By Tiffany Bond
Physical activity can be a life-saver for Diggers, which is why the Department of Veterans’ Affairs is behind a host of activities for ex-military personnel as part of Veteran’s Health Week.
The department joined ex-service organisations and community groups to offer veterans fun and interactive activities this week to help improve and maintain health and wellbeing.
Veteran’s Health Week, which began October 21, included a day of Hatha and Ying Yang Yoga at Mosman Bay Hall. Organiser Karen Green, a qualified yoga teacher, specialises in yoga for the military, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, insomnia and chronic pain.
“The way a normal yoga class is taught is not trauma sensitive,” Karen told The Bounce.
“This style of yoga helps individuals dealing with the mental and physical affects of military personnel experience, and those in stressful jobs.”
Jo Beavis, one of Karen’s Yoga students, spent 25 years in the Army.
The physical toll on her body during her career was quite extreme due to the pressure to perform.
“We have a can-do attitude. It doesn’t matter how exhausted you are, you will push through to get things done to the point where I ended up in the back of an ambulance with an anxiety attack,” she explained.
Jo said Hatha Yoga had helped her in many ways.
“I don’t think I’d be here today,” she said. “I have found yoga and iRest hugely beneficial.”
“iRest” is a guided meditation practice for self-regulation and care. US Army Surgeon General and the Defence Centres of Excellence recommends iRest as a CAM for management of chronic pain and the treatment of PTSD.
Jo is an Australian representative for iRest, which is being taught private studios and some military bases.