Pass It On: Warrior Pose

A veteran is pleased to see yoga instruction becoming more available to those who serve.

Posted in , Feb 24, 2015

An artist's rendering of a Marine in a lotus position

There’s a lot of waiting around before big parades, and the New York City Veterans’ Day parade is no exception. Some smart charities take advantage of the downtime by passing out information on their services.

One flyer in particular caught my eye at last year’s event: free yoga classes for veterans.

Yes, yoga. The flyer highlighted its healing effects, including relief of anxiety, depression and insomnia, some of the worst symptoms of posttraumatic stress disorder.

I didn’t need any convincing. Some of my fondest memories from my second deployment to Iraq came from taking yoga classes.

They were taught by a lieutenant colonel named Steve, who’d discovered that yoga helped keep him calm under pressure—and stay in fighting shape. He got certified as an instructor so he could share the benefits with other soldiers.

I looked forward to the class every week. It was as close as I got to an oasis in the desert. For an hour I could forget where I was, and the peaceful feeling that came over me stayed long after I got off the mat.

I’m thrilled to see yoga studios, gyms and health centers around the country offer veterans this very effective path to peace of mind. It’s a great way to serve those who served.

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