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Mindful Yoga Therapy 100-Hour Certification in Virginia Beach: Begins September 23, 2016

The 100-hour Mindful Yoga Therapy certification offers an in-depth course of study based on the techniques of embodyoga®, and proven protocol developed as an alternative complementary therapy for veterans being treated for post-traumatic stress in clinical settings.

The 100-hour Mindful Yoga Therapy certification is an in-depth course of study, offering protocol developed as an alternative complementary therapy for veterans being treated for post-traumatic stress.

Mindful Yoga Therapy is an empirically informed, clinically tested program comprised of five practices: Pranayama (breathing), Asana (postures connected with breath), Yoga Nidra, Meditation, and Gratitude. Each practice is a tool Veterans can use to cope with Post Traumatic Stress, and together, they form a comprehensive system – a toolbox – that will carry Veterans into a life of strength and resilience.

Give Back Yoga is proud to support the fourth session of Mindful Yoga Therapy’s 100-Hour Certification program, beginning in September 2016 at Studio Bamboo Institute of Yoga in Virginia Beach. Led by GBYF board members Suzanne Manafort and Studio Bamboo founder Ann Richardson Stevens, the program consists of five modules presented over five weekends, covering both the Beginning Mindful Yoga Therapy Program and the next-level Resilience Program. 
Both programs include a 12-week protocol that incorporates Embodyoga® supports and all five “tools” from the Mindful Yoga Therapy “toolbox.”

Yoga practices are a powerful complement to professional treatment for Post Traumatic Stress. A mindful, embodied yoga practice can provide relief from symptoms and develop the supportive skills that Veterans need in their everyday lives. This in-depth certification prepares teachers to share Mindful Yoga Therapy with veterans in either a community or a clinical setting. If you’re a certified yoga teacher, we invite you to help support the healing journey of Veterans in your area.

Highly beneficial for anyone dealing with trauma, anxiety and stress, the Mindful Yoga Therapy program also offers limitless real-life applications for broader populations.

“The training has changed the quality, content and presentation of how I guide any and all yoga classes.”

– Cheryl

Training Location:

Studio Bamboo Institute of Yoga
2861 Lynnhaven Drive, Ste. 108
Virginia Beach, VA 23451

To view a list of all upcoming 15-hour and 100-hour trainings, visit our Mindful Yoga Therapy Teacher Trainings page. To be notified of new dates as they are added, find out about scholarship opportunities and receive program updates, join the Mindful Yoga Therapy mailing list.

Faculty:

Faculty includes experienced yoga teachers and Veterans. You’ll study with:

Suzanne Manafort, Mindful Yoga Therapy Founder
Robin Gilmartin, Clinical Therapist
Patty Townsend, Embodyoga® founder
Ann Richardson, Adaptive Yoga teacher
Amy Lawson, senior faculty member

Modules:

Module 1 : September 23-25, 2016
Guiding Principle – Support Precedes Action – The MYT Supports
• Why Mindful Yoga Therapy for PTSD
• The Toolbox – Pranayama, Asana, Yoga Nidra, Meditation, and Gratitude
• Breath and the Nervous System
• The Breathing Practices
• Practices for the Mindful Yoga Therapy Beginning Program
• Practices for the Resilience Program
• Teaching Practicum
• Military Culture- The Branches and Ranks

Module 2: October 14-16, 2016
Guiding Principles – Safety, Control, and Predictability
• Acceptance, Inclusion, and Non- Judgment
• The Brain and The Endocrine System
• Teaching Practicum
• The Mindful Yoga Therapy Asana classes and its Variations
• Asana for the Mindful Yoga Therapy Beginning Program
• Asana for the Resilience Program
• Military Culture – Veterans Connections and Camaraderie

Module 3: November 11-13, 2016
Guiding Principle – Mindfulness
• Yoga Nidra
• Warrior Nidra
• Adaptive Yoga and PTSD
• Teaching Practicum
• Military Culture – The Different Wars

Module 4: December 2-4, 2016
Meditation and the Brain
• The Mindful Yoga Therapy Meditation Practices
• Meditation Practice for the Mindful Yoga Therapy Beginning Program
• Meditation for the Resilience Program
• Recovery and Post Traumatic Growth
• Meaning, Purpose and Growth
• Social support
• Teaching Practicum
• Military Culture – Coming Home, Transition, and the Veteran Suicide Epidemic

Module 5: January 6-8, 2017
Gratitude
• Reviewing all of the practices and finding the most effective way to implement them
• The 12-Week Protocol for the Mindful Yoga Therapy Beginning Program
• The 12-Week Protocol for the Resilience Program
• Overview of treatment and complementary therapies
• Teaching Practicum
• Families of Veterans
• Taking Mindful Yoga Therapy into the world
• Vicarious Traumatization and Self Care
• Military Culture – Treatment and Recovery from a Veterans Perspective

Graduation Requirements:

Completion of all modules
Competency presentation

Continuing Education:

100 hours of Yoga Alliance continuing education credits are available.

Prerequisites, Cost and Registration:

The prerequisite for this program is a minimum of a 200 hour training. (If you are not yet a 200 hour certified yoga teacher, the Mindful Yoga Center offers a teacher training program.) Cost for the full program is $1500. You may also elect to make 3 payments of $600 each.

Scholarship Opportunities:

Veterans and Active Duty Servicemembers: A limited number of scholarships are available to support yoga teachers who are veterans or active duty service members. For more information, email Mindful Yoga Therapy at connect@mindfulyogatherapy.org.

Register for the Mindful Yoga Therapy 100-Hour Certification at Studio Bamboo.

Mindful Yoga Therapy for Veterans 100-Hour Certification in Newington, CT • Begins March 18, 2016

Mindful Yoga Therapy

This 100-hour Embodyoga®-based training for yoga teachers offers an in-depth study of our trauma yoga protocol.

Mindful Yoga Therapy is an empirically informed, clinically tested program comprised of five practices: Pranayama (breathing), Asana (postures connected with breath), Yoga Nidra, Meditation, and Gratitude. Each practice is a tool Veterans can use to cope with Post Traumatic Stress, and together, they form a comprehensive system – a toolbox – that will carry Veterans into a life of strength and resilience.

Give Back Yoga is proud to support the third session of Mindful Yoga Therapy’s 100-Hour Certification program, beginning in March 2015 at Newington Yoga Center in Connecticut. Led by GBYF board members Suzanne Manafort and Ann Richardson Stevens, the program consists of five modules presented over five weekends, covering both the Beginning Mindful Yoga Therapy Program and a new Resilience Program. 
The 12-week Resilience Program is the follow-up to the Beginning Mindful Yoga Therapy Program. Both programs include a 12-week protocol that incorporates Embodyoga® supports and all five “tools” from the Mindful Yoga Therapy “toolbox.”

Yoga practices are a powerful complement to professional treatment for Post Traumatic Stress. A mindful, embodied yoga practice can provide relief from symptoms and develop the supportive skills that Veterans need in their everyday lives. This in-depth certification prepares teachers to share Mindful Yoga Therapy with veterans in either a community or a clinical setting. If you’re a certified yoga teacher, we invite you to help support the healing journey of Veterans in your area.

Highly beneficial for anyone dealing with trauma, anxiety and stress, the Mindful Yoga Therapy program also offers limitless real-life applications for broader populations.

“The training has changed the quality, content and presentation of how I guide any and all yoga classes.”

– Cheryl

Training Location:

Newington Yoga Center
122 Market Square
Newington, CT 06111

To view a list of all upcoming 15-hour and 100-hour trainings, visit our Mindful Yoga Therapy Teacher Trainings page. To be notified of new dates as they are added, find out about scholarship opportunities and receive program updates, join the Mindful Yoga Therapy mailing list.

Faculty:

Faculty includes experienced yoga teachers and Veterans. You’ll study with:

Suzanne Manafort, Mindful Yoga Therapy Founder
Robin Gilmartin, Clinical Therapist
Patty Townsend, Embodyoga® founder
Ann Richardson, Adaptive Yoga teacher
Amy Lawson, senior faculty member

Modules:

Module 1 : March 18-20, 2016
Guiding Principle – Support Precedes Action – The MYT Supports
Why Mindful Yoga Therapy for PTSD
The Toolbox – Pranayama, Asana, Yoga Nidra, Meditation, and Gratitude
Breath and the Nervous System
The Breathing Practices
Practices for the Mindful Yoga Therapy Beginning Program
Practices for the Resilience Program
Teaching Practicum
Military Culture- The Branches and Ranks

Module 2: April 15-17, 2016
Guiding Principles – Safety, Control, and Predictability
Acceptance, Inclusion, and Non- Judgment
The Brain and The Endocrine System
Teaching Practicum
The Mindful Yoga Therapy Asana classes and its Variations
Asana for the Mindful Yoga Therapy Beginning Program
Asana for the Resilience Program
Military Culture – Veterans Connections and Camaraderie

Module 3: May 20-22, 2016
Guiding Principle – Mindfulness
Yoga Nidra
Warrior Nidra
Adaptive Yoga and PTSD
Teaching Practicum
Military Culture – The Different Wars

Module 4: June 10-12, 2016
Meditation and the Brain
The Mindful Yoga Therapy Meditation Practices
Meditation Practice for the Mindful Yoga Therapy Beginning Program
Meditation for the Resilience Program
Recovery and Post Traumatic Growth
Meaning, Purpose and Growth
Social support
Teaching Practicum
Military Culture – Coming Home, Transition, and the Veteran Suicide Epidemic

Module 5: July 8-10, 2016
Gratitude
Reviewing all of the practices and finding the most effective way to implement them
The 12-Week Protocol for the Mindful Yoga Therapy Beginning Program
The 12-Week Protocol for the Resilience Program
Overview of treatment and complementary therapies
Teaching Practicum
Families of Veterans
Taking Mindful Yoga Therapy into the world
Vicarious Traumatization and Self Care
Military Culture – Treatment and Recovery from a Veterans Perspective

Graduation Requirements:

Completion of all modules
Competency presentation

Continuing Education:

100 hours of Yoga Alliance continuing education credits are available.

Prerequisites, Cost and Registration:

The prerequisite for this program is a minimum of a 200 hour training. Cost for the full program is $1500. You may also elect to make 3 payments of $600 each.

Scholarship Opportunities:

Veterans and Active Duty Servicemembers: A limited number of scholarships are available to support yoga teachers who are veterans or active duty service members. For more information, email Mindful Yoga Therapy at connect@mindfulyogatherapy.org.

Register for the Mindful Yoga Therapy 100-Hour Certification at Newington Yoga Center.

Sharing the Practice of Yoga in the West Bank

by Rob Schware, Executive Director of Give Back Yoga Foundation

Rob Schware,  Executive Director of the Give Back Yoga FoundationGive Back Yoga recently traveled to Ramallah, in the West Bank region of Palestine. We brought three US yoga teachers with deep experience among them in teaching yoga for post-traumatic stress to Palestine. Read more about this project. Here are some facts and impressions from the 10 days I and my wife witnessed yoga being taught in that very special and fraught part of the world.

I mention my wife because, as it turned out, our teachers, all female, spent six full days teaching women, most of whom wear hijab. This meant that I was not welcome in the studio during these sessions, because the women wanted to uncover in order to get the most out of the physically rigorous practices. My wife Alice was welcome, so she recorded her impressions and what she heard from the women on a laptop in the Ramallah yoga studio. On two other days the workshops were for men, and I was able to be present for all of that time.

Portrait of Ramallah: a City on the Go

Ramallah StreetFirst, I’d like to set the scene a bit: Ramallah is a city of about 28,000 people. It’s arranged over several steep hills just east of Jerusalem, and has the bursting-at-the-seams feel of a small town that’s grown rapidly over the last few decades. It has a tiny “old city,” and a newer bustling city center arranged around some central squares from which main commercial and residential streets radiate in all directions. There is a building boom going on, with many new low-rise apartment buildings being constructed on steep inclines everywhere. There is little green space, although there are a few beautiful, peaceful gardens.

There is also much commercial activity in the hundreds of small storefront businesses lining the main streets, with people buying clothes, groceries, live animals, and appliances. Fistfuls of dollars are being exchanged for shekels in the money changers’ shops. Fresh fruit juices are all the rage, and people line up at these stands, which seem to be on every corner. There is much car and shared van traffic amid chaotic traffic jams; among the Toyotas and Fords there are quite a few new Audis and Mercedes. Generally speaking, we had the impression that people have money; there seems to be a thriving middle class with some discretionary income.

Ramallah MarketGive Back Yoga partnered with Farashe Yoga Center, a non-profit in Ramallah that offers yoga classes in a small studio in a building right off Al Manara square, the central square. (“Farashe” means “butterfly” in Arabic.) Some years ago, GBYF helped to equip Farashe with yoga mats and other equipment, and these were put to good use throughout our workshops. The studio has many windows, so there was noise from the street and from the police station nearby. Our impression is that noise is a constant presence in city life, and people seem to be more accustomed to it than we.

Regardless of the distractions, our teachers and students got down to earnest discussion and practice right away. All of us visitors came away impressed with the thirst for what yoga can offer in stressful situations, and with the seriousness and focus that all the students brought to the classes. One of the most commonly-mentioned stressful occasions are the Israeli army checkpoints that are either permanent on certain roads, or are moveable and randomly planted along roads throughout the West Bank.

Our Workshop Participants

I’d like to introduce the women who attended the first four-day workshop. There was a large contingent from Nablus, a town north of Ramallah. On the first morning they were asked what they knew about yoga, and what they hoped to gain from the workshop. The women:

Women's Class at Farashe Yoga Center in RamallahManar: yoga gives a chance to be in the present moment, reduces anxiety.
Naheel is a PE teacher. Her mother did yoga; she has heard it can relax you.
Suad: also a PE teacher; has watched YouTube videos on yoga.
Mirna: she is a yoga teacher. She knows yoga has many benefits, good for mental and spirit, lessens pain in knees, and eases a crooked back. She has spread the word about yoga in Nablus, taught yoga as a volunteer and brought three others from Nablus; has taken reiki.
Manar: she is yoga student with Mirna, says yoga is good and important; it connects us to power we have inside; offers quietness; meditation and yoga are important because of the hard life here.
Faihae: this is her first time with yoga; hopes to learn and study yoga.
Bardees: has never done yoga, wants to learn.
Ibtisam: she is a yoga teacher and psycho-social counselor (equivalent to our social worker), using yoga with her clients. She sees lots of positive impacts of yoga for her clients. She told a story of doing tadasana (mountain pose) while she was stopped at the checkpoint between Ramallah and Jerusalem.
Tahani: is also psycho-social counselor in Tulkarm; she uses yoga with her clients, and in group therapy, as well as for staff she works with. She thinks it’s a very important thing to do, that it solves problems in clients and in herself. She says yoga is very effective for physical and mental relaxation. Some of the people she works with have diabetes, and their sugar levels have stabilized; she lost some weight with her own yoga practice.
Majeda: a nurse from Nablus, this is her first time to learn about yoga; wants to use yoga with her psychotherapy patients.
Suheir: she is a psychologist specializing in education. She teaches yoga in Jerusalem and in the West Bank. Yoga gives her strength and stability with all that goes on around her; with yoga, she wants to help people in their daily life.

Men's Class at Farashe Yoga Center in RamallahAnd the men: Hassam, Khaled, Ghassan, Jalal, Bashar, two men named Mohammed, Ala, Hamzeh, and Bhassam (Majeda’s husband). Two of them are psychosocial workers with Bedouin who go wherever their nomadic clients are, and another is active in a refugee camp. They report their clients have stress and anxiety, many disorders, and psychological diseases. Bedouin life is “unimaginable” — they live in tents, must travel far to get water, and herd their sheep and goats. UNRWA (United Nations Relief and Works Agency) hires these men (and some of the women) to work with Bedouin, and the Bedouin are receptive.

Stresses of Life in the West Bank

We asked each group what their stresses are. The men listed some things that might apply to men anywhere: work, job security, working multiple jobs, relationships, family obligations, clients’ psych problems, self-care. The main stressor unique to the West Bank seems to be the Israeli Occupation and its vagaries. One man lives in a village close to an Israeli checkpoint; he said he feels the injustice and unfairness of the difference between the freedom on the Israeli side, and the lack of it on his side of the wall the Israelis have built to keep out violence.

The women said they had job stress, but, perhaps like women everywhere, they have more than one job: their homes, children, husbands, social pressures. The unmarried girls also said they have job pressures, and they feel constrained because in their society they may either live in their parents’ houses, or with their husbands. There is no option to live a single life as a woman. There is general consensus among all the participants that the kind of trauma people experience in the West Bank is sustained, not so much episodic.

Sharing Yoga in Refugee Camps

We spent a day traveling and offering yoga in two refugee camps in Bethlehem. This involved taking a taxi from Ramallah to the East Jerusalem checkpoint, waiting 45 minutes to cross the checkpoint on foot with all the other Palestinians going to work or to visit family, taking another taxi to the Bethlehem checkpoint, and then crossing that one on foot. Of course, it’s much quicker to cross into the West Bank than into Israel. These camps have now become permanent settlements, as they have existed since the formation of the Israeli state in 1948. Generations of Palestinians, who fled their ancestral homes, have now lived in these camps.

Children's Yoga Class in Aida Refugee CampWe offered yoga at the Aida camp to about 30 children; at about noon, about half of them — the boys — left to go to midday prayers with their fathers, and returned shortly. These children were exactly like children everywhere — energetic, bright, responsive, and looking for fun and mischief.

In the afternoon we did very simple yoga with about 35 women in the Deiheisha camp, who were very enthusiastic. All the women were in hijab, and some stayed covered throughout the class. We gathered the names and email addresses of five of them who would like to receive yoga teacher training. One of these, who looked to be about 35, said she had six children, and she showed us the photo of the youngest, a toddler, on her cell phone. She explained that this child, a daughter, is 10 years younger than her closest sibling. Why? Because her husband had been imprisoned for 10 years by the Israelis, and this child was born after his return.

Our Teachers and Translators

I’d like to devote a few words to the expertise and professionalism of the US teachers. They are Rama Jyoti Vernon, Ruth Hurtung, and Suzanne Manafort. All three teachers were clearly adjusting their instruction every day, and perhaps every half-day, to accommodate the emerging questions, needs, and circumstances of the participants as they became more comfortable. I was impressed by these professionals, who have 72 years of yoga-teaching experience among them, as they made on-the-spot course corrections in a calm and relaxed manner. Amid these demands on them, they remained warm and accessible, and there was much laughter and light-hearted banter among all the groups and teachers.

Farashe Yoga Center had arranged for four very able translators from among its group of local yoga teachers. These three women and one man took turns, and were indefatigable in their dedication to hour after hour of complex translation involving a lot of yoga and anatomical lingo.

The Future of Yoga in the West Bank

All of us who traveled to Ramallah agree that it was a very worthwhile trip, and that yoga is a valuable tool to address the realities of life in the West Bank. There is much enthusiasm among the current Palestinian yoga teachers and other professionals there to help yoga spread and find the places and people who will benefit most from its gifts. We forged what we hope will be strong and lasting bonds with our counterparts there, and plan to be attentive to and support future cooperation and growth of yoga in Palestine.

We’re confident that such growth will come, thanks to the spirit of those who took part in this yoga training journey — like Mohammed Khatib, a young man that Suzanne Manafort trained in the Mindful Yoga Therapy program during our trip to Ramallah. His dream is to go to the Olympics in 2016, and to come back and change the lives of his fellow human beings through the peaceful practice of yoga.

 

To join Give Back Yoga in supporting the teachers who are working to share this healing practice, donate to our Yoga for the West Bank campaign.

Mindful Yoga Therapy for Veterans 100-Hour Certification in Virginia Beach • Begins July 17, 2015

Our 100 hour Embodyoga®-based training for yoga teachers provides an in-depth study and certification.

Mindful Yoga Therapy is an empirically informed, clinically tested program comprised of five practices: Pranayama (breathing), Asana (postures connected with breath), Yoga Nidra, Meditation, and Gratitude. Each practice is a tool Veterans can use to cope with Post Traumatic Stress, and together, they form a comprehensive system – a toolbox – that will carry Veterans into a life of strength and resilience.

Give Back Yoga is proud to support the second session of Mindful Yoga Therapy’s 100-Hour Certification program, beginning in July 2015 at Studio Bamboo Institute of Yoga in Virginia Beach. Led by GBYF board members Suzanne Manafort and Ann Richardson Stevens, the program consists of five modules presented over five weekends, covering both the Beginning Mindful Yoga Therapy Program and a new Resilience Program. 
The 12-week Resilience Program is the follow-up to the Beginning Mindful Yoga Therapy Program. Both programs include a 12-week protocol that incorporates Embodyoga® supports and all five “tools” from the Mindful Yoga Therapy “toolbox.”

Yoga practices are a powerful complement to professional treatment for Post Traumatic Stress. A mindful, embodied yoga practice can provide relief from symptoms and develop the supportive skills that Veterans need in their everyday lives. This in-depth certification prepares teachers to share Mindful Yoga Therapy with veterans in either a community or a clinical setting. If you’re a certified yoga teacher, we invite you to help support the healing journey of Veterans in your area.

Highly beneficial for anyone dealing with trauma, anxiety and stress, the Mindful Yoga Therapy program also offers limitless real-life applications for broader populations.

“The training has changed the quality, content and presentation of how I guide any and all yoga classes.”

– Cheryl

Training Location:

Studio Bamboo Yoga
2861 Lynnhaven Drive, Ste. 108
Virginia Beach, VA 23451

Our next 100-hour certification session begins January 2016 in Newington, CT. To be notified of new training dates, scholarship opportunities and program updates, join the Mindful Yoga Therapy mailing list.

Faculty:

Faculty includes experienced yoga teachers and Veterans. You’ll study with:

Suzanne Manafort, Mindful Yoga Therapy Founder
Robin Gilmartin, Clinical Therapist
Patty Townsend, Embodyoga® founder
Ann Richardson, Adaptive Yoga teacher
Amy Lawson, senior faculty member

Modules:

Module 1 : July 17-19, 2015
Guiding Principle – Support Precedes Action – The MYT Supports
Why Mindful Yoga Therapy for PTSD
The Toolbox – Pranayama, Asana, Yoga Nidra, Meditation, and Gratitude
Breath and the Nervous System
The Breathing Practices
Practices for the Mindful Yoga Therapy Beginning Program
Practices for the Resilience Program
Teaching Practicum
Military Culture- The Branches and Ranks

Module 2: August 7-9, 2015
Guiding Principles – Safety, Control, and Predictability
Acceptance, Inclusion, and Non- Judgment
The Brain and The Endocrine System
Teaching Practicum
The Mindful Yoga Therapy Asana classes and its Variations
Asana for the Mindful Yoga Therapy Beginning Program
Asana for the Resilience Program
Military Culture – Veterans Connections and Camaraderie

Module 3: September 11-13, 2015
Guiding Principle – Mindfulness
Yoga Nidra
Warrior Nidra
Adaptive Yoga and PTSD
Teaching Practicum
Military Culture – The Different Wars

Module 4: October 16-18, 2015
Meditation and the Brain
The Mindful Yoga Therapy Meditation Practices
Meditation Practice for the Mindful Yoga Therapy Beginning Program
Meditation for the Resilience Program
Recovery and Post Traumatic Growth
Meaning, Purpose and Growth
Social support
Teaching Practicum
Military Culture – Coming Home, Transition, and the Veteran Suicide Epidemic

Module 5: November 13-15, 2015
Gratitude
Reviewing all of the practices and finding the most effective way to implement them
The 12-Week Protocol for the Mindful Yoga Therapy Beginning Program
The 12-Week Protocol for the Resilience Program
Overview of treatment and complementary therapies
Teaching Practicum
Families of Veterans
Taking Mindful Yoga Therapy into the world
Vicarious Traumatization and Self Care
Military Culture – Treatment and Recovery from a Veterans Perspective

Graduation Requirements:

Completion of all modules
Competency presentation

Continuing Education:

100 hours of Yoga Alliance continuing education credits are available.

Prerequisites, Cost and Registration:

The prerequisite for this program is a minimum of a 200 hour training. Cost for the full program is $1500. You may also elect to make 3 payments of $600 each.

Scholarship Opportunities:

Military Spouses: Studio Bamboo is registered with the MyCAA program, which provides partial or full tuition for Career Advancement programs for military spouses. For more information, contact Studio Bamboo Yoga.

Veterans and Active Duty Servicemembers: Mindful Yoga Therapy has received a grant from The Sampson Foundation to fund scholarships that will help veterans and active duty servicemembers to attend any upcoming Mindful Yoga Therapy training. For more information, email Mindful Yoga Therapy at connect@mindfulyogatherapy.org.

Register for the Mindful Yoga Therapy 100-Hour Certification at Studio Bamboo.

Sumr Breez: The Journey of Inner Healing for Returning Veterans

Experiencing the gifts of yoga can inspire the desire to share this valuable tool with the world. Here, Executive Director Rob Schware talks with teacher Sumr Breez for The Huffington Post Blog about what motivates her to bring yoga to veterans.

“When I first began working with veterans, (I) wondered if yoga was penetrating all the emotional turmoil they have in their psyche and body. I witnessed a major break-down and break-through with a veteran who I assumed was not receiving any benefit from our session. Later, he told me ‘this was the most soothing amazing experience I have ever felt.’ Today, when I walk into the group to begin our session, I hear the veterans take a deep breath and close their eyes, to tune into their body on their own…that is awesome!”

– Yoga teacher Sumr Breez, on her work with vets at the Phoenix Veterans Center and Merritt Center Women’s Returning Vet Program

Read Sumr’s full interview to learn how service has changed her definition of yoga, and her advice for teachers who want to serve veterans.

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This interview is one of 26 blog posts featured in Give Back Yoga Foundation’s new publication, Yoga: How We Serve, a collection of conversations with teachers who work with veterans, active duty service members and their families. Enjoy inspirational reads from GBYF partners like Mindful Yoga Therapy founder Suzanne Manafort, veterans Sarah Plummer and Sue Lynch, Advisory Board Member Biff Mithoefer and many more…and know that your purchase is helping to bring this transformational practice to more veterans. Starts at $9.95.

 

Give Back With Sedona Yoga Festival & Denver Chant Fest

Coming together for yoga, music and love…while helping to change the world. What could be better?

Community seva projects sponsored through yoga festivals are becoming a key way to fuel our work. Yogis who support these initiatives are bringing the healing power of yoga to those in need – like prisoners, at-risk teens, veterans and those with eating disorders.

Help us to Give Back Yoga at two vibrant festivals this winter, and enjoy a special discount for being a member of our service community. Here’s how:

 

Sedona Yoga Festival: February 6-10, 2014

Sedona Yoga FestivalHeld in a town renowned for its healing energy, this “consciousness evolution conference”both educates and inspires. Featuring over 250 workshops, 108 presenters and 16 musical artists, you’ll hear from authors, speakers and energy healers from around the world; experience meditation, dance and kirtan; and learn from master teachers who will help you bring your practice and service to a new level.

Community Seva: Help Sedona Yoga Festival raise $50,000 to fund Yoga for Veterans Toolkits by making a donation to SYF Gives Back, or by signing up to host a team or individual fundraiser on Crowdrise.

FESTIVAL TICKET OFFER: Save 20% on a SYF2014 All-Access Pass by entering code “GBYF20” at checkout.

Pre-Conference Teacher Training: Join GBYF at the Mindful Therapeutic Yoga Practices for Veterans two-day intensive training to learn clinically proven techniques for working with students who have experienced trauma. You’ll hear from expert teachers like Give Back Yoga co-founder Beryl Bender Birch, Mindful Yoga Therapy for Veterans founder Suzanne Manafort, Prison Yoga Project founder James Fox, Give Back Yoga board member Ann Richardson Stevens and more.

TEACHER TRAINING TICKET OFFER: Through December 31st, your service can go twice as far. Donate $500 to our crowd fund campaign to bring yoga toolkits to veterans, and we’ll say “thank you” with a SYF Gives Back 2014 Access Pass that includes complimentary access to the Sedona Yoga Festival. (Offer limited to five donors. Miss the deal? Click here to purchase a SYF Gives Back 2014 Access Pass.)

 

Denver Chant Fest: February 14-16, 2014

Denver Chant Fest 2014The second annual Denver Chant Fest gathers the nation’s top Bhakti (spiritual song) musicians and beloved yoga instructors for a weekend of soul-stirring music, top-notch yoga instruction and offerings from wellness vendors from across the country. The 2014 line-up includes Give Back Yoga’s own Shanti Medina, performing Universal Kirtan with Scott Medina; Jai Uttal; Donna Delory; Rusty Wells; Jason Crandell; Dave Stringer; MC Yogi; C.C. White; Sean Johnson and the Wild Lotus Band; Govindas and Radha; Pete Guinosso; Deepak and the Breath of Life Tribe; Tricia Heimbach; Tina Porter; Patrick Harrington; Dawnelle Arthur; Mike and Robin Konard; Arjun Verma; and many more.

Community Seva: Denver Chant Fest is collecting donations for Give Back Yoga, the festival’s designated non-profit partner. To make a donation, visit Denver Chant Fest.

FESTIVAL TICKET OFFER: Save 10% on a three-day weekend pass by entering code “GBYF” at checkout. Offer available for the first 100 GBYF community members. Stay tuned for a special ticket giveaway for GBYF supporters by joining our mailing list.

Suzanne Manafort: Bringing Mindful Yoga Therapy to Veterans

Executive Director Rob Schware talks with Give Back Yoga Board Member Suzanne Manafort for The Huffington Post Blog about the roots of the Mindful Yoga Therapy for Veterans program, and the amazing transformation that vets are experiencing through the practice of yoga and mindfulness.

“I watch the men and women as they begin in my 12-week program look as if someone has dimmed their inner light. After a few weeks, their interests in the practices begin to increase, and slowly it looks as if they brighten up. It truly is a visible change. So many men and women taking our program combined with psychotherapy are getting well and leading productive lives. It has been my honor to be a part of this.”

– Suzanne Manafort, founder of the Mindful Yoga Therapy for Veterans Program

Click here to read more of Suzanne’s tips for yoga teachers who want to work with veterans – and how she serves as one link in the chain of “spiritual revolutionaries” that teacher Beryl Bender Birch is sending out into the world to make a difference.

Want to learn more? Visit Give Back Yoga’s Youtube channel to hear from four veterans who are working with Suzanne to bring yoga and mindfulness to their peers, in the Veterans on Mindful Yoga Therapy Hangout. Or visit our store to check out the “new and improved” Mindful Yoga Therapy for Veterans practice guide, now available in an updated third printing. We aim to bring this valuable multi-media resource to 30,000 vets, service members and their families by 2015 – you can support this work with a recurring or one-time donation towards “Yoga for Veterans.”

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Do you want to bring the transformational power of yoga and meditation to underserved populations? Join Suzanne Manafort, Beryl Bender Birch, James Fox and other leading experts in Sedona, AZ in February for a two-day Mindful Therapeutic Yoga Practices for Veterans teacher training. Learn clinically-proven techniques to help students recover from trauma and emotional stress at this intensive pre-conference training, hosted by the Sedona Yoga Festival in association with Southwest Institute of Healing Arts.

Give Back Yoga In Origin Magazine: Making A Difference For Veterans

Don’t miss Give Back Yoga in the latest issue of Origin: The Conscious Culture Magazine! Check out the spotlight on Page 88 entitled “Yoga For Veterans: Heroes Making a Difference,” which features Executive Director Rob Schware sharing the powerful words of one veteran who found peace and healing through our Yoga For Veterans Toolkit.

You’ll also learn what motivates Give Back Yoga board members Suzanne Manafort of Mindful Yoga For Veterans and Ann Richardson Stevens of Studio Bamboo Institute of Yoga to help returning soldiers recover from post-traumatic stress and trauma; and hear from our friends and partners, Annie Okerlin of Exalted Warrior Foundation and Gina Garcia of Yoga Across America.

Along the way, remember to pause for a moment on Page 16 to catch up with Give Back Yoga advisory board member Rod Stryker.

Not a subscriber? Visit Origin’s website to find a retailer near you, purchase a digital copy of this issue, or subscribe to this publication that celebrates yoga, art, conscious lifestyle and humanitarianism.

You can help us meet our goal of putting evidence-based Yoga For Veterans Toolkits in the hands of 10,000 returning soldiers this year by making a one-time or recurring donation in the amount of your choice. Gifts of any size are welcome – every dollar counts!