Integrate, don’t isolate. Healing happens together because healing happens in the very place the initial trauma or stress occurs – in relationship. I know this might initially sound contradictory, but think about it – healing cannot happen in isolation because we are relational creatures. Of course, we often want to retreat at the very times we need to reach out. I get that! I’ve DONE that! We think isolating will protect us somehow.

Instead, we really need to integrate.

Accept that our pain is part of the PROCESS and that it shouldn’t prevent us from connecting with others, even if it’s in ways we may not really want to. Don’t try to shove the pain away; integrate it into your experience as simply what comes with moving forward.

For instance, a couple weeks ago, a young veteran came to a yoga class at the VFW. When I asked for people to give brief introductions of themselves and why they were there, he shared his name and simply said, “I’m trying not to isolate so much anymore.”

It was NOT about the yoga.  It WAS about CONNECTING with his brothers and sisters. He had never done yoga before. It wasn’t his “jam” so to speak. So it was a little bit painful for him to even be there at all for that reason alone. He recognized that, and came anyway, though.

As the Denver CBS news write up says…These yogis are battle buddies and they are rising above trauma together.

The veterans’ yoga community is growing. Classes are offered at various Veterans organizations like the VFW Post-1 (Tuesdays and Thursdays at 7pm (other than the 2nd Thursday of the month) and VA hospitals. With Comeback Yoga, Kindness Yoga launched donation-based classes for veterans and their families last month. That class is Saturday mornings at 10am.

“I believe that people intuitively hold so many of the right answers within themselves and can discover them if they make the space to be still, ask the big questions, and listen,” Sarah Plummer Taylor says.

“As a wellness coach and the author of Just Roll With It, my work is about kindly but boldly nudging people to make the kind of small changes that carry big results in physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual health. This is why I teach yoga to my community.”

This is excerpted and slightly modified from a Denver CBS News feature titled Veterans Reach For Yoga To Heal Combat Wounds, by Britt Moreno. Click on the image below to watch the 2min newscast, or click on the DENVER CBS News link to read the whole story.