Guest Post: The Veteran’s Yoga Project
The following post was writing by Laura Skinner, a long-time Bindu student and psychologist who has also completed yoga teacher training. Here is her story about attending training, along with Carol Schmidtke, provided by the Veterans Yoga Project.
For Veterans Day this past November, The Bindu hosted a donation-based yoga class to raise awareness and funds to support the Veterans Yoga Project (VYP). VYP is a non-profit organization whose mission is to provide veterans who suffer from post-traumatic stress with yoga classes to aid in their treatment and recovery. As practitioners of yoga, we all can attest to the physical, mental and psychological benefits of practicing. Recent empirical research has revealed a wide breadth of areas in which yoga provides physical and mental healing, stress management, and improvement in quality of life. The VYP has incorporated scientific, psychological, and biosocial research findings into the development of a robust and solid program, in which yoga teachers are trained to bring the practice to military veterans.
In many ways, the weekend was reminiscent of yoga teacher training, or even a yoga class, where as a cohesive like-minded group, we experience and learn and share yoga and life in a special, enriching and collaborative way. The focus of the VYP training is to learn how we can make this experience available to military veterans who have sustained trauma so that they may thrive in their recovery and resilience. A Clinical Psychologist/yoga instructor provided the training, relying on scientific and psychological studies as well as on his own experience with veterans practicing yoga.
More Yoga Lessons
During the training, the students learned and practiced several approaches and techniques of teaching asana (poses), mindfulness, pranayama (breath,) and meditation that are specific for the treatment of those suffering from post-traumatic stress. Each and every participant came away from the weekend with a wealth of information, understanding, respectfulness, and enthusiasm.
We learned, once again, what a sacred honor it is to share the practice of yoga with others and felt, once again, the gratitude that comes with being connected to ourselves, our bodies and others.