It’s a fine, fine week for Yoga Heroes, and especially poignant for those in the military. We’ll tell you why…
A native of Pittsburgh, PA, Spc. David Kocian started his career in the Pennsylvania National Guard’s 28th Combat Aviation Brigade (whata mouthful, eh) as a human resources specialist. Now as a 21-year Army veteran and 3-year avid yoga student, Kocian has turned to teaching the yog to troops at Camp Adder, in Iraq. He’s no drill sergeant, but you can just check your trappings at the door, scout!
“Once you cross that threshold into my room, its yoga world,” said Kocian. “Forget about your pain, forget about your problems, forget about your supervisor, forget what you just did and what you will be doing in the future,” he said.
With stresses of combat we can’t even fathom, we’re pretty sure this is exactly what the doctor ordered. In his short time of teaching, Captain Feel Good has received lots of compliments, “I get people coming up to me, telling me that class was great and they’ll be coming back,” said Kocian. “But what makes me feel great is that I’m providing them with a service.” huzzah huzzah.
We’re impressed by his initiative and class participation – 15 people signed up for the first class, 25 the second!
On a side note, and back to why we think this is duly important, interestingly enough this particular story could only be found in one place [dvidshub.net]. No biggie though, he’s just one awesome dude, who thankfully, can join the ranks of other upstanding and inspired service members out there giving back on peace-keeping missions through yoga. And we know for a fact it helps…we happen to know someone currently stationed in Iraq who has benefited tremendously from a yoga practice, until his instructor had to leave.
And now to get even more morbid. It pains us to think about it, but the suicide rate within the military is still on the rise. If yoga is a means of finding relief and solace in a crazy combat zone, and maybe even preventing extreme measures, we have the utmost admiration and gratitude for heroes seeking to share it.
And to that we say, Specialist David Kocian, and military yogs, we salute you!
Photo by Sgt. Matthew Jones
Further reading… Yoga for PTSD at Walter Read Army Medical Center