Yoga is for Veterans

The practice of yoga will create space between your action and reaction. This is accomplished by learning to control ones breath. In controlling the breath you can better control the nervous system. A primary benefit of the practice of yoga is the raising of ones awareness through creating space between your action and reaction and being aware of your breath, which controls the fight or flight and rest and relax impulses of your nervous system. In that space resides a heightened awareness.

What wires together, fires together. Through the practice of yoga, you will synchronize your systems, mental, physical, and spiritual. In that space there is peace. With peace, you begin to let go of your fears and anxieties. In the gym we work from the outside in to build our muscles and improve our cardiovascular fitness. The goal is mold and sculpt our physical bodies. In yoga, we work from the inside out. We address all the systems, to include the nervous, glandular, digestive, circulatory, as well as spiritual - our very aura. Good news, in practicing yoga you will still derive physical benefits, you will be strong, but you will be more flexible not just mentally, but physically too. However, most critically the true benefit is within.

Who is yoga for? Simple: Everybody. That includes veterans. In America, yoga has been marketed in a manner where men have not been the focus, certainly not Marines, Soldiers, Sailors, and Airmen. However, the very ancient origins relate to a warrior. Some of the most basic poses (asanas) are called Warrior. It is for you.

Who can do yoga? Everybody. Remember this, if you can breathe, you can do yoga. A Marine Vietnam veteran told me that piece of advice when I first began practicing to be a teacher. I still go back to it again and again. Bottom line: If you are breathing, you can do yoga. In fact, breathing is yoga. It's simple.

I encourage you to give it a try, begin to create the space within piece by piece. Give yourself permission to find a place of non-judgement where you can rest and relax in a peaceful state. In doing so you raise your awareness. Critically, by practicing you begin to equip yourself with tools, with ancient technology, designed in a way which will help us, you and me, cope with this stressful world around us. To enable us to walk this world with equanimity. In yoga, we focus on the present moment. Not the before, which we can't change; not the after, which you can't control, just the breath you are in. The breath at the tip of your nose at this moment. Take one focused inhale and exhale and feel the difference. Importantly, we use yoga to facilitate us letting go of what we carry, that is weighing us down, that doesn't serve us anymore. Begin creating the space. Give yoga a try.