Veterans and Yoga for Trauma
Yesterday, Veteran's Day is a tough day for many. Growing up in a Marine Corps household, it was often observed watching my dad in parades, with air shows and gun salutes. It was a time of being proud of my dad and other veterans who had sacrificed so much for our country. Since his death in 2014, its often a tough day for me when I miss him even more and feel sad for others who didn't make it home. My dad served 2 tours in Vietnam as a pilot and commanding officer, and only rarely talked about his experiences there with me. I know now that he suffered silently from PTSD, which wasn't talked about back then, and I don't think he ever received the help he needed for it. Being an immensely strong person, he dealt with it as best he could and kept moving forward with his life. It wasn't until after his death when I was arranging his military burial that I discovered he had received a Bronze Star medal with the V device in Vietnam and I have no idea what it was for. "Only one in 40 Bronze Stars are awarded with a V-device, for those who performed well under fire at great personal risk."
For 100 years now, at the 11th hour, of the 11th day, of the 11th month we honour our military Veterans. According to the United States Department of Veteran Affairs, "The original concept for the celebration was for a day observed with parades and public meetings and a brief suspension of business beginning at 11:00 a.m." In 1919, then President Wilson proclaimed November 11 as Armistice Day, the end of World War 1, (which was called "the war to end all wars" - sadly it didn't.) Over the years, its become "A celebration to honor America's veterans for their patriotism, love of country, and willingness to serve and sacrifice for the common good." So while I don't agree that war is the answer, I certainly do agree that our veterans deserve being honoured, thanked, and to receive all the help and support they need to recover from the results of their sacrifices. My dad, like many others, joined the military to support his country, get an education, and travel. Sadly, some of that travel left him with lifelong scars, physically, mentally, and emotionally.
I spent yesterday as I do on most Mondays, working with clients to help them feel more blissed. I heard the bells of the nearby school and church ring at 11 am and said a silent prayer. Then, when I later checked my email, I had received my certification for the Yoga for Trauma program I had completed over the weekend at the 11th hour on Veteran's Day. Since part of my reason for doing the program was to help veterans, I couldn't have asked for a better sign that I am on the right path. I'll now be incorporating these trauma-informed practices into my private yoga therapy sessions and in the group classes that I'll be teaching.
Trauma-informed training is so important for anyone doing bodywork and yoga. Survivors of trauma and people dealing with PTSD never know when they may experience symptoms like flashbacks, panic attacks, and other upsetting things. They often avoid known triggers such as touch, closing their eyes, and may feel uncomfortable in new surroundings, so going to a yoga class may be stressful, even when it could help them so much. I truly feel that trauma-informed training is so important in many fields and am very happy I chose to do this program. I feel like I have an even better background and more tools I can access to reach out and help survivors thrive! When dealing with PTSD, it would be best to book a private yoga therapy session with me first so we can work through anything that comes up together, discussing how best to help you.
And for me, Veterans Day is not just once a year. I offer discounts to veterans, active service personnel, and first-responders every day, so that these hard-working, self-sacrificing souls can come see me and feel more blissed! Please ask about them at the time of booking, during your free Blissed consultation, or at checkout time. Thank you for your service and Semper fidelis! (That's the USMC motto that means "Always faithful.")
Brightest Blissed Blessings,