A Warrior Success Storyby Brianna Cruden | 3/11/2015
A United States Air Force veteran tells us in her own words, how YogaFit and the true power of yoga has helped heal and strengthen her mind and body.
“I felt as though my mind and body were fighting against me.”
My name is Brianna Cruden. I am a veteran honorably discharged from the United States Air Force in 2005. I experienced PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) symptoms and anxiety starting with my first job in the military in 1998, as well as after my deployment in 2002. I didn't realize what was going on until after I was out of the military and I'm not sure anyone did. It wasn't talked about then as much as it is now.
I believe it was the experiences I endured and the conditions I was exposed to which caused the PTSD and anxiety symptoms. I was always in a fight mode, feeling vulnerable, reacting not processing. I felt as though my mind and body were fighting against me.
“Learning to breathe and remain calm in intense poses taught me how to also remain calm in life's stressful situations.”
It wasn't until I found yoga that my body and mind started to thank me. My mind started to slowly retrain itself to process stressful situations instead of reacting. My body began to release negative emotions that had been stored. Learning to breathe and remain calm in intense poses taught me how to also remain calm in life's stressful situations. While practicing balancing yoga poses, it also was training my nervous system to return to balance quickly after a challenging or stressful situation. As with the yoga practice of alternating between intense poses to more gentler poses, I learned that you can start to do this in your own life and move more easily between states of challenge and rest.
“I was most interested in the YogaFit for Warriors training because I wanted to be able to learn the tools needed to help others.”
My journey to healing began when I went through the YogaFit Level 1 teacher training and then YogaFit for Warriors training and earned certificates for both programs. I was most interested in the YogaFit for Warriors training because I wanted to be able to learn the tools needed to help others. I knew yoga helped me but wanted to be able to explain why and how yoga helps and heals. I am pursuing more Warriors training in the future to complete the entire 100 hour program. My intention is to learn more, heal more and help more.
“The relief from the pain that yoga gives me is remarkable.”
I had been told in the past, "you just need to learn to relax.” Now, I feel the calm before the storm. I can truly breathe again. I have let go of the negative habits and patterns and can be present in the midst of difficult situations. Yoga has truly taught me to flow through life's dark times and not let those times overwhelm me.
Just as my body learned new postures and poses, my mind also learned new thought patterns and my nervous system learned new ways of how to react. I also have arthritis and yoga has been a gift. The relief from the pain that yoga gives me is remarkable. yoga and Yogafit for Warriors have all helped transform me into the person I am today. I truly believe that yoga is medicine.
Brianna L. Cruden
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