Emotional Cycles and Yoga
Emotional Cycles and Yoga- we have all heard how emotions can be effected and eased through yoga and breath. This is no different during the time of a military deployment. Yoga breathing is proven to slow our flight and fight syndrome, the parasympathetic nervous system. We stretch our muscles to help ease the lactic acid that builds up when we are stressed. We build strength to help us feel confident and strong. Through the deployment emotional cycles and yoga, we can learn to survive and thrive!
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Emotional Cycles of Deployment and Yoga
When a military family learns there is going to be a deployment, we start navigating the 7 emotional cycles of deployment.
Each Phase has a hallmark emotion for the military member and spouse and we can use yoga to help us release some of the difficulties of the emotions.
Emotional Cycles and Yoga
In Phase 1- Anticipation of Departure 1-6 weeks before deployment, the family may protest the deployment or be in denial. Family members feel tension. The spouse may avoid the reality of the service member’s departure. The family feels frustrated, sadness, and unexpected emotions. Time for family activities may be constrained.
How do we help Phase 1 emotional cycles and Yoga? We need yoga that helps us Shred the Stress, Ease our Struggles, Navigate Emotions, and Keep a Calm, Centered Focus.
In Phase 2- Detachment and Withdrawal one week before departure, the military member and spouse may feel anger and create emotional distance. They may protect themselves from hurt by acting detached and showing withdrawal. The family members may experience grief.
To help deal with these emotional cycles and yoga practice, we need yoga that helps Destress, Shifts the Mood, and Cultivates an Open Heart.
Try this Phase 2 Sequence:
In Phase 3- Emotional Disorganization 0-6 weeks into deployment, new routines and carrying out duties begins, the spouse may feel overwhelmed by the full responsibility of the family affairs, but eventually, disorganization passes and the spouse and home and military member abroad recovers.
Yoga supports this phase of emotions by teaching us to care for ourselves, helps us recognize new beginnings while staying calm, and allows us to find joy as we reenergize.
In Phase 4- Recovery and Stabilization 3-5 weeks into deployment, the spouse gets into a routine at home, confidence increases, feelings of independence and freedom increase, and pride in the ability to cope begins to develop. The military member is going through similar feelings and shifts and starts to change dialog from “we” to “I.” The military member starts to enjoy new job tasks and experiences that would not be possible at their home base.
Yoga supports these emotions by helping us find our inner warrior, boost confidence, and find freedom. Our yoga will celebrate these emotions.
In Phase 5- Anticipation of Return 6 weeks before return, the family members feel excitement and anxiety. Family members may be frenzied trying to make everything perfect. The military member may begin wrapping up job tasks in anticipation of the return home.
Our yoga for phase 5 should celebrate poise, grace, and balance, help us to relax, help us deal with anxiety and depression, and help us find our focus and meet our goals.
In Phase 6- Return Adjustment and Renegotiation 0-6 weeks after return, the military member is home! But there are still adjustments that need to me made. The family learns that assumptions and expectations need to be reset, reevaluated, and fine-tuned. Family members need time to adjust to changes. Tension and fighting may occur between family members or spouses. Open and honest communication can help solve problems and conflict.
Practicing yoga in phase 6 should help us open our heart and express our emotions, balance the throat chakra for better communication, and express ourselves.
In phase 7- Reintegration and Stabilization 6-12 weeks after return, the family is now complete! Things have stabilized and the military member and spouse recognize the move from “me” to “we.” The military member is fully integrated into family life and normal life resumes.
The yoga for phase 7 should feel like a celebration! Through yoga we learn to stay grounded and present, have bliss and fun, stay grounded, content and present, and open our heart chakra. The emotional cycles and yoga are complete!
If we understand the Emotional Cycles and Yoga, we can have a healthy, happy, and adjusted deployment, both for the military member and the spouse and family at home. Yoga will help you thrive and survive!
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