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Army Drops Situps, Adds Yoga for ‘Too Fat’ Recruits

in YD News

Drop and give me 20 chaturangas!

From the department of Yoga Isn’t for Wussies comes news that our very own US Military has adopted yoga as part of their new fitness regimen. Great! you say. Peaceful warriors! you cry. Well, kinda sorta. OK not exactly. Will the new recruits look less like Rocky Balboa wannabes and more like yoga and pilates students? Yes sir! But why’s that now? Because they’re too fat to fight! Sir!  Or so says a group of retired generals and admirals who actually put out a report this year called, you guessed it, “Too Fat To Fight”.

The NYTimes reports,

Excess weight is the leading reason the Army rejects potential recruits. And while that has been true for years, the problem has worsened as the waistlines of America’s youth have expanded.

Though the Army screens out the seriously obese and completely unfit, it is still finding that many of the recruits who reach basic training have less strength and endurance than privates past. It is the legacy of junk food and video games, compounded by a reduction in gym classes in many high schools, Army officials assert.

As a result, it is harder for recruits to reach Army fitness standards, and more are getting injured along the way.

What does this say to us? #1 We got a big ‘ol weight problem in the US. But we knew that. #2 So many people from your neighbors, to celebs, to athletes and sports heroes have taken on the practice, and yoga has become such an integral part of fitness that even THE ARMY has accepted it. Pin a medal on us and call us bedazzled!

But for the cynics out there, don’t think yoga=easy.

“It’s more whole body,” said First Lt. Tameeka Hayes, a platoon leader for a class of new privates at Fort Jackson. “No one who has done this routine says we’ve made it easier.”

Does this mean there will be less violence? Who knows! Does this mean there will be more fit and mindful folks defending freedom and human rights? We sure hope so. The physical practice is the part most easily recognized, but any yogadork will tell you, after regular practice there are many more leagues under that sea, sergeant.

BONUS: If Lt. Gen. Eric B. Schoomaker has his way, soldiers returning from combat with wounds and/or chronic pain may soon be treated with more alternative treatments to medication such as acupuncture, meditation, biofeedback and yoga . “Schoomaker’s said his goal is to form a pain-management strategy that is holistic, multidisciplinary and puts Soldiers’ quality of life first.” PTSD is also a major issue being addressed with so many related military suicides. This is big stuff. [read more at army.mil]



11 comments… add one
  • ashley

    I teach on an Army base at the Gym. There aren’t many units that have adopted this as of yet but the way that they do their ‘over weight’ test is ridiculous. You have to pass run, push ups, and sit ups in a certain amount of time and then pass the ‘tape’. If your neck isn’t a certain width than you are too fat.

    They need to revamp the whole system.

    • tim

      You’re hot! Which post are you at? I wanna transfer and check out your sun salutation. …

  • Such great news! My husband is a Marine & we’ve both seen first-hand how much yoga can help soon-to-be, current, and past soldiers – more yoga for everyone!

  • Other than the “fat” comment, that’s a very progressive attitude by our armed forces!

  • Chris Eder

    I also teach on an Army base. They are all in with Yoga. Our program has been noted as “the best” Comprehensive Solider Wellness program.

    I can’t wait for Yoga to be totally mainstream in the military.

  • Every time I read something about the Army adopting yoga I get excited! As for that damn tape test. Le sigh! I’m ex-Army and that shit was my nemesis! I weighed 155-160 pounds, wore a size 7 and had to be taped every P.T. test because I was “over-weight” for my height of 5’6″. The tape test is completely outdated. For men you couldn’t have a thick neck and for women it was hips/ass. This baby got back so it was always very close for me. I actually would take multiple water pills the day before to ensure I passed! I witnessed quite a few men who could pass for professional body builders get put into “fat boy p.t.” for being overweight. The standards are insane and seriously need to be changed.

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