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Military Connection: Warriors For Healing Event in San Diego

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By Debbie Gregory.

The VA estimates that as many as one in five Veterans who were combat deployed experience varying degrees of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). The number of suicides among Veterans is over 8,000 per year, or an average of 22 per day. The unemployment rate among this era of Veterans remains higher than their civilian counterparts, and for years was more than 10%. As a result of their stressful experiences and subsequent conditions, Veterans are also experiencing record levels of substance abuse, domestic violence, incarceration, homelessness and suicide.

Many medical practitioners prescribe medications to treat symptoms of PTSD, depression, anxiety, and other mental conditions. But any positive effects from meds are only short term, often creating debilitating addictions, and do not help Veterans alleviate the underlying symptoms. It is for this reason that more and more service members and Veterans are turning to Yoga Science through Warriors For Healing (W4H), an organization with a stated mission to “spread awareness about the transformational science of Yoga Science and its effectiveness in combating stress and PTSD, and to grow delivery of these modalities nationwide.”

W4H was founded by Bhava Ram, a former NBC News correspondent, and is a direct reflection of his journey from hurt and despair to healing and wholeness.

Ram spent years traveling the world covering major conflicts, including Afghanistan in the ‘80’s and the first Gulf War. Ram suffered a broken back, and after a failed surgery, was told he would be permanently disabled. Ram began to suffer from depression and PTSD-like symptoms from the loss of his identity, chronic pain, and heavy medications. Just when he felt things couldn’t get any worse, he was diagnosed with stage four cancer, believed to be a result of the toxins he was exposed to during Desert Storm. He was given just two years to live.

Ram wanted to give up, but more so, he wanted to die with dignity, for his son’s sake. This vow led Ram to detox from all of the  medications he had been taking, and ultimately, led him to the deeper mind/body practices of Yoga Science. Years later, Ram is still alive, and feeling better than ever.

Ram said, “Modern science calls it ‘Self-Directed Biological Transformation’ and has proven that through the therapeutic practice of Yoga, which include mindful motion, breathing, affirmation and guided visualization, remarkable levels of self-healing and self-empowerment are possible and accessible. These practice help alleviate the hyper-vigilance and depression of PTSD, calm uncontrollable emotions of anger and fear, and help us move towards balance, resiliency and inner-peace.”

On June 28, 2015, at the historic Hotel Del Coronado in San Diego, W4H and its founder will lead a 90 minute event at the Yoga Journal Live Conference. W4H will honor Veterans and supporters in an event that features special guests, live music, celebration of service, and of course­–yoga! The W4H Event will be live-streamed to supporters and all interested viewers nationwide. All proceeds raised through sponsorships and donations to W4H Event Teams go to support programs that serve Veterans through Warriors for Healing, and its partners The Give Back Yoga Foundation and Connected Warriors Foundation.

W4H is asking for your support for the event, as this movement of selfless service seeks to raise $108,000 by June 15, 2015. Every $100 raised will provide one Veteran with guides and tools to combat PTSD, while every $250 donation provides guides and tools to combat PTSD, and “funds a mat” for a Veteran at the Yoga Journal Live event. Supporters are encouraged to donate directly or set up fundraising teams.

MilitaryConnection.com proudly supports the W4H and its mission of giving back to those who have given so much, and encourages Veterans to utilize the calming and relaxation methods found through Yoga Science.

Military Connection proudly serves those who serve in the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, Coast Guard, Guard and Reserve, Veterans and their Families. We are the go to site for Veteran Employment and information on Veteran education. Militaryconnection.com provides Veterans with and Directory of Employers, a Job Board, information on the Post-9/11 GI Bill, and a blog that offers Veterans boundless information. Be sure to visit Militaryconnection.com, the go to site.

Military Connection: Warriors For Healing Event in San Diego: By Debbie Gregory

Military Connection: Veterans Turning to Yoga: By Debbie Gregory

yoga for veteransVeterans of all generations suffer from a broad spectrum of ailments, including arthritis, joint and muscle pain/stiffness, substance abuse, depression, traumatic brain injury and post-traumatic stress disorder. Due to the attempts to treat their conditions, Veterans are among the most medicated population in America. But not every Veteran is keen on the idea of taking pills. For that reason, many Veterans have been seeking alternative methods of treatment.

A surprisingly high number of Veterans have turned to yoga. Even more surprising is the number of Vietnam-era Veterans who are taking up the discipline, or at least trying it out.

Across the country, yoga instructors have been offering free classes for Veterans. Some instructors have reached out to local Veterans service organizations to form  partnerships. But there have also been several reports of local Veterans organizations recruiting instructors to come to their posts and clubs in order to provide yoga to Veterans.

While those who are unfamiliar with yoga may link it to Hindu or Buddhist practices, yoga has been a popular physical fitness regimen in the U.S. for about thirty years. Yoga is a low-impact exercise that still elevates the heart rate.

The obvious benefits of yoga as a regular exercise routine are increased flexibility, strength and range of motion, as well as relieving back pain and other muscle and joint pain.

But there are also other benefits that are not as easily gauged. The number of Veterans who have claimed that yoga has helped them with PTSD and other mental or emotional ailments cannot be ignored.

One of the root definitions of the word “yoga” is combining. People around the world believe that yoga is the practice or discipline of combining one’s mind and body. But when utilizing the poses just for physical fitness, yoga is the combining of stretches, poses, breathing control and concentration that give both your body and your brain a workout.

Maintaining any type of exercise routine has proven to keep people both physically and mentally fit. But running, lifting weights, and playing sports just isn’t an option for some people. Yoga is proving to be a great alternative for Veterans who may not be able to PT the way that they used to.

Military Connection proudly serves those who serve in the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, Coast Guard, Guard and Reserve, Veterans and their Families. We are the go to site for Veteran Employment and information on Veteran education. Militaryconnection.com provides Veterans with and Directory of Employers, a Job Board, information on the Post-9/11 GI Bill, and a blog that offers Veterans boundless information. Be sure to visit Militaryconnection.com, the go to site.

Military Connection: Veterans Turning to Yoga: By Debbie Gregory