I spent seven years in the United States Marine Corps, serving from 2003 to 2010. During that time, I had two deployments to Iraq in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF).
My first experience with yoga was at a Team Red White and Blue (Team RWB) yoga class that was taught by Robin Cushing, an active duty Army officer who is a Warriors at Ease teacher. It didn’t take many classes for me to realize that yoga was having a positive effect on my well-being.
Yoga has taught me about being with discomfort – physically and mentally. When I am in an uncomfortable pose, I breathe. My yoga practice has given me a greater awareness about life. I know that no matter how uncomfortable or stressful life may be, I can get through it peacefully. Yoga offers me tools and a mindset I can apply on a daily basis when I struggle with stress, depression or anxiety.
I believe yoga has the incredible potential to teach warriors how to be at peace with themselves. Through challenging and even uncomfortable poses, veterans like me can learn how to thrive in challenging environments and uncomfortable circumstances.
Rolly Alvarado – Veteran, United States Marine Corps