If you've resolved to make a change in the New Year to improve your life, yoga would be a great first step.
“A lot of vets have post-traumatic stress,” said Thierry Chiapello, who served in the Marines and now teaches yoga at the National Defense University in Washington. “By lengthening the exhalation of breath, this gets people out of those fight-or-flight instincts that drain you,” he continued, putting them in a mode of “rest and recovery that definitely is associated with less aggressive behaviors.”
“There are huge synergies with the military and yoga,” said Mr. Allaire, who discovered this as he learned yoga. “There is a stereotype that yogis are a bunch of hippie types of people who are not militaristic,” he said. “But the whole system of yoga is about moral and ethical restraints on behavior and trying to stay calm in challenging conditions. Sometimes in a pose you feel pain and you have to say, ‘Is that pain that is damaging or is that discomfort that I need to lean into?’”
“Special Forces people train in breathing techniques all the time. That is one little thing that no one would ever connect.”
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An interesting article in the NY Times about yoga's appeal and applicability to veterans. Worth the read.