First, it was called Shell Shock.  Then it was called Battle Fatigue.  Now it is known as Post Traumatic Stress Disorder or PTSD.  Help Those still suffering.

It doesn’t matter what you call it, PTSD is real and affects many Veterans returning from war.  A memory, an image, a sound, or a smell can trigger a PTSD episode.  Here are some sobering facts to think about:

  • 1 in 5 US Combat Veterans suffered or is suffering from PTSD
  • 22 Veterans commit suicide each day
  • 1 in 4 Veterans binge drink at least once per week
  • 200,000 Veterans go homeless each night.  45% suffer from PTSD.

I’m stepping outside my usual Wednesday Whoa to bring awareness to some great organizations that support our Veterans in a different manner and help those still suffering.  There are a lot of organizations out there that are reaching out to help Veterans, and the ones I want to highlight are those that are bringing yoga, yoga nidra, and meditation to our Veterans.

Mindful Yoga Therapy was founded by Suzanne Manafort of the Newington Yoga Center in CT.  She is a fantastic teacher (I know, I took her first Yoga Teacher training for PTSD) and a huge advocate of yoga nidra as a way to relieve the fight or flight response that is usually very active in those with PTSD.  The below video includes those taking her training program and those who benefited from her training.

iRest from the Integrative Restoration Institute was created by Richard C Miller, Ph.D. iRest developed from a study conducted at Walter Reed Army Medical Center after the Department of Defense commissioned a study on the effects of yoga nidra on those with PTSD.  The website includes retreats and teacher training, as well as research information.

Yoga Warriors leads classes for active duty military and vets, as well as first responders.  The website lists classes at their own studio as well as connects you with teachers in each state who support the Yoga Warriors program.

Yoga Veterans Project was created by Dan Libby, who is currently working at the Oakland Vet Center in CA.  Their website offers resources, retreats, and training.

Connected Warriors offers free trauma-conscious yoga for service members, Veterans, and their families.  They currently offer yoga in 21 states and in Afghanistan and Kuwait.

Please enjoy this slide show from Yoga Journal on the Healing Power of Yoga.  And if you know a Veteran who could use some yoga please share these resources.