VYP began when Dr. Daniel J. Libby was working as a Postdoctoral Fellow with the Yale University Department of Psychiatry at the West Haven VA Medical Center, Connecticut.
ThoughWhile providing psychotherapy for veterans recovering from PTS(D), he found that those who developed empowering self-regulating practices had better outcomes — they moved through post-traumatic stress to post-traumatic growth more quickly and gracefully.
“A turning point in the founding of VYP occurred before the fourth “mindful yoga” class I had ever taught. One of my veterans approached me and told me that he had stopped taking his sleep medications, because now he could meditate to go to sleep. That moment was profound. The pride with which he told me this was palpable. It’s as if he was no longer a broken man who couldn’t manage the simplest of human functions; instead he was empowered to use his own mind, his own breath, his own body to live and sleep, in a way that brought him more ease and more joy. He practiced every day. Eventually, he went on to lead morning meditations in his own community at a local yoga center.”
Though Veterans Yoga Project started as a training workshop delivered by a psychologist and a yoga teacher that was intended to help other yoga teachers have the skills and knowledge to effectively use yoga as a complementary part of PTS(D) treatment, that original training has grown and evolved, and so has VYP. VYP’s services have expanded from a focus on those in recovery to include those who care for those in recovery; and to those veterans who, as part of their post-traumatic growth, have decided to dedicate their time sharing these tools with other veterans.
Learn more about VYP's mission to support recovery and resilience among our veterans, families, and communities at veteransyogaproject.org.