life Through Yoga

Yoga Saved My Life: Two Veterans Find Healing in Yoga – A Veterans Day Feature With USA Today

Vietnam Vet Joseph Dolock: Using Yoga To Move Forward Through PTSD

Yoga Journal: A Few Good Yogis – How A Hospital Corpsman Finds Refuge In Yoga

The Healing Effect of Yoga on PTSD

Wired: Army’s New PTSD Treatments: Yoga, Reiki, ‘Bioenergy’

Yoga In The Military? Sir, Yes, Sir!

Army’s New Physical Training Incorporates Yoga, Resting

Army Looking At Yoga, Acupuncture To Treat Pain

US Army Turns To Yoga For Making Soldiers Combat Ready

Military Examines Yoga For PTSD Relief

The Washington Post: A Breath of Hope – Using Yoga To Combat PTSD

Harvard, Brigham Study: Yoga Eases Veterans’ PTSD Symptoms

Yoga and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder: An Interview With Pioneering Researcher & Teacher Dr. Bessel van der Kolk

Ana Forrest for The Huffington Post Blog: Healing PTSD Through a New Kind of Yoga

NPR: Veterans Turn To Yoga To Cope With PTSD

Yoga Practice May Improve Pain Tolerance and Alter Brain Anatomy

“Warrior One”: Yoga Pose Takes On Whole New Meaning At VA Salt Lake City

Yoga Therapy Today: Yoga Teachers As Part of the Clinical Team

Warriors At Peace

Yoga and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder: An Interview With Bessel van der Kolk, M.D.

Application of Yoga in Residential Treatment of Traumatized Youth

Operation: Yoga – Yoga Offers Meaningful Holistic Solutions to Returning Veterans and Their Families

Coming Home is Harder Than Fighting In The War: How Yoga Saved My Life

How Yoga Can Help Veterans

Here’s what Sue Lynch and fellow veteran Hugo Patrocinio have to say about how yoga helped them find relief from their symptoms of PTSD:

A growing number of veterans and healthcare professionals are discovering that the age-old practice of yoga and meditation offers an effective way to deal with the physical and emotional pain of post-traumatic stress disorder, major depression and traumatic brain injury. Yoga is far more than an exercise program – it’s a full mind-body discipline that can improve the life of every veteran, from World War II vets to service members just returning home from Iraq and Afghanistan.

Clinical studies show that yoga can help veterans:

  • Sleep better, overcoming insomnia and nightmares
  • Enjoy a sense of well-being
  • Relieve depression and hopelessness
  • Cope with and even resolve anxiety and fear
  • Find escape from the “fight or flight” response that causes hyperarousal
  • Control anger and strong emotions
  • Reconnect emotionally with friends, family and their community
  • Be successful in recovering from addiction
  • Feel less physical pain

“Yoga gives us choices, allows us not to have to try so hard – which is contrary to military training (like) ‘no pain, no gain,’ and ‘pain is weakness leaving the body.’” says Gulf War veteran Sue Lynch. “Yoga connects us to ourselves, (which) in turn allows us to then connect to our loved ones and our communities.”