#MYTYogaNidra

TODAY kicks off the National Sleep Awareness Week.  

We're going to highlight the benefits of Yoga Nidra as a form of yogic sleep. Yoga Nidra is one of Mindful Yoga Therapy's five tools in our toolbox. The other four include: Pranayama, Asana, Meditation, and Gratitude. What makes Yoga Nidra so special is that it can be a more effective and efficient form of rest and rejuvenation than conventional sleep. The total relaxation achieved in a Yoga Nidra session is equivalent to hours of ordinary sleep.

We reached out to our MYT graduates to see what their thoughts are about this ancient practice. Here are Jennie G's thoughts on Yoga Nidra.

What is Yoga Nidra? Translated literally from the Sanskrit, we arrive at the term “yogic sleep,” yet the practice of Yoga Nidra is not sleep. Though it is extremely relaxing, it holds so much more for us than simple stress relief. So, what exactly is this practice, and how can it help us reach our inner potential to live calm, joyful, and contented lives?

Yoga Nidra is a tantric practice based upon the knowledge of the channels (nadis) between the body and the brain. Using pratyahara (sense withdrawal), the deeper recesses of the mind may be accessed via sushumna nadi (the central channel). These depths house the root of our habitual thoughts and behaviors, from which grows the very framework of our minds. In this way, the practice holds undeniable potential to affect positive change.

In Yoga Nidra, the practitioner is guided along a path of progressive awareness, moving from one body part to another, in a sequence proven to calm the body. The act of calming the body also quiets the mind and opens a space of stillness between consciousness and sleep. In this space, our minds are much more receptive to our chosen intention or resolve (sankalpa), which we set in place at the beginning of each session.

The practice of Yoga Nidra makes it possible for us to correct patterns in the brain which do not serve us on our journey through life. By spending time in the fertile threshold between waking and sleeping, we begin to remove obstructions from our minds, allowing freedom and growth to occur. Through this practice, we begin to truly live in harmony with our ideals.

During National Sleep Awareness Week, why not see what Yoga Nidra can bring to your life?

Peace and Love,

Jennie

 

We would love to hear about how you use yoga nidra, meditation, yoga etc...to help you sleep. You can either use the hashtag #MYTYogaNidra, tag us in your post and/or send us an email (c.eder@mindfulyogatherapy.org) and we'll add it to our blog.


UPCOMING TRAINING PROGRAMS:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Memorial Day Growth

Memorial Day Growth-01Memorial Day is a very interesting day. For some, it is the official beginning of summer, highlighted by family barbeques. For others, it is a day to mourn the loss of those who paid the ultimate sacrifice. Some even celebrate the brave men and women who are currently serving. I have had the honor to serve with some amazing heroes over the past two-plus decades. Included in this list are many who have never wore a uniform, but proudly support, honor and cherish those who have. One of those is a friend, and fellow Frog Lotus Yoga graduate, Lisa Bassi. She recently posted these words…and I found them to be very fitting:

Memorial Day and Veteran's Day come once a year. It is only right that we should give thanks for those who serve and protect us. I know it is traditional to dedicate Memorial Day to those who gave their lives but I think we should also consider those who gave the life they knew and now live a different life. They planned to serve and then to come back to what we all have but, for many, coming back is not so easy. The life they dreamed of is no where to be found. Instead they have a life they never conceived of - with PTSD, illness or injury. Help them hold on. Remember them now, when they need us most. Flags and wreaths and ceremonies are great - but a kind word, supporting a business, a phone call, letter or helping hand - these things make a difference too. So, this Memorial Day, honor the fallen and also those who gave their lives. Their sweet simple lives, for us. -Lisa Bassi

The reason you celebrate aside, I’d like to take a few moments to talk about an often over-looked military population worthy of our mourning and celebration…the Vietnam Veteran.

I am not suggesting there is a group of warriors more or less deserving, rather I want to publically mourn a group of warriors who came before me. I often tell those who will listen, that I don’t know where I would be today if I didn’t have a strong yoga and meditation practice before I went off to war. The Vietnam Vet in most cases didn’t have one…and the battles they faced and face on a daily basis are unspeakable. Additionally, there were no KickStarter campaigns to help cover medical and housing costs. None of them jumped onto Twitter to bash the local Veterans Affairs office on the lack of services available to them. Times were indeed tough. In the book, What It Is Like To Go To War, Karl Marlantes writes about the need for a “psychological and spiritual combat prophylactic.” Marlantes suggests the reason is because going to combat is much like unsafe sex, “it’s a major thrill with possible horrible consequences.” Imagine how that would have played out today with the proliferation of mobile technology, narrowcasting, 24-hour information/news cycles and citizen journalism at an all-time high. The memes alone would generate enough attention and dare I say money to fund the above mentioned housing and medical costs.

As a journalist, I have seen with my lens and the lens of my fellow combat journalist the physical, emotional and spiritual toll of war. What I have learned of trauma is that it sees no religion, gender, creed, nor orientation. It equally spreads its grips across all socio-economic boarders. The effects are real. They are painful. They are 100-percent indiscriminate. Often they paralyze their captor to the point of no return.

The National Vietnam Veterans' Readjustment Study (NVVRS) highlighted some alarming statistics about the Vietnam Veterans. Overall, the NVVRS found that at the time of the study approximately 830,000 male and female Vietnam theater Veterans (26%) had symptoms and related functional impairment associated with PTSD. Just so you know, Columbus Ohio is the 15th largest city in the United States with just about 836,000 people. Can you imagine what we would do as a nation if we decided to ignore the entire city of Columbus? If we decided it was no longer important to us to take care of them? The  NVVRS study found just shy of 31% of men and 27% of the female worries who fought for us in Vietnam suffer from lifetime PTSD. I can tell you first hand with all of the resources at my disposal, the past 13 years have been in a word…HELL. I can’tYoga-Readiness-Initiative-Military-Patch-300x300 imagine 41 years of it…with little to no support. Mindful Yoga Therapy is honored to have the Give Back Yoga Foundation (GBYF) as our parent…so to speak. GBYF is launching their Yoga Readiness Initiative this Memorial Day. This project aims to bring free Yoga Readiness Kits to active duty military and their families. These kits offer service men and women a way to explore the practice of yoga as a tool to heal from the traumas they experience through deployment.

 

_()_Namaste,

Chris Eder, Retired Air Force

Istanbul was Constantinople...and soon Newington Yoga will be...

Newington Yoga Center

THIS IS BIG NEWS!

 

The Mindful Yoga Therapy team is extremely honored to announce the Newington Yoga Center will soon be the Mindful Yoga Therapy Training Center...basically, our new Headquarters. MYT Founder, Suzanne Manafort has been operating the two separately, but over the past few years, there has been more and more requests for training. Suzanne says this transition, "is a natural evolution."

Not only has there been more requests for training, but our team is getting bigger too. Suzanne believes a dedicated home base will allow MYT to, "expand the way that we serve our local community with our center."

Mindful Yoga Therapy is for everyone and so too will be the training center. According to Manafort, "The center will be open to all. The focus at the MYT training center will be mindful programs and the ability to work with people that have experienced trauma, or are dealing with stress and anxiety."

Rob Schware is the co-Founder and Executive Director for the Give Back Yoga Foundation. MYT is one of the four programs GBYF supports. Schware believes having a dedicated training center will enhance their mission of bringing yoga and mindful-based programs to underserved and under-resourced segments of the community. "MYT is not just for veterans. Having a dedicated training center will help train yoga teachers and people living with or managing eating disorders, stress and anxiety disorders, drug and alcohol addiction, and domestic violence."

For the Newington local yogis, it will be business as usual. Same great classes and same great teachers. A new sign may be in the works.

Yoga Journal Giveaway Alert | Mindful Yoga for Stress and Anxiety

Register Now

Yoga Journal presents a six-week course, based on our Mindful Yoga Therapy program, that aims to relieve stress and anxiety while focusing on breath, movement, meditation, and yoga nidra. Pre-register for Yoga for Stress and Anxiety today to be entered to win this class completely FREE!

Venue and registration info below

Yoga for Stress and Anxiety — for free!

Feeling overwhelmed, on edge, or panicky? Yoga can be a powerful tool for easing these and other symptoms of anxiety, stress, and trauma. Now, you can discover the powerful grounding techniques developed through our Mindful Yoga Therapy program, in the privacy of your own practice space.

Sign up today to be automatically entered to win this course for free! Yoga Journal will select one winner each week, beginning February 1st until the class launches in March 2016.

About The Practice:

The six-week Yoga for Stress and Anxiety course will introduce you to a suite of techniques that can help you find calm and peace, including breath (pranayama), movement (asana), meditation, and yoga nidra (yogic sleep) techniques that can help you heal.

These mindful, embodied practices, shared by Mindful Yoga Therapy creators Suzanne Manafort and Robin Gilmartin, are designed to provide a feeling of groundedness and security, deliver relief from the symptoms of stress, and offer supportive skills to enhance everyday life now and long into the future. Developed to support veterans dealing with PTSD and anxiety, Mindful Yoga Therapy offers a clinically tested, proven way to cultivate calm.

Sneak preview: try a Mindful Yoga Therapy sequence to train your brain to relax.

How you’re giving back:

A portion of the proceeds of every course registration will support the Give Back Yoga Foundation in bringing yoga and mindfulness to underserved and under-resourced segments of the community.


Date & Times:

Pre-Register to Win Free Tuition: January 28th – March 7th

Paid Registration Opens:  March 8th

Six-Week Course Launches: March 30th

Location:

Online course offered through AIM Healthy U.

Pricing & Registration:

AIM Healthy U’s online courses are subscription-based. No purchase is necessary to enter the giveaway.

Pre-register to be entered to win Yoga for Stress for free.

Mindful Yoga Therapy in the Middle East - notes from Suzanne

Teaching Mindful Yoga Therapy in the Middle East We set out on May 22nd 2015 for Tel Aviv with our training manual and Practice Guide translated into Arabic for the trainings. It was a 10-hour flight.

Ramallah - a square in the center

There were 5 of us. The group consisted of me (Suzanne), Rob Schware (Executive Director, Give Back Yoga Foundation) Rama Jyoti Vernon and Ruth from 7 Centers Yoga Arts. The last two yoga teachers have worked in this area before. Alice Trembour, Rob’s wife, joined us the next day, and she provided a tremendous amount of support as Rob was not allowed into the women’s trainings.

We stayed in Jerusalem overnight and headed for Palestine in the morning.

Marketplace in Ramallah center

Farashe Yoga Center, Ramallah - Women's group training with Suzanne Manafort

We did four trainings in Ramallah and were greeted by a group from Farashe Yoga Center (the only yoga center in Ramallah) who also provided us with translators.

The first training was for women yoga teachers.

Farashe Yoga Center, Ramallah - Women's group training

For the first group, we conducted a four-day training split between Mindful Yoga Therapy training and the other two yoga teachers that came from Arizona.

The participants were incredibly eager and hungry for as much information as possible. They also shared some information with us about their culture, experiences, and their lives. They were convinced that these practices would make a difference in their lives and in the lives of others.

From left: Mohammed Khatib, Suzanne Manafort and Rob Schware in Ramallah

The second training was a private training for a young yoga teacher named Mohammad.

A young Palestinian, that would love to see change in his country and the world, Mohammed believes yoga can help to do that. He is also training for the 2016 Olympics as a sprinter. After the Olympics, he is committed to teaching yoga in Palestine and using it to change the world. I believe that he will!

See Mohammed's thoughts about the training.

Farashe Yoga Center, Ramallah  - Mindful Yoga Therapy Training for Psychosocial Workers in Refugee Camps

The next two trainings also separated the men from the women. They were for psychosocial workers that work in the refugee camps and with trauma on a regular basis. We were asked to bring them training on some simple practices that they could use with their patients and an explanation on why they work. They too are planning to use these practices as much as possible personally and professionally.

This trip was such a cultural experience, and the people of Palestine are the warmest people I have ever met. If you admire something they have, they will buy one for you. They are so kind and generous!

The cultural difference took a little getting used to. An example is the separation of men and women. Some people shook hands, and some people touched their own heart when they met you. I am still unclear on when to shake hands or not shake hands.

Mindful Yoga Therapy brought them each a mala for their new mediation practice.  They couldn’t have been more grateful and seemed very committed to using and teaching these practices.

The truth is, trauma is trauma no matter what culture you are submerged in and, in fact, some cultures and populations experience more than others. Our hope is that these yoga practices are adopted in this place, half way around the world, and that they are as successful as they have been for us.

We returned home on June 6th 2015. We (The Give Back Yoga Foundation and Mindful Yoga Therapy) will be working a plan to support our programs in this country and others. Stay tuned.

Namaste Palestine

Connecting the Dots - Military and Yoga

Dui Mora

Mindful Yoga Therapy for Veterans is a powerful tool to promote tranquility and healing for the body. In this succinct program, my dear friend Suzanne Manafort introduces the practice of Yoga to our heroes. The wisdom contained in this program is now a significant part of my personal and professional life.

Throughout the years, I have combined my military career with a fulfilling yoga practice. My warrior quests have taken me all over the world. I have served in two major armed conflicts and worked at the largest center for military strategy, the Pentagon. Despite my triumphs and adventures, I have also experienced a few downfalls. Due to the high demands of my military service, I too, have found myself depressed and stressed for periods of time. Additionally, I have seen the reality of Post Traumatic Stress (PTS) up close and personally: in friends, co-workers, and my brothers and sisters in uniform. It is not easy when someone you love falls into a dark place of isolation, anxiety, and despair.

As a yoga teacher and a military veteran, I wanted to connect the dots and develop my own conclusions for what I believe to be an effective, accepted, and comfortable yoga approach to support our veterans and their families. While working on my advanced yoga certification, I decided to write my final thesis on “Yoga for Veterans Coping with PTS. As I embarked on this journey, I met wonderful teachers, and learned and experienced different methods. I have no doubt that Mindful Yoga Therapy is by far the soundest approach available to the veteran community. The combination of intentional practices of breathing, asana, yoga nidra, meditation, and gratitude offer a wide range of possibilities to teachers and veteran practitioners. Moreover, I admire Suzanne’s efforts to promote the program at minimal or no cost to veterans. Her love for our heroes, dedication, and hard work in partnership with the Give Back Yoga Foundation has made the program widely accessible to our community.

I am happy to say that I have successfully included Mindful Yoga Therapy principles in the yoga classes I teach at the Pentagon Athletic Center and at various workshops and Wounded Warrior Camps. For a teacher, there is nothing more rewarding than completing a hero’s yoga practice and feeling the joy and tranquility permeating the space. As a veteran practicing yoga, the feeling of connection to other warriors, and the sense of being safe and grounded while nurturing rest and healing, is priceless.

Mindful Yoga Therapy focuses on supporting veterans, but I truly believe this approach also serves as a physical and mental resilience-building tool for people from all walks of life. By applying Suzanne’s “toolbox” while cultivating a steady yoga practice, you will experience a wonderful and positive transformation for living well and better! It is my honor to present it to you.

Dulia Mora-Turner

RYT500 Yoga Teacher and Captain, United States Air Force

The Battle Within Our Brains - The Ultimate Yin and Yang

Aligning-Stars "Cause you're a sky, 'cause you're a sky full of stars...I'm gonna give you my heart

'Cause you're a sky, 'cause you're a sky full of stars...'Cause you light up the path

Chris Martin of Coldplay

cavemanpainThere are about 100 billion neurons in your brain. Each of them connects to another via a neural pathway.  On average, each neuron receives about five-thousand connections, called synapses from other neurons. (Lindon 2007)  The number of possible of connections between all of these neurons is roughly 10 to the millionth power, or a 1 followed by a million zeros.  In theory, this is the number of possible states your brain can achieve.  For perspective, scientist estimate the number of atoms in the universe to be "only" 10 to the eightieth power.

The same brain that has evolved over time to protect us from extinction with super survival skills is also responsible for our pain and suffering.  Even though the majority of us would classify our lives as good, happy, and fulfilling, our brain is programmed to initially respond counter to those thoughts.  These thoughts are known as explicit memories, or memories which you can recall.  For example, I felt really good after yoga.  I totally remember how I felt after the class...I was sort of on cloud nine.  Here is where the problem lies...our brains have a default setting that scours our entire brain for unpleasant experiences.  These experiences are known as implicit memories.  This is an unconscious memory based on years of accumulated "lived" experiences.  It is the jest of who you are.  Scientist believe our brains are like velcro when it comes to negative experiences.  In other words, that stuff sticks with us...forever!  Conversely, our brains are like Teflon when it comes to positive experiences...that stuff just won't stick!

It is important to know and understand that this evolutionary development is very important to our survival.  It is the President and Chariman/Executive Officer (CEO) of our Central Nervous System or CNS.  There is also the Chief Financial Officer (CFO) who runs the Autonomic Nervous System. (ANS) The two major departments within the CNS are the Sympathetic Nervous System (SNS) andParasympathetic Nervous System. (PNS).  The SNS is responsible for signaling all of the different parts of our mind and body to get up and get out!  The PNS does the opposite, it relaxes you and comforts you.  It signals you when it is OK to chill out.

The SNS and PNS are in fact a Yin and Yang duality.  We need them both.  It is the SNS that alerts us that even a baby shark is still a shark...that a rattlesnake is poisonous...or that a person with a knife running towards you screaming is a dangerous scenario...you too must now run!  The PNS is totally the opposite.  It is cool, calm and collective.  It allows us to rest and digest.  Both of these two systems are automatic...hence they belong to the Autonomic Nervous system.

argh.jpgSo...where is the problem?  Well, since they are automatic, we really can't control them.  Remember how our brain defaults to our implicit memories...or the negative/unpleasant?  Well, when these systems are out of whack...which by the way, they are defaulted to do for survival purposes, the rest of our body systems will follow suit and thus also be out of whack.  Oh...and it gets worse!  According to a study by Maletic et al. 2007, even a single episode of major depression can reshape circuits of your brain to make future episodes more likely.  THANKS!

We have to fight back...with COMPASSION!

"The root of compassion is compassion for oneself."  - Pema Chodron

"The root of compassion is compassion for oneself."  - Pema Chodron

thoughts, emotions, actions

In a nutshell, we have to create more happiness, joy, love and positivity.  Esoterically, we have to pull out weeds and plant new seeds. (implicit memories) Scientifically, we have to create new neural pathways.  I like to call this, "Taking in the Good!"  There are three neural systems if you will that will help us along this Pursuit of Compassion.  Actions, Emotions, and Thoughts. If we can change our actions, emotions, and thoughts, then we can according to Dr. Rick Hanson and his book, "Buddha's Brain," bring happiness, love and wisdom to our lives. Who do you chose to feed?Who do you chose to feed?

This is where the REAL battle comes into play!  There is an old folklore story about the two wolves that live inside each of us.  The wolf of Hate and the wolf of Love.  As the story goes, which ever you feed will prevail.  But remember, it is so much easier to feed the wolf of Hate...it is our default setting.  I liken it to getting upset almost to (and sometimes over) the tipping point when someone cuts you off on the interstate.  Our first reaction more often than not is, "what a jerk!" (or some other colorful expletive!) That is is us feed the wolf of Hate.  What if...the person who just cut you off was rushing to the hospital because his wife, who is in the back seat is going into labor?  If you knew this...would you still think the person was a jerk?  Ah...the wolf of Love!  Yet another Yin/Yang battle.

Here is a very simplistic approach on "Taking in the Good."  We have to change our Actions, Emotions, and Thoughts with small positive actions every day that will add up over time and build new neural structures.

ACTIONS:  I had a yoga student come up to me prior to a yoga class and tell me she finally figured it out!  It was her actions to others that was causing stress, not others causing her stress.  Perfect!  That is a clearheaded response.  It is virtually impossible to change the person or thing that irritates you, that makes you mad, or causes you stress.  However, you can change how YOU react to it.  Sometimes called the "Second Dart" syndrome.  It works like this.  If I were to tell you that you were a failure who really didn't meet their true potential...you have two options.  Option #1 - Strike Back!  "How dare you say that to me?" "Who are you to judge me?" "You're life isn't so great either...you big loser!"  (Feeding the wolf of Hate...super easy, instant gratification.)  OR Option #2 - You could pause, tap into your explicit memories, rather than your implicit memories and instead of sending a "Second Dart" back at me, change you ACTIONS to that of compassion.  It is nowhere near as easy.  There is also a good chance there will be no instant gratification.  However, you are now feeding the wolf of Love.

EMOTIONS:  Our brains need to have a regulated flow of Nuerochemicals.  Chief among them (for the purpose of this blog) are Serotonin, Dopamine, and Oxytocin.  Serotonin regulates our mood and a deficiency can cause major depression.  Dopamine controls our reward and pleasure systems and helps with our "emotional" responses.  Low levels in dopamine can effect your ability to think clearly, and reeks havoc on your ability to focus and concentrate.  (Think ADHD.)  Oxytocin aka the kissing hormone, promotes nurturing behaviors.  When we kiss someone, or are in a romantic/loving state of mind we produce oxytocin.  Low levels of this neurochemical is linked to autism-spectrum disorders...as well as poor social functions and depression.  We can actually think "Happy Thoughts" according to a study in the Journal of Psycharity and Neuroscience.   Additionally, breathing practices and physical exercises like yoga can alter and even regulate the levels of these neurochemicals to help regulate your emotions.

THOUGHTS:  Oh the thoughts..the self-doubt, the worries, unfounded conclusions.  The list could go on and on.  My personal opinion is that changing our thoughts is the most difficult task.  We now are working on both explicit and implicit memories.  However, the task is still very worthy of our attention.  And...with some basic building blocks we can begin to build a practice and daily routine that will over time become very powerful and rewarding.

Start with smiling!  Yep...that easy.  The simple act of smiling excites several neurochemicals in our brains and we begin to feel...HAPPY!  Try this.  Sit in a comfortable and supportive position.  Close your eyes and listen to your breath and pay attention to your thoughts.  After a few minutes, put a smile on your face and notice how your thoughts change.

We can also bring change to our thoughts through meditation.  There are many different styles and approaches to meditation.  I believe meditation is like pizza.  There really is no such thing as bad pizza, nor bad meditation.  For the purpose of this article, I would highly recommend compassionate/kindness-based meditation.  Meditation that will trigger neurochemicals (limbic-system) such as oxytocin (rewards/emotions) and will begin to engage your Prefrontal Cortex. (PFC) The PFC is kind of like the quarterback in your brain.  It sets goals, makes plans and directs actions.  It also allows and sometimes inhibits us from doing things.  It works mostly on a conscious level.  One of my favorite types of compassionate/kindness based mediation is Loving Kindness Meditation. (KLM)  In KLM you will be meditating for...bringing love and kindness to, three different people.  The first is someone who you love...who brings value to your life.  The second is someone who you'd much rather slap in the face...so to speak.  In other words, someone who brings strife or conflict.  Perhaps the person who cut you off on the highway.  :)  The third person...and this might be the most difficult person...is YOU!  Self-Compassion as Pema Chodron describes it above.   I have added a sample of one that I really enjoy.  I would highly recommend keeping a journal next to where you meditate to keep track of who you are picking as your #1 and #2 just to see what happens of the course of time.  Another word of caution...if you are new to meditation, I would recommend not going for the jugular for your #2.  Start small and work your way up.  I went right for the biggest issue in my life and got very sick.

Another real easy compassionate-based practice is the practice of Gratitude.  Mindful Yoga Therapy uses this practice with Veterans with PTSD.  The simple act of taking time to be grateful for something no matter how big or small is very powerful.  It too triggers all the same neurochemicals that simply and easily make you feel good!  Or as is the case with Vets with PTSD...simply feel...something.

There is one person in this world who holds all the power, maybe even the greatest power over you.  It is the future version of you.  You have the ability to be the best you that you can be.  It might not be the You...you're use to, nor the You...you once were.  It is however...the You...that you are...NOW! The power is in your hands...in your control.  Which wolf do you choose to feed?

You see, if we know that our brains are programmed to default to highlight negative experiences, our goal is not to suppress our negative thoughts into a deep dark place.  Instead, we need to cultivate more positive experiences.  Taking in the Good!   We do this by practicing on a conscious level.  We practice changing our Actions.  We practice by changing our Emotions.  We practice by changing our Thoughts.  In the beginning we act happy, loving, kind, grateful, and calm.  Over time, millions of new neural pathways will shape...and instead of "acting," we will simply...BE!

_()_Namaste - Chris

Spring Has Sprung for Mindful Yoga Therapy

Sit quietly, doing nothing, spring comes, and the grass grows by itself. —Zen saying

HELLO SPRING!  For many of us it has been a long and cold winter.  Record-setting snowfall in many cities.  In fact, it snowed here (Baltimore) just last Sunday.  That is crazy! We had our first snowfall back in October.  That is six months of snow.  Six months of potentially staying indoors.  Six months of potentially little to no activity.  Six months of what I call...preparing my Buddha belly.  I guess on the flip-side, I haven't mowed the lawn in more than six months too.

As the grass begins to green over and grow, and the flowers...oh the flowers begin to bloom, get outside.  Get moving.  Enjoy the outdoors with a great sense of mindfulness.  It is amazing.  In the mornings I enjoy sitting out on my deck to watch the sunrise.  I've also been enjoying the company of the birds.  Two new types of birds hanging out with me in my backyard this year.  As the temperatures rise, the bunnies begin to come out too.  Turns out, they like daffodils just as much as I do.  However, they don't enjoy looking at them, rather they enjoy eating them.   I even had a raccoon hanging out in the backyard yesterday.  Spring is definitely alive and well.  So is Mindful Yoga Therapy. A lot has happened over this long winter.

First of all, we became the Yoga component of The Give Back Yoga Foundation. “Give Back Yoga Foundation already has a non-profit infrastructure that’s both effective and efficient,” said GBYF Executive Director Rob Schware. “By freeing up key Mindful Yoga Therapy staff members, we can allow them to focus on what they do best — teaching and helping veterans.”  Teaching and helping veterans is exactly what we've been doing!  On Veterans Day (way back in November) we held a nationwide fundraiser.  In May, The Oracle Band is holding a concert at the American Legion Post 40 in Glen Burnie Maryland. (FACEBOOK EVENT)   The money raised will help fund even more scholarships.  Speaking of scholarships, we were able to provide $6437.50 in grants to Veterans to attend our 15-hour course as wells as one lucky Vet will be going to a 200-hour Yoga Teacher Training. Coming up this year we have committed to give 1 full scholarship and 2 half scholarships in the amount of $2250.00 for the 100 hour program.

Suzanne Manafort and Robin Gilmartin have been tirelessly working on our brand new 100-hour program.  The 100-hour Mindful Yoga Therapy program consists of five modules, presented over five weekends. It includes our Beginning Mindful Yoga Therapy Program and our new Resilience Program. 
The 12-week Resilience Program is the follow-up to the Beginning Mindful Yoga Therapy Program. Both programs include a 12-week protocol that includes Embodyoga® supports and all five “Tools” from the “Tool Box”.   Programs fill up quickly, so you should seriously consider checking our schedule and signing up today.

Suzanne and Robin have also worked out our second phase of training which answers the question "What happens next?"  In other words, what happens after Veterans with PTSD have successfully completed  our 12-week program?  One word kept coming up in the discussion our team would have.  That word...RESILIENCE!  What is Resilience?  Psychology Today says – “Resilience is that ineffable quality that allows some people to be knocked down by life and come back stronger than ever.”  As we move into this Resilience program with our initial “Tools” from the Mindful Yoga Therapy Beginning Program in place, we begin to add more “Tools." We will add three new breathing practices and a new Yoga Nidra called Warrior Nidra. They will all be included on our new CD.

SpringpicONE MORE THING!

We are starting to put together a database of all of our MYT trained instructors.

 If you'd like to be on the list, send Chris Eder an email. Include: Name, RYT hours, City/State, where you were trained with date. Please also let us know if you are teaching at a VA, and/or if you are offering a free class to Vets.  We are starting to get several emails from people looking for a MYT class. 

There is so much more going on too!  Stay tuned.

Music + Fundraiser = Scholarships

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We are very excited!  The Oracle Band and the Glen Burnie American Legion have linked up with Chris Eder, our Director of Communications, and local yoga instructor to raise funds for Mindful Yoga Therapy.  This is going to be both a fantastic night of entertainment...but perhaps more importantly...will generate enough funds to provide TWO SCHOLARSHIPS for our upcoming 100-hour teacher training.  YEP!  Two Veterans will be able to attend this training for free.  Stay tuned for details.

Feel free to use the above Facebook cover photo to help spread the word.  Here is the link to the Facebook Event.

IF...you can't make it, perhaps consider making a donation.  Donations help to fund our activities and programs.  Your contribution helps us share Mindful Yoga Therapy for Veterans by:

  • developing personalized programs for the individual needs of the Veteran
  • offering discounts and scholarships to Veterans and their families for classes and programs in affiliate studios
  • offering partial scholarships to our Yoga Teacher Training Programs
  • developing and distributing Yoga for Veterans Toolkits

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Click image or HERE!

How Yoga Helps Veterans

Chris-Crop-1 The Mindful Yoga Therapy for Veterans team will be at the Sedona Yoga Festival for a special 2-Day teacher training.  #SYF2014 has joined forces with the Give Back Yoga Foundation to help raise awareness of the work all of us are doing with Veterans.

Our Director of Communications, Chris Eder wrote a blog on his thoughts about How Yoga Helps Veterans.

 

My name is Chris Eder…and I’ve spent the past 23 years on active duty service to THE United States of America as a Combat Correspondent in the Air Force.  Since 9/11, I have found myself in some interesting places.  Sometimes by myself, sometimes with people I had never met, and sometimes with people who I love(d) as a brother or a sister.

I don’t sleep.  For many years, I just told people I was a “morning” person.  That was maybe less than half true…as I really do enjoy being up before anyone else.  Hot showers, fresh coffee, etc.  But the truth was…I couldn’t sleep.   CLICK FOR MORE!