SAINT PETERSBURG, Fla., June 7, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- Duskin & Stephens in partnership with Yoga for Men sponsored the second annual International Veterans Yoga Day on May 27, to increase awareness of the benefits of yoga for veterans and to raise funds to provide free yoga, meditation, and mindfulness classes to vets. More than 63,800 people from 89 countries tuned in to the live stream led by Rolf Gates in Tufts Memorial Park in Pinehurst, North Carolina. The recorded event is available for viewing at internationalveteransyogaday.com
Approximately 2.3 million US veterans have returned from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. An estimated 20 percent of these veterans suffer from some level of Post Traumatic Stress (PTS), and a published report by the Department of Veteran Affairs says that at least 22 US veterans take their own lives each day. A growing number of studies suggest that the practice of yoga may help alleviate many of the psychological, physiological, and behavioral symptoms of PTS and Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI). Medical diagnoses aside, the simple return to home life can be challenging, and many veterans have found yoga, mindfulness, and meditation extremely helpful in easing the transition.
The wide scope of benefits that yoga provides for veterans motivated Duskin & Stephens Foundation's Freed-Om project to partner with Yoga for Men, a St. Petersburg on-line yoga provider, to produce the second annual International Veterans Yoga Day (IVYD). This event not only heightened awareness of yoga as therapeutic for PTS, TBI and other conditions, but it also raised money to provide free access for veterans to yoga, meditation, and mindfulness classes through Yoga for Men's Prospective Cohort Study of Yoga and Mindfulness for Psychological and Physical Wellness, which is being conducted in conjunction with the University of South Florida College of Public Health. On top of that, proceeds from the event will send two Special Operations Veterans and/or spouses to yoga teacher training in Maya Tulum, Mexico through the Freed-Om project.
More than 63,800 people participated in the live, streaming yoga class led by Rolf Gates, a former US airborne Ranger and a leading voice in modern yoga and meditation. Among the participants were professional yogis as well as partner studios and gyms that opened up their space and hearts to support the event. The response from participants and studios involved was one of overwhelming enjoyment for the event and support for our veterans.
While IVYD is an annual event, it is an extension of an ongoing movement to bring the healing power of yoga and meditation to our veterans. Those interested in providing free yoga, meditation, and mindfulness classes to veterans through YfM's Prospective Cohort Study of Yoga and Mindfulness for Psychological and Physical Wellness can donate to the Freed-Om project by visiting http://internationalveteransyogaday.com
Duskin & Stephens Foundation was established to support the families of fallen members of Special Operations Forces as well as the educational needs of children of active duty Special Operations Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Marines through community outreach events, scholarships, interactive educational/recreational programs, and related activities.
Learn more at duskinandstephens.org
Yoga for Men is dedicated to getting men on the mat. They do this by offering online streaming classes at YfM.tv, providing information and inspiration through their community of 150k Facebook fans, and by manufacturing a line of eco-friendly men's yoga clothing, which is made entirely in the USA. "Our name is Yoga for Men, because we want to get more men to practice yoga, but we offer classes for EVERYONE. Women are an instrumental part of the YfM community, and we couldn't and wouldn't carry on without them," explains Yoga for Men.
Yoga has been growing in popularity among people of all interests and athletes of a diverse list of disciplines. The unique combination.