Yael Calhoun on Working With Veterans: “I Can Feel Myself Breathe”

Executive Director Rob Schware talks with GreenTREE Yoga founder Yael Calhoun for The Huffington Post Blog to learn how a body-based yoga practice can help veterans begin to heal from trauma.

“I was sitting in front a group of vets, all large men from residential substance abuse. I looked at them sitting and waiting for me to do something, (and) I couldn’t speak! I felt the weight of the opportunity and I just didn’t want to get it wrong. I finally made myself start talking… and we did the practice, just as Dave Emerson taught me. They loved it. One guy said at the end, “I could feel myself breathe. I haven’t been able to do that.”

– Yael Calhoun, founder of GreenTREE Yoga, a non-profit that offers trauma-sensitive yoga programs and professional education

Click here to read Yael’s thoughts on why the world needs lots of yoga teachers sharing what they love, and her tips for working with individuals who are recovering from trauma.


Do you want to bring the transformational power of yoga and meditation to underserved populations? Join Give Back Yoga at the Sedona Yoga Festival in February for a two-day Mindful Therapeutic Yoga Practices for Veterans pre-conference training that provides yoga teachers with clinically-proven techniques to help students recover from trauma and emotional stress.

Video: 5 Steps To Introduce A Trauma-Sensitive Yoga Program To Your Local VA

Are you preparing to teach yoga and mindfulness to veterans in your area? It can take more than technical skills to introduce a trauma-sensitive yoga therapy program to your local Veterans Administration facility – and knowing what to expect can make your journey much easier. Get started with this video slideshow produced by Yael Calhoun, founder of the non-profit GreenTREE Yoga, as she shares some tips on how to “get your foot in the door” of your local VA, secure funding for an evidence-based yoga therapy program, and market a pilot program to prospective students and supporters.


Help Give Back Yoga Foundation 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!