Veterans eligible for free in-person or online yoga classes
The Northwest Pennsylvania (NW PA) Veteran Suicide Prevention Program operates on a three-pronged approach involving healthcare providers, community organizations, and Veterans and their families. The PA Department of Military and Veterans Affairs (DMVA) is an active partner and responsible for ensuring that the Program integrates current Veteran suicide prevention initiatives throughout the state of Pennsylvania. The following information about the Veterans Yoga Project can be shared with all interested individuals and organizations throughout the state (and beyond).
Please reach out to us if you have any questions or would like to speak with someone about publicizing the NW PA Veteran Suicide Prevention Program in your community.
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Veterans Yoga Project Supports Recovery
Yoga is a mind and body practice combining physical posture, breathing, and meditation techniques, that have demonstrated improved mental health, sleep, and quality of life outcomes for Veterans suffering from PTSD.
According to the National Center for PTSD, approximately 7 out of every 100 Veterans will experience PTSD at some point in their lives. Some also struggle with chronic pain, depression and anxiety. These challenges can make it difficult for Veterans to transition back to civilian life and find ways to manage their symptoms.
Dr. Daniel Libby recognized the potential benefits of yoga and mindfulness while providing psychotherapy for Veterans recovering from PTSD. “One of my Veterans approached me and told me that he had stopped taking his sleep medications because now he could meditate to go to sleep. That moment was profound,” he said.
Dr. Libby began offering free yoga classes to Veterans in his community, which quickly grew into a larger organization dedicated to serving the unique needs of the Veteran population. In 2014, he founded the nonprofit organization Veterans Yoga Project (VYP) with the aim of providing accessible and effective healing practices for Veterans and their families. Today, VYP provides yoga and mindfulness resources, teacher training programs, and community building opportunities to support recovery and resilience among Veterans and their loved ones.
On the journey to recovery and building resilience, the first step can be the hardest one. VYP has several ways to help Veterans get started:
Learn about Yoga and Mindful Resilience
Access a practice library with a wide variety of resources for you to learn about yoga poses, experience a guided meditation or practice mindful movement. Explore the library to see what you could integrate into your daily routine.
Find a free online yoga class
Search the schedule of yoga classes specifically for Veterans, their families and caregivers. Classes are offered daily and cover stretching, breathwork, and stress management from beginning to advanced levels.
Attend an in-person class
Search the class locator to find free, in-person classes. Classes are taught throughout the country by graduates of VYP’s Mindful Resilience Training for Trauma Recovery program.
Get training to teach Mindful Resilience
VYP’s goal is to make mindful resilience techniques available to all Veterans. To accomplish this, they offer no-cost access to their training programs through scholarship programs for those wanting to teach in their community.
Looking to Get Involved?
Whether you identify as a healthcare provider, community organization, or Veteran, there are several opportunities through the NW PA Veteran Suicide Prevention Program and PERU to connect to resources, participate in educational training, and promote harm reduction strategies. We are actively recruiting healthcare and community partners to work with us in meeting our goals and objectives. To learn more, visit the program website at theresilientveteran.org.
Need Help? Know Someone Who Does? Contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 988 or use the online Lifeline Crisis Chat. Both are free and confidential. You’ll be connected to a skilled, trained counselor in your area.