Supporting our veterans is not cheap; it involves a real investment in both policy and budget priorities. But our veterans put our country first and stepped up, and on this Memorial Day, state legislators of both parties need to be standing up for veterans with real resources as well.
Yoga teachers can go a long way toward taking care of their students by avoiding triggering traumatic responses in those students have traumatic injuries. And you should, as part of responsible, ethical teaching practice.
The all-volunteer military has been hit by a growing wave of sexual assaults and suicides. As usual in the U.S., most attention has focused on how to control the problems, rather than why they are happening.
While I recognize that the military is a unique institution with its own codes of conduct and ethos, this policy, tacit though it may be, of stigmatizing mental illness has got to end.
The environment of the yoga class is particularly ripe for trauma triggering because of its inherently intimate nature, arising out of the integration of mind and body and the teacher's position as a leader and spiritual or physical authority, and the fact that trauma can be held in the body.
The brain has ways of coping with and reversing the effects of psychological and physical maltreatment, but a number of factors influence how well and how quickly people bounce back. One of those factors is the individual's support system.
Practicing yoga has changed me, made me calmer, less anxious, more equanimous. It's given me a physiological way to deal with trauma that was otherwise unavailable to me, and as a teacher, I now have some tools that I can share with others who've experienced trauma.
Nothing can prepare you for the loss of a child, which is why I never would have guessed that allowing my son's organs to be donated, and thus, letting him live on through the lives of total strangers, would provide the comfort to get through my toughest days.
The complexity and mystery of the number seven has inspired me to explore its connections to human nature in a series of upcoming blog posts, each geared toward the unique experiences of post-war Veterans.
Tattoos and a checkered past do not automatically make you a bad example for your children, just as a blemish free life and ink free skin does not automatically make you a good one.
Trauma is ubiquitous in our world. Sometimes, however, its magnitude is so profound or persistent that, while recovery is possible, a person's life is forever changed.
My own symptoms of post traumatic stress had faded within six months or so of coming home, and I was relieved. Then came my delayed reaction to a 10-year passage of time from the day I drove over the berm into Iraq as a soldier, sparked by that photo, and it all washed away.
I never thought quitting was in my DNA. I never thought about giving up. I was strong. I played football at West Point. I was an officer in the U.S. Army. I had a wonderful marriage and two beautiful children. But war can change you. War can turn you inside out.
There may be no more powerful force to influence public awareness and perception than the entertainment industry. Most of us probably don't even realize how much our attitudes and assumptions are informed by what we see on television and in movies.
How many millions of children who were hurt or neglected themselves grow up hopeless, hate-filled, and continue the cycle of hurting others? All children deserve to be allowed and encouraged to dream by the adults around them in their homes, schools, and communities.
I am doing this so that the public can witness the trauma that follows war. Witness. Because this trauma is as much yours as it is ours. Witness and own it. Witnessing breaks the isolation trauma creates. Witnessing furthers the healing of individuals and of our society.