Saturday, October 21, 2017

Serving Veterans Through Yoga

Along with petting dogs, hiking mountains, and teaching yoga, one of my favorite things in the whole world is working with veterans.

My grandfathers, brother, and dad are all veterans ranging timelines and wars from WWII to Iraq/Afghanistan. While I took the black sheep route and became a yoga instructor instead of enlisting, my family and military roots are extremely important to me.

veteran yoga

photo credit: theyogablog.com

Teaching yoga to veterans became a way to connect my two worlds and give back to the community that has selflessly given so much to all of us. In March 2013, I started a yoga program at the Boulder Veterans Center as my seva practice (selfless service) and continue to teach once a week. Together, we enjoy community time, breath work, movement, and yoga nidra (yogic sleep).

Yoga and mindfulness have had a profound impact on veterans and people living with trauma, depression, and addiction. Numerous studies have shown that yoga can encourage better sleep, reduce anxiety, and calm the sympathetic nervous system (fight/flight/freeze response). Just within the group at the Boulder Veterans Center, I’ve heard feedback from veterans that varies from feeling calmer, to sleeping better, to finding relief from old injuries and physical traumas.

veterans yoga project

photo credit: Veterans Yoga Project

I am grateful to be a part of the AboutBoulder.com team and excited to use this blog as a view into the Boulder yoga community. I also want to use this platform as a way to offer support for the veterans living in our neighborhoods and bring awareness to the alternative therapies available for veterans and anyone living with trauma.

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