YogaFit Introduces Classes for Veterans Suffering from PTSD

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July 22, 2013 – YogaFit, Los Angeles, has launched YogaFit for Warriors, a certification program that teaches instructors how to help soldiers and veterans who suffer from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and traumatic injuries. Along with a focus on specific yoga postures, breathing methods, and relaxation techniques, the 100-hour program includes information on how trauma affects the brain and body.
The Veterans Administration (V.A.) announced last year that 30 percent of the Afghanistan and Iraq war veterans treated at V.A. hospitals had been diagnosed with PTSD. Previously, in 2010, a study funded by the U.S. Department of Defense and led by Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School showed that practicing yoga had relieved PTSD symptoms for many veterans. But, says Shaye Molendyke, one of the YogaFit for Warriors creators and a member of the U.S. Air Force, until now there has been no program designed to address the specific needs of such veterans.
Emily Wilensky, Marketing Manager of EZFacility, a fitness center management software provider in Bethpage, NY, noted that health programs designed to treat specific ailments are becoming increasingly popular. “In recent years,” she said, “we’ve seen a blossoming of studios and in-gym programs designed particularly for victims of violent crimes, for multiple sclerosis sufferers, for cancer patients, and more. Yoga seems adaptable to the needs of many different populations, and it’s wonderful to see that our veterans can reap its benefits.”
Molendyke stresses that teacher-training for veteran-related PTSD treatment focuses largely on learning how to speak to veterans and other trauma-sufferers. “We needed to bring it to the military in a format that wasn’t intimidating,” says Molendyke. “You can’t use Sanskrit. It can’t be command-oriented.” Instructors are also taught how to modify their classes to provide a safe environment for PTSD-sufferers.