Now on its third reprint, Give Back Yoga Foundation’s bestselling practice guide Mindful Yoga Therapy For Veterans has earned the following words of praise from yoga instructors and from veterans.
“What would you do with your life if you could get a break from the PTSD and Depression? Does your present situation have you stuck, making you unable to move on? Over the last several years I have come to realize there is no one thing that is going to work like a ‘cure’ for me. Instead, I look for ‘tools’ that help me along. I tried the medication route and it did help with acute problems, but I don’t see that as a long-term solution, only as one ‘tool.’ I used meds to make some progress – and I did make some progress.
Recently I was introduced to a new set of ‘tools’ involving Yoga. I have used Yoga Nidra to help restore some of the calm I once knew. The Yoga practice from the Mindful Yoga Therapy program is also providing benefit. Together with other tools, real change is finally happening for me. It may not be the ‘one thing’ that will change my life (I still have a good amount of work to do). But the change I feel inspired me to revisit the question I started with: What will I do with my life? What will you do with yours?”
– Dave, US Navy (support division)
“I am an Iraq war veteran who works at a Veterans Administration Medical Center as a Peer Support Specialist. I suffer from PTSD, anxiety, panic attacks and I have a mild traumatic brain injury. Before working here in December 2012, I found the Give Back Yoga website and received the Mindful Yoga Therapy for Veterans Recovering from Trauma book with CDs. That book helped me deal with my symptoms, and I found out that I like to do yoga and meditation – two things I never thought I would do. Now that I work here at the VA, I’m trying to help my fellow veterans gain the same relief and peace that I felt from this program.
Thank you for this program…it helped give me life again.”
– Melanie C.
“(Before I discovered yoga), I had struggled for a really, really long time. I was angry, I was withdrawn, I was “right” all the time even when I was wrong. The first time I got on the mat, I got very emotional, and I knew that’s what I needed. I needed to open up and relieve some of that energy that I had been walking around with for the last 30 years.
Now, six months into my teacher training program, I am definitely not fixed. Yoga is not a quick fix for anything. But I do know that I have come a long way….and what I’ve gotten so far, I would love to take this to other veterans to see if I can help them to find the kind of peace that I’ve found in the last year-and-a-half since I’ve been practicing.”
– Michael R., Air Force veteran
“What sets Mindful Yoga Therapy apart from most other practices is that it’s very accessible, and it’s designed to treat this beast that’s called PTSD. It’s very relaxing. It calms every part of your body.
An added benefit is that we have vets teaching vets. And what makes this so important is that we’ve all walked in the same boots. When I’m sharing a story about how something sucks, that person in front of me knows just exactly how much it sucks. It’s that intimate connection, and it’s that common thread. At the end of the day, all of us are on that same parallel path of healing.”
– Chris E., a yoga teacher and Air Force veteran who served in Iraq
“I was introduced to yoga during my time at the PTSD Rehabilitation Residential Program in Newington, CT. The Veterans Yoga Program has been incredibly helpful to me in coping with my PTSD. Yoga is like a gyro that brings me back into equilibrium when dealing with the effects of my disorder. The more I practice, the more my symptoms are mitigated. Yoga has helped to reduce my anxiety and has improved my ability to focus. I like the challenge of doing something that tests my abilities and rewards me with observable progress which keeps me motivated. I think of Yoga as survival training for the veteran’s mind, body, and soul.”
– Paul, Vietnam War Veteran
“I teach yoga for veterans at the VA in Topeka, Kansas. The VA has a 24-bed/7-week program. The Mindful Yoga Therapy for Veterans Coping with Trauma book and the 2 CDs have been helpful with information about Post Traumatic Stress (PTS). It describes PTS and gives you a tool-box to help veterans break the cycle with breathing techniques, mindful movement with a practice guide, Yoga Nidra, Meditation and Gratitude. It is concisely written with great information. The CDs that come with it are well done and helpful for my classes.”
“I wanted to take a moment to thank you and the organization for the CDs and Veterans Yoga Project practice guide. The audio CDs were great quality, and I think they would be an asset to any Vet or active duty service member looking to use pranayama and yoga nidra as tools in managing PTSD or other trauma. We’ve been working with Vets in Houston for over two years, and looking to increase our footprint very soon. Harris County (Houston’s location) has the second highest population of military Veterans in the US, and our VA medical center is one of the largest anywhere. So, we have a significant population here that needs our help. Thanks again for your interest and great work in this community.”
– Carl Salazar, Founder and Executive Director, Expedition Balance, Houston, TX
“I really appreciate what you folks are doing. I got turned onto yoga and meditation by my therapist at the VA, and it has been a huge help. I’m using your poster a couple of times a week. I look forward to using the DVD.”
– Matt Hoh, August 2013
“Yoga has helped my racing mind stop racing.”
– Heather, Iraqi War Veteran
“Yoga Nidra helps me access the true me.”
– Diane, Saigon 70
“Yoga and this practice guide is my personal pathway to paradise.”
“Mindful Yoga Therapy brings clarity to my life.”
Mindful Yoga Therapy for Veterans is also useful for the families of active duty service members and anyone who is dealing with stress:
“My name is Sandra. I’ve been part of the Canadian Forces family for the past 26 years, including my husband Eric, children Sarah and Patrick. As any family in the military, we’ve gone through a lot of changes, emotional ups and downs, and worries. The first time I heard my husband was going on a mission for 6 months, I began feeling a lot of stress. We’d never gone through a separation for that long. I started reading books on how to cut stress out of my life.
The information that I was looking for at the time is being given to you in the palm of your hands. The only thing you need to do is the practice. These techniques in Mindful Yoga Therapy are simple and powerful. For example: ‘Deep breathing sends a message to the brain that all is well and cuts the stress cycle.’ Wow, with the breathing practice I realized that I didn’t need to be in a relaxed atmosphere to reduce stress. It’s that simple. I started to take time every day even if I only had a minute to spare and say to myself ‘am I breathing in, and breathing out?’ Some days that is all I needed to feel calm again.
If you would like to introduce some thing in your life that is simple but powerful that will change your life, this toolkit from the Veteran’s Yoga Project is a very good starter kit. It has worked for me and still is keeping me balanced and calm. If you open up to this program you will see positive results in no time!”
– Sandra Woods-Poulin