The Benefits of Yoga for Veterans: A Discussion with Jeff Masters

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The Veterans Yoga Project (VYP), a renowned nonprofit organization, offers complimentary in-person and virtual yoga classes to veterans, their families, and supporting communities nationwide. The VYP aims to foster healing and resilience through the practice of yoga.

Jeff Masters and the Benefits of Yoga

Jeff Masters, a seasoned yoga practitioner with over four decades of experience, serves on the VYP’s board of directors. In a recent address at the American Legion’s February Training Tuesday session, Masters expounded on the history, scientific rationale, and numerous benefits of yoga, including its efficacy in addressing mental health issues, anxiety, pain, depression, and stress.

Countering Misconceptions about Yoga

  • Dispelling the notion that yoga solely involves stretching, contortion, or chanting
  • Emphasizing the accessibility and inclusivity of yoga for individuals of all ages and flexibility levels

The Science Behind Yoga

  • Highlighting the positive effects of yoga on the vagus nerve and parasympathetic nervous system
  • Demonstrating how gratitude practices promote reduced stress, diminished pain, and enhanced overall well-being

Choosing the Right Yoga Practice

Masters emphasizes the importance of tailoring yoga practice to individual needs and goals. He recommends considering the following factors:

  • Identifying styles that align with personal preferences and objectives
  • The American Legion’s focus on mental and physical well-being necessitates evidence-based practices tailored to the Legion community
  • VYP’s comprehensive research and data supporting the effectiveness of its programs

VYP’s Impact

In 2022, data from VYP revealed that 64% of the 2,402 veterans who participated in classes experienced a reduction in pain.


Yoga offers a potent tool for veterans to enhance their physical and mental health. VYP’s evidence-based programs provide a supportive environment for veterans to reap the benefits of this ancient practice.

**Credit and Rights:** OMG I Yoga

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