VYP Practice Library
The VYP Practice Library hosts a wide variety of resources and classes for you to try. Learn about a new pose, experience a guided meditation, or practice some mindful movement. Use these resources to find out what works for you and how to integrate it into your practice.
Find A Local VYP Class
Teachers listed under “Find a Class” have attended Mindful Resilience Training from VYP and have some knowledge of military culture, PTS(D), and how to tailor a yoga experience to veterans and their families or others who have experienced trauma. The fact that a teacher is listed in “Find a Class” does not imply that that teacher is under the sponsorship or supervision of Veterans Yoga Project.
Guided Rest / Yoga Nidra
Yoga Nidra is a type of guided meditation where you lay comfortably still while listening to the instructor and letting your attention be guided through various observations and visualizations. Repeated practice of yoga nidra helps you learn how to relax consciously and to accept thoughts, feelings, urges, and impulses as they are. Although you are encouraged to stay awake during the yoga nidra practice, many veterans have told us that listening to a yoga nidra practice helps them fall asleep at night.
When you practice yoga nidra, it is best to find a very comfortable reclined position in a comfortable place where you won’t be interrupted. Allow yourself to focus on breath and sensation.
Sometimes you want to practice yoga in a sequence of movements. Sometimes you want to practice poses individually. Find the pose that’s right for you, and click any pose for more details.
Free Daily Streaming Yoga Classes
Want to practice with VYP in our free streaming classes available daily? Log in here or set up your free account today!
VYP Yoga Practice Guide
Have you ever gone to a class and wished you could remember what directions your teacher gave for that one breathing pattern? Or how about where to place your feet in Warrior 1?
Our practice guide is a FREE resource for just those occasions. In the guide, you’ll find mindful movement practices with step-by-step instructions, alignment cues and visual images of the pose. Download and print so you can reference the practice guide for several breathing, meditation, and guided rest practices when needed.
Styles of Yoga
What the heck is yoga, anyways? It depends on whom you ask. If you ask us, we will tell you that yoga is simply the practice of being present with what shows up in your mind and body.
Veterans Yoga Project teachers have come from all styles and lineages of yoga, of which the main ones are listed below. We do not prescribe to any one practice over another. The best practice is the one that resonates with you. If you try a style and say, well that sucked, give another teacher/school/style a try! Keep breathing, keep practicing.
Most yoga classes you can find in the US derive from the Hatha tradition. In the Sanskrit language (the most commonly used language in many yoga practices) HA means sun or force, and THA means moon or effort; a practice that combines your movement and breath together to create a well-balanced practice. You can expect a gentle to moderate movement practice with alignment cues and adjustments.
This style of yoga was crafted by B.K.S. Iyengar and involves many (gear) props and clear direction to set up for each physical pose. Each physical pose is held for several breaths. Iyengar teachers go through pretty extensive training; if you are recovering from an injury or really new to yoga, search your area for an Iyengar class.
Vinyasa (Sanskrit word) means “to place in a specific way” (you may also hear this word in a hatha class as an offering to flow from one movement to the next, often times during a sun salutation). In a Vinyasa class, you can expect the practice to flow from one pose to the next, with emphasis placed on your own breath and body. No two Vinyasa classes are the same and can be physically challenging.
Developed by Bikram Choudhury, these classes are exactly the same no matter where you go. A set of 26 poses are taught in a very heated – 108* – room. No (gear) props are used nor are variations encouraged. You will sweat A LOT in this class, so be sure to bring water!
This practice is designed to restore and relax both your physical and emotional states. (Gear) Props are used heavily in this class to support your body throughout the entire class, allowing a balance between gravity and (gear) props to release tension and tightness. There isn’t a lot of moving in the practice as poses can be held for a few to several minutes.
Similar to restorative, yin classes are not active; rather they are passive in nature. In a yin practice, poses are held for a few minutes to allow for a deeper release within the fascia, in comparison to one of the more active classes that stretch the more superficial muscles. (Gear) Props may or may not be used depending on your teacher.
In Sanskrit, Ashtanga means “eight limbed path”. This style is a very physically demanding practice wherein the physical practice is the same set of poses in each class. Depending on the teacher, some classes may even be self guided. If you feel like this is the practice for you, find a studio that breaks down the sequence first so you have an understanding of each movement.
Developed by John Friend, Anusara is a practice that combines breath and movement (just like Hatha) with emphasis on the mind-body connection. Classes tend to be gentle to moderate with breakdowns of each pose.
Developed in the 1980’s by Sharon Ganon and David Life, Jivamukti is mainly a Vinyasa style class woven around the Hindu teachings. Chanting is a regular occurrence as well as deep philosophy nuggets in each class. This is a very earthy practice and can be welcomed by all levels.
Kundalini is Sanskrit for “divine feminine energy” and is said to reside in all of us. These practices include chanting, meditating, and repetitive movements to release that energy. These classes tend to be very active in nature as a way to encourage the release of that coiled energy residing within us.
Rather than focusing on yoga methods and practices, yoga therapists fundamentally focus on their clients’ needs. Their job is to understand why their clients have come to see them and determine what they can do to support them. To help them in their work, therapists are trained to assess clients through listening, questioning, observing, and appropriately touching. Therapists look for ways to help their clients reduce or manage their symptoms, improve their function, and help them with their attitude in relation to their health conditions. After assessing clients, therapists establish appropriate goals, develop a practice intervention, and then teach clients to practice that intervention.
In this sense, therapists choose yoga techniques in relation to how they will specifically benefit individual clients. To learn more about the difference between a yoga class and yoga therapy, read the article on Yoga International.