Veterans Yoga Project

PO Box 6472
Alameda, CA 94501
Website: veteransyogaproject.org

 

Description of Organization

Veterans Yoga Project (VYP) was established in 2011 as an educational and advocacy organization with a mission to support recovery and resilience among veterans, families, and communities. 1t was founded by clinical psychologist and yoga instructor Dr. Daniel J. Libby with a vision of a future where every veteran reintegrates into civilian life fully empowered to become a successful, well-rounded individual in healthy relationships with themselves, their families, and their communities. Dr. Libby started using yoga-based cools (Breathing, Meditation, Mindful Movement, Guided Rest, and Gratitude) as a complementary therapy for his clients at the VA. As interest in the project grew, Veterans Yoga Project’s activities began to focus on training yoga teachers to serve the growing demand of veterans seeking help. The participants learn and practice basic tools and methods for self-regulation, which leads to a decrease in PTSD symptoms and an increase in positive health behaviors.

Grant(s) Awarded

In 2024, a Women  in Buddhism grant of $15,000 was awarded  to support a 200-hour Mindful Resilience Yoga Teacher Training (MRYTT), which trains veterans in many different lineages, schools, and ideals. The three primary lead facilitators of the MRYTT are female veterans (US Marine Corps and US Army) and professional yoga teachers: A focus on anatomy, physiology, philosophy, and psychology allows each student to truly explore the concept of yoga as a more holistic practice.  Each student attending the training is partnered with a local Veterans Yoga Project representative in order to remind students that we are never alone in our journey towards growth and betterment. Students are able to connect with their Yoga Teacher Training partner, observe and participate in local classes (where available), and learn more about what it means to teach yoga to veterans, in all settings. Since the program launch in 2020, 59 veterans have graduated from the program, of which nearly half are now teaching in their communities, bringing yoga and tools of mindfulness to their veteran community.

In 2021, a COVID-19 Operational Grant of $10,000 was awarded to Veterans Yoga Project to support the direct and indirect costs of their primary programs.

The COVID-19 Impact: Due to COVID-19, many of the regional programs could no longer be held in person.  They quickly transitioned to offering their three primary initiatives: Mindful Resilience Yoga (MRY), which is offered free of cost both in person and in streaming formats to veterans and first responders; the Mindful Resilience Training (MRT) scholarships program for those wishing to attend a 15- hour training and learn about trauma and the effects of military culture on the individual, as well how to lead yoga and meditation classes in a trauma-informed setting; and Mindful Resilience for Compassion Fatigue, a 7-week online course centered around breathing, meditation, gratitude, and movement as a means of building resiliency for caregivers, frontline workers, veterans, first responders, and communities.  Because of the online format, Veterans Yoga Project has been able to reach individuals who are deployed overseas, as well as many first responders, front line workers, and caregivers who would not typically be able to attend their classes. 

In 2018, the Foundation made a grant in the amount of $9,250 to partially fund the development, marketing and public relations efforts and resources to promote programs for online classes and continuing education. These courses are designed to speak to the specific requirements not only of veterans but also their families, the professionals, paraprofessionals and the caregivers who serve them.