Yoga for Men (YfM), a downtown St. Petersburg, Florida company, is collaborating with the University of South Florida (USF) College of Public Health to conduct a clinical research study. This study will evaluate and report on the effects of yoga and mindfulness on PTS (Posttraumatic Stress), TBI (Traumatic Brain Injury) and other conditions that veterans and active duty military personnel struggle with in their daily lives.
The purpose of the clinical study is to analyze the extent to which veterans and active duty military personnel who participate in the Yoga for Men (YfM) online yoga and meditation classes report changes in symptoms of psychological trauma, depression, anxiety, stress, sleep quality, and pain.
Study participants are encouraged to take two yoga classes and two mindfulness sessions per week through YfM’s online platform and are given access to a large library of classes for all ability and experience levels. Study participants communicate with USF researchers through the use of the encrypted, HIPAA-compliant ReadyOp system, developed by YfM partner Collabria LLC.
More than 2.3 million US veterans have returned from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Over 20 percent of these veterans are suffering from some level of Posttraumatic Stress (PTS) and Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI), and a published report by the Department of Veteran Affairs says that at least 20 US veterans take their own lives every single day.
While psychotherapy and prescription medications have been the common treatment protocol for our veterans, new approaches are gaining acceptance and momentum, (i.e. yoga and mindfulness practices). A growing number of studies report these practices tend to address and alleviate many of the psychological, physiological, and behavioral symptoms of PTS and TBI.
“Our company started with the intention of helping men get over the barriers that have kept them off the yoga mat. Our mission quickly expanded to one of making yoga and mindfulness accessible to everyone who might benefit, male or female, young or old, and at any level of mobility. We offer classes from adaptive chair yoga all the way through advanced power yoga. The point is to match the practice to the practitioner. And there is a practice for everyone.”
-Mike Fecht, Co-President, Yoga for Men LLC
Seeking Sponsorship for Veterans
Over 1,300 Veterans responded to a single advertisement that initially announced the study, and YfM anticipates the interest of thousands more once news of the study begins to spread. There is no limit as to how many veterans may take part. Sending one veteran or active duty service member through the study costs $200, or approximately $1 per class.
YfM has covered all of the costs to develop the online video platform, film and produce the initial bank of materials, and launch the study. The company is currently looking for partners, sponsors, and donors to cover the cost of additional participants.
Organizations or individuals interested in financially supporting participants or learning more about the YfM Yoga for Veterans program may contact Mike Fecht, Co-President of Yoga for Men. Funds will be used to sponsor participants, as well as to support the University of South Florida College of Public Health in the conduct of the study.
Yoga for Men, LLC (YfM) was formed in 2011 to promote the many known health and wellness benefits of yoga practices. YfM produces therapeutic yoga classes for general health and well-being, as well as condition-specific classes. YfM also produces meditation, mindfulness, fitness, and other related content and runs an on-line yoga retail marketplace selling various brands of yoga gear and clothing, including its own brand of high-performance yoga clothing, Bhujang Style.