As we approach Independence Day on July 4 in the United States, many of us feel gratitude for the veterans and active military duty personnel that make this freedom possible.

At Yoga in ME, we strive to provide a safe place for everyone that walks in our door. And, through our support of FREE Yoga for Veterans, we have a special focus on making the tools of yoga available to veterans living with the effects of PTSD.

As part of our commitment to the veterans in our community, we’d like to raise awareness that fireworks can be a source of stress. Especially for veterans living with the effects of PTSD. According to the VA, depending on the service era, this is somewhere between 10% to 20% of veterans.

During this time where we celebrate the privilege living in a free country, we urge you to be mindful of the veterans and active service duty men and women in your community. An unexpected rat-a-tat of firecrackers could bring someone back to the battlefield and set them on edge, but if they are warned, they can mentally prepare. So give your neighbors a heads up if you are going to set off fireworks in your yard.

Being a mindful yogi doesn’t mean giving up things you enjoy, like fireworks and celebrations. It does mean being mindful of the effect you are having on the people and environment around you.

Go ahead, enjoy your friends and family and whatever you like to do to celebrate. At the same time,  be mindful of how your actions might be affecting veterans living around you.