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Veterans Reach For Yoga To Heal Combat Wounds

By Britt Moreno

DENVER (CBS4)- Bearing the residual scars of combat, Colorado veterans are now reaching for Namaste and feeling a sense of hope.

The brave men and women who served our nation are united by service and now joined by breath. They are practicing yoga to cope with post-traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD, along with other struggles.

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(credit: CBS)

Marine Captain Sarah Plummer Taylor teaches yoga to veterans. She says yoga saved her.

She tells CBS4's Britt Moreno "On the second deployment I was on death's doorstep mentally and physically."

After she was raped by another officer, she says "I had given up my will to live."

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CBS4's Britt Moreno interviews retired Marine Cpt. Sarah Pummel Taylor (credit: CBS)

Sarah found yoga and through the practice healed. Now she is a motivational speaker and life coach and has written an inspirational book.

Navy veteran Jordon Daniel says yoga helped him transition to civilian life. He says it can be hard to connect to life after serving.

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CBS4's Britt Moreno interviews Navy veteran Jordon Daniel (credit: CBS)

He likes how he is surrounded by other veterans in yoga class, "We don't heal in isolation, but in community."

Like so many veterans, Daniel lost friends in combat.

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Ret. Marine Cpt. Sarah Pummel Taylor teaching yoga to veterans (credit: CBS)

"Not all of us made it back. And those are the guys that I try to live my life honorably for because they didn't make it back to live theirs," said Daniel.

The non-profit Comeback Yoga recognizes the need to help veterans. Yoga classes are happening more often at veterans organizations and VA hospitals. People are weaning themselves off medications and therapy and instead practicing yoga.

Yoga Veterans
Marine Cpt. Sarah Pummel Taylor (credit: CBS)

These yogis are also battle buddies and they are rising above trauma together.

The veterans' yogi community is growing. Classes are offered at various Veterans organizations like the VFW Post One and VA hospitals. Kindness yoga launched donation-based classes for veterans and their families last month.

"I believe that people intuitively hold so many of the right answers within themselves and can discover them if they make the space to be still, ask the big questions, and listen," Sarah says.

"As a wellness coach and the author of Just Roll With It, my work is about kindly but boldly nudging people to make the kind of small changes that carry big results in physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual health."

You can find more information on her book here.

Britt Moreno anchors the CBS4 morning and noon newscasts and is the Wednesday's Child reporter. She loves hearing from viewers. Connect with her on Facebook or Twitter @brittmorenotv.

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