SOURCE: Sedona Yoga Festival

October 31, 2013 16:55 ET

Veterans Mitigate PTS Through Yoga

Practical and Clinically Proven Yoga Practices Can Benefit Veterans Dealing With Trauma and Stress

SEDONA, AZ--(Marketwired - October 31, 2013) - One out of three soldiers deployed to the Middle East struggles with post-traumatic stress (PTS) or traumatic brain injury. For a growing number of veterans with serious mental health problems including PTS, depression and brain injury, yoga is an option proven to provide relief.

When 23-year Air Force veteran Chris Eder is practicing yoga daily and meditating, he needs far less medication for depression, anxiety or PTS, conditions impacted by his military career.

Young Americans go to war and come back "messed up" and in need of loving support, which this generation does not provide as readily as generations past, says Eder, who lives in Baltimore and is the father of three. Eder teaches yoga and educates yoga teachers about the military; he is on the faculty for a special February curriculum at the Sedona Yoga Festival to teach yoga teachers how to work with veterans across the country.

The Yoga for Veterans training at the Sedona Yoga Festival is the first of its kind. Marc Titus, festival founder, was particularly inspired to help veterans due to his first-hand knowledge of the effects of post-traumatic stress disorder. Titus is the son of a Vietnam veteran who was "affected by PTSD and never even knew it." His wife and partner Heather is the step-daughter of Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), who chairs the Senate Committee on Veterans' Affairs.

** This Veteran's Day, please consider featuring yoga's healing effects for U.S. veterans. We can connect you with veterans who have been helped by yoga as well as key players in the yoga for veterans realm, including Rob Schware of the Give Back Yoga Foundation and Marc and Heather Titus, who will spend Veteran's Day together in Sedona. **

"This is an ever-mounting problem in our country," says Marc Titus. "We can provide veterans with tools to relieve the symptoms of trauma and other injuries that are causing families and communities to suffer."

Veterans with PTS use yoga as a method to regain control over a nervous system that is always "on edge," and to gain control over self-destructive behaviors and habits. Since trauma lies in the body, mind, and spirit, a holistic, integrated treatment that includes yoga and meditation can be a way to reconnect with the self in the present moment, returning practitioners to feeling comfortable in their own skin and keeping the traumas of the past at bay.

A regular yoga practice can help combat veterans and others who have experienced traumatic events to heal. Yoga helps trauma survivors find inner peace, better sleep and an alternative to the "fight or flight" cycle they lived in during their military career.

"With Mindful Yoga Therapy for Veterans we are training a growing number of veterans to bring this back to their peers and also training yoga teachers to reach thousands of veterans," says Robert Schware, executive director of the Give Back Yoga Foundation (GBYF), which has the largest yoga-for-veterans program in the nation based on practical and clinical experience working with veterans coping with PTS and other psycho-emotional stress. GBYF is a partner in Sedona Yoga Festival's Yoga for Veterans Training February 6-7, 2014.

November 11th is Veteran's Day because it was the date on which World War I fighting ceased in 1918; it became a legal holiday in 1938.

For a nation that has been actively at war for the past 12 years, American veterans have a tougher task than ever before. Not only has our nation become immune to the trauma of war, many Americans don't even realize how many are still at battle on our behalf -- and come back scarred for life.

The Tituses will welcome 200 yoga teachers for the Mindful Therapeutic Yoga Practices for Veterans Training Feb. 6-7, 2014 in Sedona. Education partner to the Sedona Yoga Festival, the Southwest Institute of Healing Arts is offering CEUs to teachers who want to expand their teaching skills to include serving the veteran population.

"By training 200 teachers to serve their communities with yoga, and reach at least 50 veterans each, we are able to help GBYF achieve its goal of impacting 10,000 veterans with the healing effects of yoga," says Heather Titus. The Sedona Yoga Festival has committed to raising $50,000 to finance the distribution of 10,000 Yoga Toolkits that GBYF offers free to veterans.

"We cannot solve the problem in the same way it was created," says Marc Titus. "We must step out of the energy of old, the energy of war, and into a model of giving back, service and compassion."

In its second year, Sedona Yoga Festival is a four-day celebration, February 6-10, 2014, of the healing and elevating practices of yoga, meditation and more in the spiritual landscape of Sedona, Arizona. Tagged, "a consciousness evolution conference," Sedona Yoga Festival service commitment this year is to yoga for veterans, in collaboration with the Give Back Yoga Foundation.

With a focus on expanding consciousness through yoga, meditation, music and other related practices, the Sedona Yoga Festival is held in the heart of Sedona, Arizona, an amazing red rock landscape known for its regenerative effects, deep spirituality and vortex energy. Created by Marc and Heather Titus, SYF2014 offers four days of study, practice, reflection and play for open-minded individuals from all over the world. More than 150 classes, concerts and workshops offer in-depth study in an intimate setting and are perfect for long-time yogis as well as people interested in trying yoga for the first time. Learn more at

Story Angles:

  • How yoga helps sufferers of Post-Traumatic Stress, traumatic brain injury and other effects of combat to heal.
  • The first pre-festival yoga teacher training focused on teaching yoga to veterans (February 6-7, 2014 in Sedona, Ariz.).
  • For Veteran's Day: featuring a local veteran who has been helped post-combat through yoga. NOTE: We can provide a LOCAL veteran for your readership/viewership.


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