The American Legion Internal Affairs & Membership Division welcomed Jeff Masters to its February virtual Training Tuesday session. Masters has been practicing yoga for over 40 years and is on the board of directors for #Veterans #Yoga Project (VYP), a nonprofit that offers free in-person and virtual yoga classes nationwide for #veterans, military families and communities to support recovery and resilience.
During the training, Masters spoke about the history of #yoga, science behind it, and the benefits of it for #mentalhealth, #anxiety, pain, #depression and #stress.
Masters first addressed misconceptions about #yoga – that it’s just about stretching, balancing on one leg or your head, chanting, only for young and flexible individuals.
“Ultimately, #yoga is for everybody,” Masters said. “What we know is that anyone, anyone can benefit from taking the time to breathe easy, focus clearly, move mindfully, rest deeply … sometimes part of the practice of #yoga is just to rest in awareness. And finally, lastly is to take a moment to remember gratitude. By remembering gratitude, we do a very specific thing to our body. It actually creates more stimulus in that vagus nerve and increases our parasympathetic nervous system response, reducing #stress, reducing pain and creating more ease in the mind and body.”
Masters said a question they receive a lot at the #Veterans #Yoga Project is what kind of #yoga to practice since there several options from hot #yoga to power #yoga.
“The trick is to find a practice that’s right for you and the purpose of your practice or really your why. Why you’re doing it,” he said. “If you’ve had a negative experience with a class or teacher, then I invite you to try another one. Because The American Legion’s focus is on #mental and physical fitness and health, I would recommend a practice that is backed by research and specifically tailored to the culture and community that the Legion serves. From my personal experience, the #Veterans #Yoga Project has the deepest well of data and research connected to its work.”
In its 2022 data, 64% of the 2,402 #veterans who took VYP classes experienced a reduction in in pain.
To learn more about how to take a free in-person or online #Veterans #Yoga Project class, visit veteransyogaproject.org.
#James Donaldson notes:www.celebratingyourgiftoflife.com
Welcome to the “next chapter” of my life… being a voice and an advocate for #mentalhealthawarenessandsuicideprevention, especially pertaining to our younger generation of students and student-athletes.
Getting men to speak up and reach out for help and assistance is one of my passions. Us men need to not suffer in silence or drown our sorrows in alcohol, hang out at bars and strip joints, or get involved with drug use.
Having gone through a recent bout of #depression and #suicidalthoughts myself, I realize now, that I can make a huge difference in the lives of so many by sharing my story, and by sharing various resources I come across as I work in this space. #http://bit.ly/JamesMentalHealthArticle
Order your copy of James Donaldson’s latest book,
From The Verge of Suicide to a Life of Purpose and Joy