Veteran Uses Yoga to Cope with PTSD


When you’re under a
constant sense of attack, our bodies are not meant to do that. Just feeling that sense of
vulnerability for an extended period really has an impact on the mind. You just don’t know if
it’s going to be you next. I really can’t complain. I wasn’t physically damaged. I have both my arms and legs. I came back home and was
able to pretty much go on living. I have struggled with the guilt. When you’re in an environment where you’re trying to kill people, it messes with your mind. And of course in the military
there’s a lot of bravado. That’s part of the reason why
it’s hard for vets to get help, because they don’t want
to be perceived as weak. So there’s a lot of unreported PTSD. It’s taken a lot for me to try to heal. I started yoga after a friend suggested I give it a try. It’s taken me in another direction
to where I surround myself with ways to help heal me. Every time I’m able to get on
my mat and work towards being in the present moment, that’s what we really try to
help people with PTSD do. Why is yoga such an
incredible opportunity for people who have PTSD and
other stress-related conditions? Because it has a direct effect on
the autonomic nervous system. Someone who’s stuck in fight-flight, and they can’t sleep, they can’t go off guard
duty in their own mind — you give them the right
practices, and if they do them, their ability to switch
over into the rest-digest part of their nervous system, that is going to be restored for them. In the ’80s or ’90s, I would guess,
just a tiny number of veterans were using yoga meditation to improve their mental
and physical health. Today tens of thousands are using yoga meditation on a regular basis and have the services
available to them. So it is definitely on the rise. I knew I wanted to go
to grad school finally and use my GI Bill to do that. And then I heard about this program. It was a master’s in yoga therapy, and one of my friends was attending Maryland University
of Integrative Health. I just had to know about this because it was yoga and it was grad school. I applied for the program, was accepted, and that was back in 2015, and I’ll be graduating
in July of this year. Start to let go of the
distractions of the mind. I’ll be the fourth male to
graduate with that degree. Veterans that have gotten out
of the military and are now very excited about yoga meditation because of the positive effects it’s had on them, most often their first impulse is
to go give that to more veterans. In that way, they are absolutely continuing to follow their commitment to serve their country. I’ve actually had all sorts of friends, veterans and nonveterans, who’ve started to practice yoga because of me sharing about it and my experiences with it and
the healing that it’s brought to me. And it’s really, really cool to see it’s helping people in their own lives, and I’m just thankful
to be able to do that.


7 Responses

  1. Jon Nowlin

    June 1, 2017 4:17 am

    This a great video! I have PTSD…was suicidal and alone and afraid and and used therapy!

  2. Walter Romanoff

    June 4, 2017 8:46 am

    Join a gym like LA FITNESS and yoga
    can be done with others
    and it's free. It can really change your life.

  3. Big Trouble

    June 5, 2017 1:36 pm

    Real men have jobs, they work hard, don't have time to bother with panzy's or their feel good things, same goes for all you feminist women, real men want real women, not some jock strap wannabe who thinks she's the center of the universe, I've got no time for stupidity because I have better places to be on the weekends like the mountains, camping, hiking, having fun with some hot honey who lives being treated like a real woman, than a street in a city with a bunch of masculine women and the stench of tuna in the air. Yep Real men are everywhere looking for real women, not bending over and eating your own buttocks.

  4. George Bethos

    June 21, 2019 12:15 am

    Would've been nice if he showed some suggested yoga positions! As it is this video is basically useless


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