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Guard Your Health is a resource for Army National Guard Soldiers and family members. Find health-related tools and information. Hear from fellow Soldiers and Families. Make medical readiness part of your personal mission.

My wife keeps telling me to try yoga. It just seems like stretching and breathing. Does it really help?

Studies have shown yoga helps Soldiers cope with stress and post-traumatic stress disorder.

Other yoga health benefits

  • Improves fitness, strength, and flexibility
  • Reduces lower-back pain
  • Lowers heart rate and blood pressure
  • Relieves anxiety, depression, and insomnia

Still not convinced? Try yoga three times a week for a month; take note of how your body feels and responds to stress. Try yoga at home—buy a yoga mat for $10 at a drug store and order a yoga DVD online—or search online for a nearby gym that offers yoga or a yoga studio. Some yoga studios offer free yoga for vets, search for your city on Yoga for Vets or ask a local yoga studio to consider participating.

Many studios and DVDs offer beginner-level classes. After you get a feel for it (between eight to 10 beginner classes), you can explore other types of yoga—Vinyasa flow for a faster pace, Iyengar yoga for a focus on body alignment, or hot yoga for body detoxing (may involve temperatures up to 105F).

Want more?

Read about other Soldiers’ positive experiences with yoga or learn about the physical and mental health benefits of yoga.

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