I have been married to an active duty Marine for the past 23 years, with nearly 8 of those 23 years spent with my husband deployed or otherwise away for military duty. At times, the stressors of military life have seemed impossible, but there have also been benefits and blessings that I would never have imagined.
Yoga and mindfulness became part of my life years ago. The time spent on the mat alone with my own breath is place of peace and calm for me.
I became a Warriors at Ease instructor when I saw how my husband benefited from yoga after a year long combat tour in Afghanistan. While the Marine Corps may do a stellar job training their men and women for the readiness of the mission, there is an absolute disconnect in the transition back to “normal” life on the home front. Combine that with an unprecedented tempo of war and operations over the past 15+ years, and it is no surprise that many of our nation’s military members and their families are struggling with stress like never before.
Yoga is a powerful practice that can help manage stress, improve well-being and support resiliency in our military communities. It is an inexpensive and effective tool whose time has come. Science has proven the efficacy of yoga, and the results are certainly evident to those who have spent time on the yoga mat. One can notice the benefits of the practice in just a short amount of time, and these effects can surely be felt over the long term – physically, mentally and emotionally.
I am honored to be a Warriors at Ease teacher and share yoga on the Marine Corps base located in Kaneohe, Hawaii. It’s my hope that whomever unrolls a mat in my class will leave with a little more personal peace, the space to find mental clarity, compassion for themselves and others, or just feel refreshed after taking time to honor themselves mentally, physically and emotionally.