New Year...New You?

PerfectFirst off...you are perfect just the way you are.  This time of year it is very customary to judge the year that was and decide how to make the year that will be even better.  We make resolutions to eat better, exercise more, and what ever else tickles our fancy.  Resolutions generally all have good intentions behind them.  Sadly, by March most resolutions are completly forgotten. This year...instead of making a resolution (or two) might I suggest making an intention.  Yeah...just like in a yoga class when you set an intention for your practice.  Most likely in your yoga practice you come back to your intention several times.  Do you know why?  Every time you repeat your intention you are doing two things.  1) You are sending it to the universe for support and 2) You are bringing it to the forefront of your mind...your pre-frontal cortex (PFC).  This is where your conscious memory exists.  Over time, the intentions you repeat and bring to your PFC will slip into your subconscious memory.  This is where the real work happens.  It is an auto-pilot workhorse of action!

If you plan to make resolutions this year...perhaps you'll set intentions instead.  Furthmore, only set intentions that relate to the mind, body, and spirit.  Use compassion instead of judgement when doing so.  Then make them part of your daily practice.  Speak them when you first wake up.  Post them near your computer, or where ever you spend a good bit of time. Recite them after your meditation practice. Speak them before you go to bed.  I would even share them with others.  This creates a level of accountability.  Lastly, set monthly reminders on your calendar app.  These monthly check-ups provide you an opportunity to reflect on your intentions.  You might even want to start a journal to collect your thoughts.

HAPPY NEW YEAR!

_()_Namaste,

Chris

 

How can Mindful Yoga and Meditation Help with PTS?

Chris Eder serves as our Director of Communications.  He is a retired Air Force Combat Correspondent who now spends his days teaching yoga, making mala beads, and occasionally, getting back in front of the camera to talk about what he is passionate about....HELPING VETS!  

[embed]http://youtu.be/CrYZFXTELPM[/embed]

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

Veterans Place

Here is a place where these [Mindful Yoga Therapy] materials are being used. It is called Veterans Place of Washington Blvd where there are currently 45 residents in temporary housing and many others who come into the daytime program for rest, food, and resources, who are living on the streets or shelters. In two more weeks I begin teaching deliberate breathing practices beyond breath awareness (Ujjayi, 3 Part Breath, Alternate Nostril Breath) and am so excited to then distribute the CDs to reinforce what each person will have learned in class! It takes it one step closer to use in ones life and that is what these guys are asking for, how to carry this practice into their lives.

Here are comments from the first series at Veteran's Place, on feedback sheets:

I came here wanting to change something about myself and it didn't change. Seeing that it didn't have to change, something changed.

Great training helps me relax. ~Mike, Army Veteran

It really helps me with my PTSD and all issues regarding ego, drugs, alcohol. ~Jason, USMC Veteran

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

Mindful Yoga Therapy in Cincinnati

Ohio is the third most heavily recruited state in the nation, and home to over one million Veterans in addition to thousands of civil servants and active duty military members. Since introducing Mindful Yoga Therapy to Cincinnati and the surrounding communities, our programs have grown to support Veteran and active duty personnel ranging from Dayton to Northern Kentucky. Jennifer Wright leads a Mindful Yoga Therapy class at Tier 2 in Cincinnati.

Cincinnati programs represent a key part of the thousands of Veterans across the nation that are now served through Mindful Yoga Therapy. Led by Jennifer Wright Schneeman, Director of Holistic Health at  REAL Human Performance. Mindful Yoga Therapy programming is now being offered at the following Cincinnati locations:

  • REAL Human Performance Wellness Center, a facility that offers holistic fitness, performance and defense services to the general population and veteran community (about a 60/40 split).
  • Veterans Court in Cincinnati, where Mindful Yoga Therapy classes were introduced in April 2014.
  • VAMC-Fort Thomas, where Mindful Yoga Therapy is offered as a complementary therapy in the eight-week TBI/PTSD Residential program, in conjunction with Cognitive Processing Therapy.
  • Joseph House - Marx Recovery Center in CincinnatiThe Joseph House, a shelter for homeless Veterans located in downtown Cincinnati. The “JH” is certified by the Ohio Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services to offer housing and in-patient chemical dependency treatment, out-patient treatment and reintegration support in the Ready & Forward program. As part of the VA's Community Outreach Division, the Joseph House's Marx Recovery Center strives to meet the needs of homeless Veterans suffering from addiction and other co-occurring challenges by providing the needed holistic support.REAL Human Performance's trained Mindful Yoga Therapy instructors work in conjunction with mental health professionals and the clinical team to maintain a commitment to a sustainable recovery and to thrive within the community.

Earlier this year, REAL Human Performance received a supply grant from the Give Back Yoga Foundation in support of the Mindful Yoga Therapy program in Cincinnati. Through free Mindful Yoga Therapy practice guides and yoga mats and blocks generously donated by Gaiam, the grant helped to jumpstart new programs for inpatient residential Veterans.

The Cincinnati MYT team is positioned to implement additional programs across the Tri-state area, and are working to establish clinical studies to quantify the benefits observed in conjunction with clinical treatment. For more information, please call Jennifer Wright, REAL Human Performance Director of Holistic Wellness, a 513-271-0380

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Join the team: enroll in our upcoming Mindful Yoga Therapy training at REAL Human Performance on October 24-16, 2014.

"Vinyasa in the Vineyard" Benefit Raises $2K

Vinyasa in the Vineyard

Great news for our mission: "Vinyasa in the Vineyard," a benefit event held on June 27th at Preston Ridge Vineyard in Preston, CT, has raised $2,000 to bring Mindful Yoga Therapy to veterans!

This evening of live music, yoga, wine and pizza was organized by Mindful Yoga Therapy teacher Cheryl Hughes, who served at Camp LeJeune Naval Hospital as a corpsman. As a veteran, Cheryl is deeply committed to sharing tools for a calm body and mind with her peers.

"These are my brothers and sisters," she says.

Our deepest gratitude goes out to Cheryl - and to Cara and Andrew Sawyer, the owners of Preston Ridge Vineyard, who hosted this event free of charge and donated 30% of the evening's wine sales to Mindful Yoga Therapy for Veterans. Their family and staff also pitched in to support this event with extensive preparation of the winery grounds to ensure a warm, safe and beautiful experience for the 63 guests who turned out for this year's "Vinyasa at the Vineyard" fundraiser - nearly double last year's attendance.

Our thanks goes out to these amazing participants, who shared their spirit of compassion at this event; to those who couldn't attend in person, but showed their solidarity by making a donation to Mindful Yoga Therapy; and to the many friends who contributed time and resources to make this event a success.

A benefit event like "Vinyasa in the Vineyard" is made possible by the support of a community coming together around a common cause. In gratitude for their time and support, we wish to acknowledge:

Musicians

  • Eagle Feather - vocalist and Black Wolf Drum
  • Beaver Bob
  • Singing Willow
  • Don Staub

Yoga Instructors

  • Cheryl Hughes
  • Helen Ouimette
  • Linda Gawronski

Yoga Rover and Assistant

  • Jennifer Reilly
  • Tricia Lewon

Complementary Chair Massages and Clinical Information

  • Pamela Mish
  • Michelle Jordan

Registration Volunteers

  • Joe Hughes
  • Ann Richardson

Promotional Partners

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Help us to make an impact through community! We are looking for volunteers, artisans, wellness professionals and anyone willing to share their talents for next year's Vinyasa in the Vineyard event. To get involved, contact Cheryl Hughes at hughes.ce5@gmail.com.

 

New Mindful Yoga Therapy Logo Items...fill your tote!

Looking for a way to support Mindful Yoga Therapy?  Our Mindful Yoga Therapy store offers a great selection of MYT logo items.

Fill your MYT tote with tees, sweatshirts, water bottles, and more.

All purchases support our efforts and programs.

Please stop by the MYT store for details on all the products and programs we offer.

Serving Long Island Veterans Through Yoga Therapy

Mindful Yoga Therapy for Veterans is taking root in Long Island, thanks to teacher Danielle Goldstein, founder and owner of Mindful Turtle Yoga & Wellness. Beginning in May, Mindful Turtle will offer a special class that veterans and their families can attend free of charge. Danielle is also partnering with Suffolk County United Veterans to launch a Mindful Yoga Therapy pilot program for vets - the first step toward developing a formal county-wide program.

Suffolk County is home to the largest population of veterans in New York State, with nearly 160,000 vets calling Long Island home. Studies show that nearly 20% of returning veterans are impacted by post-traumatic stress and other behavioral health disorders, and the need for a complementary alternative treatment like Mindful Yoga Therapy is great. We're honored to be making a difference - and grateful to Danielle for taking the lead!

About Danielle Goldstein

Danielle GoldsteinDanielle has had a dedicated yoga practice for over 15 years and has studied many traditions of classical yoga, particularly the Ashtanga Yoga Method, developing a respect and appreciation for yoga and its life changing possibilities. Her classes are motivating, inspiring and compassionate.

Her training includes both a 200 and 500 hour yoga teacher training from the Yoga Teacher Training Institute under the guidance of Ma Mokshapriya Shakti and Marianne Mitsinikos. She has an additional 500 hour certification in Classical Ashtanga Yoga with with Beryl Bender Birch of The Hard and The Soft Yoga Institute, has assisted Beryl at various workshops, trainings and is a faculty member of her yoga teacher training.

Danielle is also a parent and child counselor with over twenty years of experience in the fields of education and counseling. She holds a Master's Degree in Counseling and is a Nationally Certified Counselor. She also serves of the board of The Morgan Center, a preschool for children undergoing chemotherapy.

Danielle has studied Mindful Yoga Therapy extensively with Suzanne Manafort, and is passionate about bringing this work into the world and supporting Vets with PTS and trauma.

 

Danielle Goldstein and Suzanne Manafort

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

donate-button

Click image or HERE!

Warrior Compassion and Nidra

Our Director of Communications, Chris Eder has been keeping busy.  He has "Warrior" on his mind.  Warrior Compassion and Warrior Nidra.  First off...Warrior Compassion.  In Chris' latest blog he talks about being compassionate even if you're a warrior. punch-yellow

WAIT A SECOND!  How can I be both a Warrior and a compassionate person?  How can I play a pivotal role in the destruction of physical property, ideology, and even...human life...and still live a life worthy of living?  A life of love and loving?  A life instep with that which I believe to be true?

 

READ MORE...CLICK HERE!

 

 

 

 

 

1654072_10153197893182837_280805222_nChris and our Audio/Video guru Paulie Miller just recorded the Warrior Nidra.  This track will be available on our upcoming Resilience CD.  Also included on this CD will be some additional breathing exercises.

 

 

 

 

Stay up to date with all that is happening with MYT on our FACEBOOK page.

Military families and Mindful Yoga Therapy

My name is Sandra. I’ve been part of the Canadian Forces family for the past 26 years. I have a husband and two children. As any family in the military, we’ve gone through a lot of changes, emotional ups and downs, and worries. The first time I heard my husband was going on a mission for 6 months, I began feeling a lot of stress. We’d never gone through a separation for that long. I started reading books on how to cut stress out of my life.

The information that I was looking for at the time is being given to you in the palms of your hands. The only thing you need to do is the practice. These techniques in Mindful Yoga Therapy are simple and powerful. For example: “Deep breathing sends a message to the brain that all is well and cuts the stress cycle.” Wow, with the breathing practice I realized that I didn’t need to be in a relaxed atmosphere to reduce stress. It’s that simple. I started to take time every day even if I only had a minute to spare and say to myself “am I breathing in, and breathing out?” Some days that is all I needed to feel calm again.

If you would like to introduce some thing in your life that is simple but powerful that will change your life, this toolkit is a very good starter kit. It has worked for me and still is keeping me balanced and calm. If you open up to this program you will see positive results in no time!

~Sandra

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!

Compassion....It's Free!

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Our Director of Communications...and Veteran, Chris Eder is on a what he calls a "Pursuit of Compassion!"  Here is his latest offering.

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I am a sucker for FREE!  My wife would tell you, I haven't met a free t-shirt I didn't like. I'm usually the first in line for free samples...food is my

weakness.  On Veterans Day, I usually have the whole day mapped out of where I can get all the "free stuff!"  Come on...a free carwash!  Yes please.  Subway had free subs this year...and I do LOVE their tuna.  Thank you.  Now with social media blasting you in the face, these "free" items have moved to cyberspace.  This means, I don't even have to leave the comfort of my couch...and get stuff for free.

Unfortunately for many of us...Veterans Day only happens once a year.  I'm here to tell you...it doesn't have to!

“Love and compassion are necessities, not luxuries. Without them, humanity cannot survive.”

Dalai Lama XIV, The Art of Happiness

 

Read the rest of this blog HERE!

Pursuit of Compassion

Pursuit of Compassion Some New Year's Eve thoughts from Chris Eder, Mindful Yoga Therapy for Veterans Director of Communications.

Happy New Year's Eve! I'd like to be the first to welcome you to 2014, albeit a few hours early. As 2013 draws to a close and 2014 is right on its tail...surely most of us are looking back on 2013...and possibly more importantly (at this moment) looking forward to 2014. Why do we do this? What is so significant about this one day?  Read the full article.