Yoga instruction aims to help those with PTSD

12/05/2013 12:54 PM

08/08/2014 10:20 AM

A local yoga studio is hosting a workshop for yoga instructors and social workers to learn how yoga can help those with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.

“This program is very empowering,” said Jon Greuel, a retired Air Force major who lives in Dallas who will teach the workshop this weekend at Siva Yoga Studio, 416 S. Commerce, Suite 104.

Greuel served in Iraq as a combat air adviser in 2008 and 2009.

While there, he helped write a study that showed a reduction in combat stress for deployed military personnel who did yoga. That study was published in the American Journal of Occupational Therapy in January 2012.

The training aims to help people who work with those who have undergone trauma, said Adrian Tartler, a chiropractor and co-owner at Siva Yoga Studio.

Tartler says he hopes social workers can incorporate what they learn into their therapy.

“Hopefully it will help them bring a mind- and body-oriented therapy session with yoga,” he said.

Certain aspects will make this yoga different from other yoga classes, Tartler said.

“There’s no music. No use of certain language that has trigger words. It’s very gentle but also strong,” Tartler said. “You want them to be as comfortable as possible and safe as possible and use a lot of affirmation.”

Greuel’s favorite affirmation phrase is “I feel steady and calm.”

“We can say it in any situation in life, and it’s a way of replacing automatically a detrimental message in your head,” he said.

There will also be a big emphasis on breathing techniques, Greuel said. He also said that reducing anxiety can help people get more sleep.

“If you can reduce the symptoms (of PTSD) enough to get sleep, they can start to take care of themselves and get a whole new outlook on life,” he said.

“It’s really designed to reduce symptoms. If you have PTSD and can manage symptoms, that’s really what it’s all about, because you can never really get rid of the trauma. It will always be a part of you and a part of the past.”

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