VETOGA Teacher Training

by Matthew Arensmeyer


Campaign has ended.


Hello! My name is Matthew Arensmeyer, and I would like to share my journey as a veteran and how yoga and VETOGA, has helped change my life. 

In April of 2010, at the age of 23, I was deployed to Afghanistan as an officer in the North Carolina Army National Guard. I was fortunate to come home, without visible injuries, but the mental and emotional imprints of trauma had been made. After the deployment, I began quietly struggling with symptoms of Post Traumatic Stress (PTS), from panic attacks to depression, anxiety, and horrific dreams.

I began to find healing and supportive resources through counseling, meditation, and yoga. In 2013 I took my first yoga class, with physical fitness goals in mind. It wasn't until the end of the class in silence and meditation, that I physically felt my body relax for the first time. I didn't know why yoga was having such a deep impact to my relief from tension, so I kept coming back. A couple of years later, I used Tai Chi to begin feeling my own energy, and mindfulness training to create a consistent practice in understanding my emotions and feelings associated with PTS. I began to set goals, achieve a career I was proud of in the federal government, earned a Masters Degree in 2018, and completed the 200-hour VETOGA Teacher Training program in June of 2019, all while continuing to heal from the trauma experience in the military. That is why I am working with VETOGA to give back to fellow veterans and survivors of trauma.

We spend months and years being reprogrammed mentally and emotionally by the military to never quit, only think of the mission, never leave a fallen comrade, and never accept defeat. While these values are vital and necessary in a military setting, after that service is finished, adjusting to civilian life can be too much. Yoga and meditation can help give veterans the tools they need to adjust and find inner contentment and purpose. The suicide rate among veterans remains over 22 suicides per day, so lets take action!

VETOGA is one of the organizations that is making a difference for veterans like me. VETOGA is a non-profit (501c3 organization) whose mission is to provide yoga, meditation, and healing arts to military, veterans, their families, and communities. They accomplish this by holding monthly yoga classes to veterans, veteran centered community events, and a veteran specific 200-Hour yoga Teacher Training. Details about the teaching program can be found below.  

You can be part of the solution! My goal is to raise $7500 to support this vital service to the men and women of our armed forces. Lets go beyond saying "thank you for your service" and taking action! 

Thank you for your time in reading my story, please feel free to share this link, and know that any donation is greatly appreciated.


-- Matthew A. Arensmeyer 

VETOGA, a veteran run non-profit whose mission is to provide yoga, meditation, and healing arts to active-duty military, veterans, their families and communities.

In 2013, the United States Department of Veterans Affairs released a study that covered suicides from 1999 to 2010, showing that roughly 22 veterans committed suicide each day, or one every 65 minutes. Current research has found that yoga and community involvement have a direct impact on the reduction of post-traumatic stress in veterans, as well as generally increasing overall mental well-being.

We have hosted three very successful VETOGA Teacher Training's with 85 graduates from over 65 cities around the U.S. and Australia.

Now VETOGA will be hosting the our 4th Yoga Alliance Certified 200-hour Teacher Training program specifically designed for veterans. We have trained 85 teachers so far through our program from all over the United States. This teacher training will equip veterans with the holistic tools and teachings to pass on the healing benefits of yoga to their veteran communities. Through this work we enable and encourage veterans to create harmony peace for themselves as well as others, allowing them to continue their service in a more peaceful way.

This is where you come in!

We need your help to raise funds that will allow for the training to be zero cost to the veterans.

They have given up enough of their lives in service to us and now we have an opportunity to serve them back. The funds raised will help pay for 20-30 Veterans to attend the VETOGA teacher training's and the following:

Tuition cost of the VETOGA 200 hour teacher training program; Books and materials required for the teacher training program; Yoga Mats and props for each teacher trainee during the training; help with travel and lodging cost for veterans traveling to Hawaii as needed; rental space of the yoga studio; VETOGA Yoga Nidra CD

VETOGA TEACHING TRAINING                                                SIGN-UP NOW

Some of the topics covered in this course include:
Techniques for the practice and teaching yoga, meditation, yoga nidra, anatomy and physiology of the human body and anatomy in yoga postures; posture alignment, assists, and adjustments; Voice coaching and training; Teaching methodologies and sequencing; Use of props and variations for physical limitations; Yogic lifestyle and ethics as a teacher; Business of yoga; Karma Yoga and creating community.

Ke'ehi Lagoon Memorial will host this teacher training's this year located in Honolulu, Hawaii.

Course Dates:
Spring:   May 23rd - June 2nd  (2019) 

Cost for the Teacher Training per Student

$3500 - For Non-Hawaii residents

$2500 - For Hawaii residents

Course Teachers:
The VETOGA Yoga Teacher Training is guided by lead instructors: Justin Blazejewski and Brittanie DeChino and assisted by teacher training staff of veterans and experts for sections in Ayurveda, anatomy and philosophy.

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