In her new book, Yoga for Warriors, Beryl Bender Birch illustrates how yoga is as a healing tool for Post Traumatic Stress (PTS), the physiological response many veterans experience upon returning home from a war zone. Birch, the cofounder of Give Back Yoga Foundation, has personally provided yoga as a healing technique for PTS since 2001 in response to the 9/11 attacks.
This book is timed to coincide with the new wave of yoga therapy for returning veterans which reflects the scientific research (via veterans hospitals and active military settings) that the body and mind can have a positive impact on the healing process.
In 10 chapters, Birch breaks down everything from breathing techniques that calm the nervous system to meditations that provide a deep journey inward. She uses a grounded voice to explain a sequence of postures accessible to every body, encouraging modifications when dealing with a disability.
Yoga for Warriors works well for anyone interested in exploring the mental and physical healing properties of yoga. Veterans will enjoy Birch’s incorporation of their trained warrior skills as beneficial additions to the yoga practice; reassuring them that using what they already know will assist with focus and discipline.
Although Yoga for Warriors is written for the military/veteran community, civilians can benefit from the easy-to-follow explanations of yoga as a valuable tool for any of life’s challenges.
Olivia Kvitne is an Assistant Editor at Bliss Network. She leads workshops and trainings on trauma-sensitive yoga for veterans and first responders around the country including for the Los Angeles Fire Department and Los Angeles Police Department.