Cover image for Yoga for warriors : basic training in strength, resilience, and peace of mind : a system for veterans and military service men and women
Yoga for warriors : basic training in strength, resilience, and peace of mind : a system for veterans and military service men and women
Birch, Beryl Bender.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Boulder, CO : Sounds True, Inc., 2014.
Physical Description:
xxxi, 247 pages : illustrations ; 23 cm
General Note:
Subtitle from cover.
Introduction : Warrior awareness ; How yoga can help ; Tips on taking a yoga class ; Special tips for warriors with physical limitation or disability ; Introducing the warriors photographed in this book -- 1. The peaceful warrior : Getting your attention in present time ; Body and mind together ; Mindful awareness ; Gaining control through observation ; The source of this path -- 2. Expand into victory: basic breath work : Stimulating or relaxing the nervous system ; The sound of the Ujjayi breath ; Practicing the Ujjayi breath -- 3. Build the fire: sun salutations : Preparation for asana practice ; Sun salutation (positions 1-9) ; Closing your sun salutation practice ; A healing flow -- 4. Develop power and balance: standing postures : Practice is life-changing ; Preparation for the standing postures ; The standing postures ; Doing the work -- 5. Find strength in letting go: forward and backward bending : Raising the bar with the bandhas ; Forward and backward bending ; Set 1: Forward bending postures ; Set 2: Backward bending postures ; Powerful things happen in relaxation posture -- 6. Come to balance: cooling down : Turning upside down ; The three closing lotus postures ; Rest: at ease -- 7. Connect body and mind: conscious breathing : Where attention goes, prana follows ; How pranayama builds on your asana practice ; Burning out samskaras to remove inner obstacles ; Preparation for pranayama practice ; Overview of pranayama practice ; Learning acceptance -- 8. Turn inward: the practice of yoga nidra, or conscious sleep : Relaxation: the first step ; Conscious sleeping ; Slowing the brain waves ; Releasing traumatic samskaras (imprints) ; Recasting the mind ; Why do yoga nidra? ; Planting seeds by setting an intention ; Integrating yoga nidra: no worries -- 9. The path to the true self: finding peace in meditation : From concentration to meditation ; How meditation helps ; Preparation for meditation ; Establishing a daily meditation practice -- 10. Seeking higher self: the journey within -- Glossary: What do those Sanskrit words mean?r -- About Give Back Yoga.

Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
RA781.68 .B58 2014 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf

On Order



Here is a book for finding your way as a warrior and adapting to a peaceful life at home. The techniques of yoga and meditation have extensive scientific support for their effectiveness in relaxing the stress response, sharpening mental acuity, boosting immunity and recovery time, and promoting a general sense of health and psychological well-being. In Yoga for Warriors , acclaimed teacher Beryl Bender Birch presents a beginner-friendly approach that she originally developed while working with civilians and first-responders in the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks. Adaptable for readers' individual needs, these step-by-step practices include:

Basic Breathwork--learn the foundational skill of ujjayi breathing to get grounded, present, and in control Build Your Fire--yoga's traditional "sun salutations" to warm up the body while quieting the mind Power and Balance--standing postures to open up, stretch, and strengthen the joints and muscles Turning Inward--the practice of yoga nidra for a highly alert yet deeply peaceful state of mind that can lead to restorative sleep Powerful meditation techniques that help heal the body and balance energy

War leaves more than physical scars. Military servicemen and women bear invisible wounds--including PTS (Post-Traumatic Stress), TBI (Traumatic Brain Injury), MST (Military Sexual Trauma), anxiety, and depression--all just as real and painful. If you or someone you know are just entering military service, preparing for deployment, or returning home, Yoga for Warriors offers the tools for one of the most challenging of transitions.

Author Notes

Beryl Bender Birch

Beryl Bender Birch is the bestselling author of Power Yoga, Beyond Power Yoga, and Boomer Yoga; she is also one of the most popular yoga teachers in the United States. With degrees in philosophy and comparative religion, Beryl has been teaching the classical system of ashtanga yoga for 33 years, and training yoga teachers as "spiritual revolutionaries" since 1980. In 2000 she was named by Yoga Journal as one of their "Innovators Shaping Yoga Today" issue.

Beryl majored in philosophy and comparative religion at Syracuse University. She took her first yoga class in 1971 in California. She then spent several years on the West Coast working as a biofeedback researcher and studying the physiology of meditation. One of her early teachers was Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche, the Tibetan Buddhist who founded Naropa University in Boulder, Colorado, as well as Shambhala International. Her other important teacher was Munishree Chitrabhanuhu, the first Jain monk to leave India and come to the United States at the invitation of Harvard Divinity School. These two men shaped her life, her meditation practice, and her teaching style.

In 1974, Beryl began to teach yoga and meditation to skiers in Winter Park, Colorado, working with both professional and recreational skiers. In 1980, she moved to New York City and was introduced to the practice of ashtanga yoga by Norman Allen. Allen was Sri K. Pattabhi Jois's first American student and the first Westerner to master the ashtanga series and bring it to the United States.

In 1981, Beryl began teaching ashtanga yoga to runners at the prestigious New York Road Runners Club, and eventually she became the club's wellness director. Beryl and her husband Thom, a world-class runner, pioneered the introduction of yoga to the traditional athletic community. Together Beryl and Thom taught the ashtanga yoga method of asana, pranayama, and dharana (concentration) to tens of thousands of students.

In the late '80s, Beryl was searching for a way to make ashtanga yoga more accessible to American students, and she coined the term "power yoga" (nearly simultaneously, Bryan Kest, based in Los Angeles, came up with the same term.) The words "power yoga" convey the distinction between the intense, flowing style of yoga Beryl and Thom were teaching from the gentle stretching and meditation that many Americans associated with yoga. Power yoga is a vigorous, fitness-based approach to yoga.

In 1987, Beryl traveled to Feathered Pipe Ranch in Helena, Montana, to meet and study with Sri K. Pattabhi Jois, the principle proponent of the ashtanga yoga vinyasa method, and the teacher with whom Norman Allen had studied. Beryl and Thom spent the next six months studying daily with Jois and following his tour of California. They continued their studies with Pattabhi Jois from 1987-1990.

Beryl is the founder and director of The Hard & the Soft Yoga Institute (since 1980) in East Hampton and Vermont, and a founder of the Give Back Yoga Foundation. She now teaches yoga--the Middle Path of Jina Yoga (incorporating the classical astanga eight-limbed methodology)--all over the world, guiding and inspiring students of all levels with her down-to-earth style. She currently writes the asana column for Yoga Journal. She resides in East Hampton with her six racing Siberian huskies, and she competes on the New England Sled Dog Club circuit of sprint races in Vermont, New York, and New Hampshire.

Reviews 1

Publisher's Weekly Review

After a friend asked yoga expert Birch (Power Yoga)-who was living in New York City on September 11, 2001-if she could help 9/11 victims and their families, Birch was surprised to discover the benefits of yoga for people suffering from PTSD. Noting that even the Department of Defense and Veterans Administration have identified yoga as a tool for managing stress, Birch presents a program tailored to the needs of PTSD sufferers and veterans. Readers will learn the benefits-pain relief, mindfulness, greater relaxation, improved sleep, greater mental clarity, and more-that can come from regular yoga practice; clear instructions for poses are accompanied by photos to ensure proper technique. Novices will appreciate Birch's admonitions to manage expectations before attempting more challenging poses, while more experienced followers will find guidance for advanced variations. In a calm and patient tone, Birch frequently acknowledges potential fears and stumbling blocks, and encourages readers to push forward. Even readers without PTSD will find this to be a warm and welcoming introduction to an ancient discipline that can yield lifelong benefits. Photos. (Oct.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.