Newly-transitioning Veterans, used to the physical rigors of military life, need to find ways in which to keep in shape after they separate from the service. It doesn’t matter if they are wounded warriors, suffering from TBI or PTSD, or consider themselves healthy and at 100%, Veterans struggle to keep both physically and mentally fit. Once they become civilians again, Veterans from all demographics can easily put on weight, suffer from depression, or see a noticeable drop in their holistic health.
Veterans can and should seek to maintain the same level of physical fitness they have maintained throughout their service in order to feel good about themselves. But unfortunately, due to injury, age and more often than not, added extra weight, they might be unable to work out in the same manner they did when they were in uniform. Many Veterans are now turning to yoga, and are seeing great results in their physical and mental health.
While the word “yoga” can take on religious, spiritual and historical meanings, yoga, as a practice of affecting one’s body and mind through stretching, resistance exercises and controlled breathing, has helped countless people enrich their holistic well-being. And many generations of Veterans have begun using yoga to improve their physical and mental health.
Some Veterans who are unfamiliar with yoga may feel apprehensive about taking up the practice. But from their first very first session, Veterans are bound to recognize several poses from their military calisthenics regiments.
The regular practice of yoga has been proven to increase flexibility, improve joint health, alleviate back-pain, lower blood pressure, aid in weight-loss and promotes fitness. There are also claims that practicing yoga helps improve concentration, combats depression and has aided Veterans with PTSD to feel less anxious and feel more at ease.
Several initiatives have been started by different non-profit organizations, Veteran advocates and yoga enthusiasts to offer free or discounted lessons to Veterans. YogaForVets.org, ConnectedWarriors.org, and GiveBackYoga.org are among the websites that support the practicing for Veterans. These sites offer resources and information about how Veterans can use yoga to improve and maintain their health.
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Military Connection: Ancient Remedy For Vets: By Debbie Gregory