Yoga helps war veterans get a handle on their PTSD

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Yoga has been shown to promote mental balance and decrease reactivity among those diagnosed with PTSD. (Check out the link below to learn more!)

At NPTI's Yoga Teacher Training program, learn to practice and share body, breath and mind training techniques that will help our communities recover from stress.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/posteverything/wp/2014/10/16/yoga-helps-war-veterans-with-post-traumatic-stress-disorder/?utm_term=.8d9e02ed77d9

Define a Pose #10

Ardha Matsyendrasana

Pronunciation: are-dah mot-see-en-drahs-anna

Translation: half lord of the fishes pose

Type of Pose: twist

Benefits:

  • Stretches shoulders, hips, & neck

  • Stimulates liver & kidneys

  • opens, lengthens, & energizes the spine (increases spinal flexibility/range of motion & relieves thoracic tension)

  • opens & expands the chest

  • Increases digestion

Looks like:

half-lord-fishes-pose.jpg

Yoga Research Study :)

Treating major depression with yoga: A prospective, randomized, controlled pilot trial

This interesting study published in March of 2017 on PLOS ONE presents yoga as an alternative treatment option for individuals with mild-to-moderate severity major depression.

As the article notes, “Major depression contributes not only to disability, but also to mortality. There are more than 49,000 deaths by suicide annually in the United States, and it is estimated that major depression accounts for 20–35% of these deaths.” The researchers of this study aimed to further research of the effects of yoga as a mono-therapy for mild-to-moderate major depression.

In this study, 38 adults who met the mild-to-moderate severity major depression criteria were recruited, and randomized into two groups. One group took part in 90-minute hatha yoga practices two times per week for 8 weeks, while the other group was a part of a 90-minute attention control education group (also two times per week for 8 weeks). The attention control group education consisted of yoga history/philosophy modules. Every two weeks, depression severity (including any mood benefits) was measured and recorded, as well as self-efficacy and self esteem.

The researchers concluded that “In adults with mild-to-moderate major depression, an 8-week hatha yoga intervention resulted in statistically and clinically significant reductions in depression severity.” The yoga participants were more likely to achieve remission. However, the secondary outcomes of self-efficacy and self esteem did not differ significantly between groups.

The article does point out that more thorough and exhaustive randomized controlled studies like this need to be conducted in this area, however these initial findings are promising.

See the full research article with detailed methods/analysis here:

https://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0173869

Yoga Quote

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Another beautiful quote by Yoga guru B.K.S. Iyengar.

These words have the power to resonate with every one of us, & apply to our journey through life’s ups & downs, in addition to the ups & downs faced on the yoga mat. Viewing fear & change in this way empowers us to have an open mind, & greet change with a positive outlook rather than shying away or giving in to worry or doubts. Becoming who we are “meant to be” takes challenges, experience, & perseverance.

This is the perfect quote for the constant changes here at NPTI with students graduating and incoming students starting every few months!

Define a Pose #8

Paschimottanasana

  • Pronunciation: Posh-ee-moh-tan-AHS-anna

  • Translation: Seated forward bend

  • Type of Pose: forward bend

  • Benefits:

    • Stretches back of entire body from heels to head (including spine, lower back & hamstrings)

    • Stretches shoulders

    • Stimulates organs including intestines, kidneys & liver

    • Therapeutic for high blood pressure, infertility, insomnia, & sinusitis

  • Looks Like:

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Yoga Breathing for Anxiety

We live in a time of stress, & some of us are so overwhelmed by it that we become anxious. At NPTI's Yoga Teacher Training program, learn to practice & teach simple & effective breathing techniques to establish calm.

We live in a time of stress, & some of us are so overwhelmed by it that we become anxious. At NPTI's Yoga Teacher Training program, learn to practice & teach simple & effective breathing techniques to establish calm.

This article briefly discusses what pranayama (breath control) is, & a couple of breathing techniques to practice & start relieving anxiety!

https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/enlightened-living/200804/yogic-breathing-remedy-anxiety

Scholarly Article: Military-Tailored Yoga for Veterans with Post-traumatic Stress Disorder

This recent study titled, “Military-Tailored Yoga for Veterans with Post-traumatic Stress Disorder” was published in February 2018, and was featured in the May-June 2018 edition of the publication Military Medicine.

In the research study, a yoga intervention was provided to combat military veterans (mostly Army Veterans) who struggle with symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder. The yoga intervention included a weekly 60 minute yoga session for 6 weeks. Data was collected both before and after the intervention, and the classes were vinyasa-style with a trauma-sensitive/military-culture informed approach, as described by the article:

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“Elements of trauma-sensitive yoga include no hands-on adjustment of participants’ postures during the classes, the avoidance of potentially vulnerable yoga positions such as “happy baby,” body sensing, using the English- language name vs. the Sanskrit name for each yoga pose, and giving participants the option of keeping their eyes open throughout the class. [This] protocol also includes modifications for participants with combat-related wounds, traumatic injuries, and other health conditions that may warrant adaptive yoga practices.”

Twenty-three veterans met the eligibility criteria for the study, 18 veterans completed five out of seven consecutive weeks of the yoga intervention, for a completion rate of 78.3%. The primary marker utilized was the PTSD Checklist (military version) score. Participants also completed the Patient Health Questionnaire, the Beck Anxiety Inventory, the Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index, and the Mindful Attention Awareness Scale both prior to the intervention and after.

After completing the yoga intervention, researchers found a decrease in the PTSD symptoms of the participants, as well as decreased insomnia, depression, and anxiety symptoms, in addition to an increase in mindfulness. It is important to note that the intervention included techniques specifically for a military audience and trauma-sensitive audience. This shows that when appropriately performed, trauma-sensitive yoga is beneficial for improving the PTSD symptoms of combat military veterans.

Overall, presenting yoga as a means of coping with PTSD symptoms is a great option for veterans, and at the National Personal Training Institute there is a large percentage of students who are veterans enrolled in the Yoga Teacher Training Program. These veterans learn several techniques to aid in their own personal journeys as well as learning to teach & guide others who may be facing struggles of their own.

To read more about this study, please view the full article here:

https://www.researchgate.net/publication/323016079_Military-Tailored_Yoga_for_Veterans_with_Post-traumatic_Stress_Disorder