It’s no hidden surprise that yoga helps aid in mental and physical healing. This is important to note because people who are in the armed services are often exposed to traumatic situations during their military service. All too often, they return with post-traumatic stress disorder or PTSD. When a soldier leaves their civilian life to become a soldier, they almost never return to the same place they left.
People who suffer from PTSD experience difficulty regulating their “fight-or-flight” response. When in danger, it’s natural for us to feel anxious. This triggers your sympathetic nervous system and causes the heart rate and blood pressure to rise while increasing respiration and stress hormone production. Trauma survivors are often stuck in this mode, or switch into it at inappropriate times. This hyper-vigilance can be accompanied by flashbacks, the inability to concentrate, insomnia, and mental anguish (Libby, 2012). In the worst-case scenario, PTSD can lead to suicide. It’s estimated that veterans are 50% more at risk of suicide 50% higher than non-veteran PTSD patients.
Fortunately, PTSD can be treated with therapy and yoga. Yoga teaches and gives veterans the tools to control PTSD. These tools include breathing, meditation, mindful movement (asana), guided rest (nidra), and connecting the mind with the body.
Sukha Design and Photography’s founder Danielle Sack had a vision to share yoga with a population and cause that is near and dear to her heart. Danielle’s husband is in the military and she understands the sacrifices that military families make to protect the United States of America. She made a call to action and invited local Seattle yoga studios to offer free and reduced cost yoga classes to Veterans. Here is a list of Seattle based yoga for veterans.
Danielle’s biggest initiative came to life when she partnered with Seattle Yoga News to create the inaugural Veterans Day Yoga Fundraiser. The event attracted Veterans, non-Veterans and anyone who wanted to come practice and contribute towards an important cause. Over 25 yogis attended the first Veterans Yoga Day event. Danielle and Alex Tran led the group through an hour-long yoga class and afterwards everyone participated in a raffle from a generous group of sponsors.
Event and Raffle Sponsors: Arthletic Wear, Be Polished Nail Salon, Combat Flip Flops, Inner Fire, Knimini Bondhi, La Vie Boheme, Mamma Chia, Prosource, Townie Sunglasses, YOGO Yoga Mats, ZICO Coconut Water
All proceeds from the Veterans Day Yoga Fundraiser benefited the Give Back Yoga Foundation, an organization providing yoga kits and other services to Veterans and their families.
Danielle and Alex also hosted an Instagram challenge (#Vetsdayyogachallenge) with sponsor Inner Fire, an eco-friendly clothing company based in Vancouver. The winner of the challenge is Izzy, a yoga instructor and military wife! It was a honor to see so many women and man show up for veterans through this very special challenge.
We look forward to hosting this event next year. Thank you everyone for your support!
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