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Warriors at Ease Offers Peace of Mind to Vets

Veterans suffering from PTSD are finding healing through yoga instead of relying solely on prescription drugs and psychotherapy. (Warriors at Ease)
Veterans suffering from PTSD are finding healing through yoga instead of relying solely on prescription drugs and psychotherapy. (Warriors at Ease)
March 17, 2016

SILVER SPRING, Md. – Flashbacks, nightmares, anger, night sweats and anxiety are adverse reactions some military veterans experience after combat.

The Department of Veterans Affairs says up to 20 percent of the 2.3 million U.S. veterans who have returned from Iraq and Afghanistan suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) at some point.

Many turn to alcohol and drugs to deal with the stress, or take their own lives.

Treatment is generally with prescription medications and psychotherapy, but the Journal of Traumatic Stress says yoga can be used to bring better mental health.

Robin Carnes is the co-founder of Warriors at Ease, a training program for yoga instructors based in Silver Spring. She says although yoga can help vets with , she stresses it has to be done correctly, on their level.

"There are things that you can offer people in yoga meditation that make their trauma symptoms worse,” she states. “There are millions of yoga practices over thousands of years and they're being created all the time. "

Most of the training for Warriors at Ease is done online and there are over 600 certified yoga instructors who can teach it to military members across the country and at U.S. bases in other countries.

Carnes says yoga and the military have such different philosophies that it's often hard to get veterans to try yoga. She says yoga teaches people to find their own truth, and in the military it's all about taking orders from others.

"If you take that stuff out and just offer people the straightforward practical 'this can help with your health, mental and physical, give it a try and see what it feels like,' they find that 'hey, what's to argue with, because I do feel better,'" she explains.

Yoga has shown to be valuable in reducing the stress of college students, and depression, anxiety, alcoholism and PTSD in tsunami survivors, as well as helping cancer patients.




Veronica Carter, Public News Service - MD