The Military And Yoga: A Match Made In Heaven…

The Military And Yoga: A Match Made In Heaven

The strict discipline of military life seems to pair poorly with the Indian practice of preparing the body for meditation (yoga), but they can actually help each other out quite a bit. From pain management to PTSD treatment, the application of yoga in the military is a pairing so perfect, it might have been made in heaven.

SEE ALSO: What It Means To Be A ‘Yoga Warrior’ In Life


The use of yoga to manage the symptoms of PTSD can be incredibly beneficial. Yoga can reduce stress, prevent anxiety, and be a good form of exercise. Psychological trauma can be one of the major roadblocks in the transition from military to civilian life, and yoga can be a tool to help overcome that. This doesn’t mean that military personnel should pop into a yoga class once and be done, but when combined with traditional therapy, it can be a help in symptom management. Different things work for different people — yoga can work for a lot of people trying to manage symptoms of psychological trauma.

Pain Management

Yoga can be an excellent tool for pain management. Pain management is a growing issue for those in active duty and retired members of the military. Pain, especially chronic pain, is hard to deal with. The opioid epidemic and the rise of medical cannabis consumption are chemical ways we have tried to address pain management, but yoga may be a fairly easy way to effectively manage pain with negligible side effects. Yoga helps pain management in a couple different ways. Meditation and deep breathing connect the mind and body, plus the active stretching yoga offers can be comparable to traditional exercise.

It is important that you meet with your doctor and discuss your ability to do stretching and which sorts of yoga will help you. While some stretches are excellent for people of regular health, if you are suffering from knee pain, positions which put pressure on your knee may exacerbate the issue. When doing yoga for pain management, be careful and transparent with your instructor and doctors.

Long-Term Results

Looking at long-term results and tracking your own success is part of what can help this movement grow. Daily practice can make health benefits and impacts seem almost invisible, but tracking factors like blood pressure can help you realize the value in what you’re doing. A strict regime of yoga may be a key to integrating yoga into a military lifestyle; it can also help when creating a success plan for individuals. While yoga works for many, it may not be perfect for everyone, and tracking your results can help conclusively deduce its effects for you.

A Smart Move From Start to Savasana

While chronic pain and PTSD have symptoms treatable with regular yoga practice, starting to practice before the issues strike may be beneficial. Musculoskeletal issues and unintentional injuries are the greatest health threat to military personnel, so preventative care can be an important cost-saving measure for those in the military to take part in. Yoga can be a great way to start that preventative plan and to create a healthy habit for life. Yoga and the military might seem like a bad mix, but the gentle exercise is a wonderful way to manage the biggest symptoms humans have when leaving the military.


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Avery Phillips


Avery Phillips is a freelance human who loves all things nature (especially human!). Tweet her @a_taylorian or comment with any…

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