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Pranayama for PTSD

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For veterans returning home from active duty, the invisible pains of war, from PTSD to depression, can be just as difficult to heal as physical wounds. Challenge Aspen—a nonprofit that creates cultural and recreational opportunities for those with physical and mental struggles—addresses the need for mind-body-spirit healing with help from local yogi Emily Hightower, who crafts customized wellness tactics for servicemen and servicewomen. Hightower delivers a yoga-centric program called A Soldier’s Breath that uses meditation, yoga nidra (conscious napping), and pranayama breathing to teach veterans how to help themselves outside of the assistance of medications and talk therapy. “We give participants something that goes beyond rafting or skiing in Aspen,” Hightower says. “We give them practical tools for when they go back home to use in daily life.”

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