It’s a privilege to work with Veterans, giving back in some small way to people who’ve sacrificed so much for our freedoms. In honor of #VeteransDay , I’m re-sharing key takeaways from a @cnn piece I did on the benefits of yoga-inspired training techniques for Vets with PTSD.🇺🇸💪
✅QUELLING THE FIGHT-OR-FLIGHT RESPONSE
Being in danger naturally triggers our sympathetic nervous system, increasing heart rate, blood pressure, respiration and stress hormone production. Unfortunately, trauma survivors often have difficulty modulating this ”fight-or-flight" response, switching into to it at inappropriate times or even being chronically stuck in it. Thankfully, breathing deeply can reverse the fight-or-flight reaction. Just 2 minutes of diaphragmatic breathing with full exhales elicits a "relaxation response," slowing heart rate, blood pressure, stress hormone production & respiration—switching out of fight or flight and into the rest & restore, parasympathetic state.
✅RECONNECTING BODY & MIND
A common symptom of PTSD is a sense of disconnection of mind and body, and disassociation from surroundings and the present moment. Practicing yoga-inspired postures and exercises with an emphasis on proprioception (limb position in space), managing physical sensations (actively increasing/decreasing muscular effort or stretch) and connecting breath & movement, helps Vets regain a sense of control, attention and presence in their bodies & minds.
✅USING MINDFULNESS TO STAY PRESENT
Research supports mindfulness meditation's ability to decrease anxiety and depressive symptoms as well as alleviate PTSD symptoms in combat veterans. Because PTSD pulls us into past memories as though they’re happening now, I use a breathing-based mindfulness meditation with Vets, so their breath can serve as an anchor to the present. This enables them to notice changes in their breathing as memories come up and then retake control of their breathing and thoughts, fostering better emotional regulation.
If interested, you can check out the full article here: