I’ve been teaching Mindful Yoga Therapy for Veterans in a PTSD Residential Treatment Program for the past five years. This 12-week residential program provides comprehensive treatment to men and women veterans who are having significant difficulty functioning in their lives. Towards the end of the 12-week residential treatment program, the veterans are often encouraged to spend their weekends at home in preparation for their graduation from treatment. At the beginning of a meditation practice, I asked the veterans about their home practice.
One veteran in particular, who had been struggling with severe anger-control issues, and who had gone home for the weekend, told me, “I want you to know that I didn’t get arrested this weekend, because of you.” When I asked him why, he told me that an incident over the weekend had gotten him very upset and “it was going to be a bad one--I would have ended up getting arrested. But when I felt myself getting out of control, I started using the breathing practices you taught me. I was able to stay in control and not get myself into trouble.” He was so proud of the results of his yoga practice, he said that he might even get the word “Namaste” tattooed on the back of his neck.
This is just one story of many that have inspired us at Mindful Yoga Therapy for Veterans to do what we can to bring these simple but powerful practices to as many veterans as possible.
~Suzanne Manafort, founder, Mindful Yoga Therapy for Veterans