In case you were wondering, being a soldier ain’t easy! And this is before any kind of deployment into action to defend freedoms, with liberty and justice for all. You know the drill. Yes, drill sergeant!
But for service men and women returning from duty it’s not only physical injuries they incur, but layers of emotional and psychological scars as well. Thankfully, we keep reading news like this here, about the Warrior Transition Unit at Fort Campbell in Kentucky where yoga classes are offered to wounded soldiers as part of the ‘”enhanced” physical training.’
Spc. Michael Stefan a combat medic suffering from post traumatic stress disorder explains:
“Seeing soldiers get killed, and working on them and the memories and flashbacks that go along with that, this is the outcome,” he says. “But now I’m at my point in life where I’m transitioning out of the Army, and I have a wife and three kids and one on the way, so now I need to better take care of myself.”
Indeed. And Lauren Geddis, his occupational therapist, agrees, pointing out the bonus of an alternative to what many of us, even non-combat boot wearing civilians will turn to as a vice.
“They’re able to relax in a more appropriate way than the means that they may try at home. That’s where we get into drinking. We don’t want that,” Geddis says.
Other options expand to extracurriculars like water aerobics, golf, bowling, archery and nature walks in lieu of hardcore physical training.
“We’re really looking at a lifetime of fitness, the emphasis on trying to give them some sort of fitness activity that they could do for the rest of their lives,” [Warrior Transition Unit commander Lt. Col. Chris] Jarvis says.
Because buffified biceps and power squatted ‘tocks can’t make stable home lives and peaceful warriors on their own.
Listen to the story on NPR Morning Edition
If they had this sort of program in Australia, I’d teach there. Thank goodness someone else outside of the yoga world is seeing the benefits of yoga for trauma and applying it to people who need it.
It makes me so happy whenever I read about another school, military base, athletic team, etc recognizing the benefits of yoga.
If you needed any further proof, it’s official. As soon as the US Military endorses something publically, it can no longer be considered just a New Age fad.