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Book Review: Best Practices for Yoga with Veterans

Best Practices for Yoga With Veterans is a must read for all yoga teachers. It offers a skillful and comprehensive approach to teaching yoga classes to veterans. Before you stop and think to yourself, “This doesn’t apply to me, because I don’t teach any veterans,” I invite you to reconsider. In 2014, the VA indicated that there were 22 million veterans in the US population. Veterans may or may not self-identify in a yoga class or elsewhere, so veterans and/or active duty military personnel may be attending your classes without you being aware that they are there. Veterans have given a lot to our country. Offering trauma sensitive yoga classes is one way that we as yoga teachers can give something back.

Best Practices for Yoga with Veterans offers clear guidelines for teaching yoga classes to veterans in a manner that is safe, effective and trauma sensitive along with excellent guidelines for self-care for the yoga teacher. The book is comprehensive and offers information related to understanding military culture, working with trauma, yoga instruction, gender specific considerations, relationship building, working with military families, and more. It is very well written and organized, thorough, and easy to comprehend.

Yoga is an excellent resource for cultivating physical, emotional and mental health, resilience and wellbeing in our veterans (and for anyone else, for that matter). Best Practices for Yoga With Veterans offers clear instruction on matters that must be considered when teaching trauma sensitive yoga classes. The book is the result of a collaboration of experts in yoga, mindfulness, meditation, veterans affairs, military culture, medicine, journalism, mental health and trauma therapy, social research, and more. A number of the contributors are veterans.

I have been working with people with trauma since the late 80s and have been working with veterans since the early 90s. When I finished reading Best Practices for Yoga with Veterans, I honestly could not think of a single consideration that this book left out! I can’t say enough great things about this outstanding resource. Please use the book as a springboard to pursue advanced training in teaching yoga to veterans. Again, this book is a must read for all yoga teachers.

Jen Johnson, MS, MS, MFA, LPC, E-RYT
mindfulness teacher. counselor. yoga teacher.

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