Yoga for Veterans – Veterans Yoga Project – Nederland, Texas
PTS(D) AND YOGA? WE CAN EXPLAIN.
IN THE U.S. ESTIMATES OF PTS(D) AMONG VETERANS ARE:
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
You have questions? We’ll do our best to answer them.
WHAT IS VETERANS YOGA PROJECT?
Veterans Yoga Project is an educational and advocacy organization dedicated to improving the health and well being of military veterans through yoga and meditation practice. Working in partnership with veterans, active-duty military personnel, student veteran organizations, and other non-profit organizations, Veterans Yoga Project supports recovery and promotes resilience among veterans who are living with post-traumatic stress or other trauma issues.
WHAT IS VETERANS GRATITUDE WEEK?
Each year, VYP hosts two annual fundraisers, VYP Gratitude Week and Light-A-Candle Memorial Day, supported by donations from yoga classes, individuals and organizations. Held the three weeks surrounding Veterans Day, VYP Gratitude Week encourages yoga studios to host donation-based classes to support veterans in a tangible way. In many cases, these classes have brought together veterans and civilians in an environment where veterans can share their military experience with their community.
HOW DOES YOGA HELP VETERANS?
While magnified by media reporting, only 30% of veterans suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder or trauma-related issues. Practicing yoga can undo the nervous system dysfunction that underlies PTSD symptoms.
WHY SHOULD I GET INVOLVED WITH VYP GRATITUDE WEEK?
Less than 1% of Americans have ever served their country, however, veterans experience a disproportionately high suicide rate. VYP Gratitude Week is a way for those who have not served to both give back to veterans in a tangible way and to better understand the challenges of military service.
WHAT DO I NEED TO DO TO HOST A DONATION-BASED CLASS?
Our goal for 2019 is to host 500+ classes in all 50 states. We can use all the help we can get to raise awareness and encourage participation.
How is the money raised from VYP Gratitude Week used?
Veterans Yoga Project is an IRS-recognized 501(c)(3) charitable organization and depends upon the support of donors to take care of veterans in need. 100% of the proceeds will go to VYP’s mission to support recovery and resilience to our veterans, families and our communities.
GAIL PICKENS-BARGER | NEDERLAND, TX
Gail Pickens-Barger is a yoga teacher with over 20 years of teaching experience.
She first used yoga during the birth and pregnancy of her first child. Fifteen years later, became a yoga teacher. Gail’s 200 hours was through YogaFit International Training Systems, and more recently her 500-hour certificate was through Lex Gillan’s The Yoga Institute. Gail recently finished a Yoga Nidra course through Wise Owl Yoga and the Mindful Resilience for Trauma Recovery through the Veterans Yoga Project. Currently, Gail is studying to become a Low Back Care Yoga Teacher through the Yoga Vista Academy.
In addition to teaching a weekly beginner yoga class and a chair yoga class, Gail teaches a free Kids Yoga class to the Pre K class at her church and teaches Adaptive Yoga for Multiple Sclerosis for the National Multiple Sclerosis Society.
Gail originally came into contact with the Veterans Yoga Project, after reading an article on Baxter Bell’s Yoga for Healthy Aging Website. In the article, it talked specifically about volunteering to provide a free yoga class for veterans and to raise funds to support the Veterans Yoga Project during Veterans Gratitude Week. Gail likes to do karma yoga for raising funds for local food missions, raised funds for church playground equipment, Girl Scouts and such, and the providing free class for veterans and raising funds seemed like a worthwhile effort.
So for the past five years, Gail has hosted several classes to benefit the Veterans Gratitude Week for VYP.
More recently Gail was contacted by the local VA to present chair yoga to the vets in the Beaumont/Orange Texas area. In doing so, Gail came into contact with Brianna Renner, who assisted her tremendously in providing a class format, that would present the 5 tools that VYP uses in providing classes.
Gail has gone onto doing the Mindful Resilience training provided by Veterans Yoga Project and hopes to in the near future provide a weekly class to area veterans.
Ah sleep – helped by yogic sleep, nidra, iRest in Nederland, Texas
For the last 6 months or so, been looking into the Yoga Nidra or Yogic Sleep to be used in my beginner’s yoga classes. IRest is the version, that Dr. Richard Miller created to assist those in the military to address issues associated with trauma, healing, anxiety, and breathwork.
In my recent training, Yoga for Veterans Project, a particular protocol is used in the yoga classes that one would do for Veterans. So I decided to use this in my beginner’s yoga class. Wow, here’s the result. Mondays at 6:15 PM at Wesley UMC, 3515 Helena Avenue, Nederland, Tx. $10 – Call Gail at 409-727-3177 for additional questions on yoga!
Here are their comments again!
So I’ve added the specific process of Yoga Sleep (also known as Yoga Nidra, or iRest Meditation). I surveyed my students to see what they thought of their sleep. Here are a few comments.
“Amazing Sleep. Did not wake up, and I normally do wake up during the night.”
“I slept a little better than I normally do, but I normally sleep well. I did sleep longer though.”
“Good Night Sleep.”
“I slept without any back pain.”
“Ah, I slept great, I really zoned out. The relaxation was wonderful and so relaxing.”
“Slept soundly all night, which is not normal.”
“Good. Slept straight thru the night.”
“I normally get up to the restroom 1 to 2 times a night. I slept straight thru.”
“Slept better than normal.”
“I don’t normally sleep through the night, last night after our yoga class I slept straight thru.”
Wow! So I’ll be adding that to our beginners’ yoga class contents, as I had most of my class respond so quickly on how they slept after taking that particularly formatted class.
Thanks, Yoga for Veterans Project for the “nudge” to use this protocol. I know it helps me with my back pain!