The system of care for psychological health that has evolved over recent decades is insufficient to meet the needs of today’s forces and their beneficiaries, and will not be sufficient to meet their needs in the future.” (DoD Mental Health Task Force 2007-2008) It is clear from the long wars in Iraq and Afghanistan that our country and its returning service men and women will be healing their wounds for many years to come. The Department of Defense and the Veterans Affairs Administration have done a lot to ease this homecoming burden but with decreasing funds and an overstretched medical system, alternative avenues will be needed. The fact is, the majority of the long-term healing will be done through local communities our soldiers return to (like the one you live in right now!) and in increasingly non-traditional methods like Yoga that have the ability to reach a wider audience. Yogafit for Warriors is groundbreaking in that it lays the framework to address Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) directly. The traditional western medical model primarily focuses on learning to manage or mask the symptoms of trauma rather than attempting to heal it. The underlying belief behind this approach is once traumatized, always traumatized, and it is just a matter of learning to mitigate the after-effects. However, recent neuroscience research, combined with yoga’s acknowledgement of the subtle energy systems in the body creates a framework where healing can truly begin. The fundamental belief behind the Warriors program is that through slower focused movement and heightened sensory awareness, the individual can go back to the source of the trauma and actually release it where it can no longer do harm. Much like finding the source of a vast and deep river high up in the mountains, learning to navigate the pathways of our bodies from a feeling-standpoint allows us to locate the fountainhead of our suffering and then relieve the pressure throughout our entire nervous system. Warrior’s draws on the most current research and insights form neuroscience showing exactly how trauma gets stored in the body through the neural pathways and how Yoga is such an effective tool to access those pathways. Yogafit for Warriors will help you gain a deeper understanding of exactly how trauma gets stored in the body through the neural pathways and why yoga is particularly effective at alleviating symptoms of PTSD as well as provide a pathway for natural healing to occur. PTSD and Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) will be looked at from a physical/neural standpoint and we will discuss why slower movement in a yoga class is critical to reset the nervous system as well as unresolved muscular tension. We will also review Yogafit’s Transformational Language in-depth and come to understand how it can act as powerful medicine and why it may be THE MOST IMPORTANT element of a yoga class. Transformational Language effectively creates the sacred space of healing . The ultimate goal of Yogafit for Warriors is to provide relief from troubling emotions, persevering thoughts patterns; chronic somatic tension and hyper vigilance that are the classical markers of PTSD and are wreaking havoc in the lives of our service members who return from war. The effects of PTSD are like a roadside IED – random, uncontrollable but ultimately devastating to those who lie in its widespread path of destruction. If not addressed, these long years at war, have the power to affect not only our generation but many generations to come. Ultimately though, our ability to help others is in direct correlation to our ability to help ourselves. It is only when we shine the light of truth on our own wounds that we can help shine the light on the pathway towards healing for others. We are all wounded warriors and it is through that suffering that we connect to others suffering. Om Shanti, Shaye Molendyke  

About the Author

Shaye Molendyke is a 23 year veteran in the US Air Force as well as a proud Military Spouse and a mother of 2 Military children. She has been practicing yoga since 1998 and teaching since 2003. Today, Shaye is the Director of the Yogafit for Warriors program helping those suffering from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and all forms of trauma.