Yoga and writing projects to help mental health among veterans

SALISBURY, Md. – Bill Cecil, a Vietnam war veteran and writer is using his experience and knowledge to help others experiencing trauma. Cecil tells us, writing your stories on paper  is one of the most therapeutic ways to help. Now they are getting a few new resources to help with mental health, one of which even involves yoga. “Everybody is traumatized, trauma is about grief and loss. Where is the loss, where does it hurt,” says Cecil.

He tells 47 ABC, their whole purpose is to use writing as a tool to help veterans deal with their trauma. “Those stories live in our head and we have to tell those stories and we have to share them, get them out of our head, get them on the page,” says Cecil. “If I don’t control my story, my story can control me.”

With Cecil’s After Action Writing project, he’s creating a new avenue to deal with pain involving the Lotus Yoga Studio. It’s a new trauma sensitive yoga intervention program developed at the Trauma Center in Brookline, Massachusetts called Trauma Center Trauma-Sensitive Yoga (TCTSY). He says, this will add another holistic approach to his efforts to help veterans emotionally recover. “It’s really about how can I be at home in my own body and how can I experience that with you while you’re in yours,” says Venessa Bowers, a TCTYS facilitator.

We’re told TCTYS is all about internally letting go of the inner traumas through yoga. However, it’s not typical yoga, it’s a very private and personal classical teaching of yoga. Which instructors say, it’s more beneficial than just talking about their problems. “What we end up doing is re-traumatizing folks because they have to keep over and over over again.”

Cecil tells us, the mind and body work together and whether it be creative writing or yoga, it’s a great way to help all those dealing with trauma, whether you’re a veteran or not. “If we take things in through our senses, it has to come back out through our senses,” says Cecil. He adds, “Slow us down, get us to be back in touch with what we really feel.”

Now yoga instructors tell 47 ABC, it’s more than this just helping veterans, it’s about anyone whose experienced trauma.

If you want to learn more about the After Action Project, just email Bill Cecil at

Categories: Local News, Maryland