Emily Hain, a Marine Mom, is a faculty member of Warriors at Ease. She is an E-RYT and Certified iRest® Yoga Nidra instructor. She took the Teaching Yoga and Meditation in Military Settings Course two years ago when her son’s deployments changed the direction of her teaching focus. Today she is invested in and involved with helping active duty military servicemembers, veterans, military families and staff through her volunteer work and employment.
Here are Emily’s words:
I volunteer with a group called Welcome Home Vets, Inc. *(WHVets), a Florida non-profit organization that helps vets find medical help, housing and job opportunities, and receive financial and community support. Initially, I got involved with them to find and network with the military community. I wanted to teach yoga and iRest in military settings.
I went to WHVets meetings and gradually got my foot in the door at Patrick Air Force Base and the local VA Center. It took persistence but the work came. I began to be invited to present iRest® Yoga Nidra at Yellow Ribbon Reintegration** retreats and got a job teaching two classes a week at the VA outpatient clinic.
WHVets recently hosted a 5-day retreat for licensed mental health providers who work with the military and I got to organize it. The retreat was called “Loosen Your Grip” and was intended to address caregiver fatigue and offer educational opportunities. Thanks to the generosity of the FLBRAIVE Fund, WHVets was able to provide the entire retreat experience, including CEUs, free of charge to the clinicians.
On the second morning of the retreat, a group of OIF and OEF veterans were brought in to share about the ways that deployments had affected their families’ lives and about their experiences with mental health care. They also gave presentations on military culture and military families. For many of the 34 clinicians in attendance, these discussions were eye opening and provocative. Other breakout sessions included yoga, iRest, chi gong, PTSD and TBI, a “down-range” religious service and a panel discussion of service organizations that support the military community. Clinicians could earn up to 23 free CEUs and also had access to chair massage therapists, hiking trails and a lake – complete with canoes. The yoga and iRest classes were very popular. Participants were a mixture of LCSWs, LMHCs, Psy D.s, Ph D.s, RNs and MDs, with some of whom were in service or had served in the military.
Most participants reported an increased knowledge about the needs of our military community and had gained new ideas for assessment and treatment of their clients. Participants felt more relaxed and energized, although many said they could have used more time for rest, relaxation and reflection. This event was very much appreciated and well received.
Following are a few participant quotes.
“What will you take home and apply in your daily life?”
“Yoga techniques I will pursue further.”
“Yoga, iRest, mindfulness about taking care of myself.”
“Benefits of relaxation.”
“The need for self-care like meditation, yoga, etc.”
“Yoga – being able to tune in to built-up stress.”
“iRest is great – will use it for distressing.”
“iRest – Phenomenonal!”
“Thanks Emily for great yoga!”
“Emily Hain – wonderful woman with a ‘special gift’ to teach others self-acceptance and ability to understand where your place is in life journey – Many Thanks!”
* Welcome Home Vets helps returning veterans to re-unite into civilian life by providing educational, medical and job opportunities, financial and community assistance, and help navigating VA programs.
For more information about Welcome Home Vets, www.whvets.org, click here.
** Yellow Ribbon Reintegration Events through the Yellow Ribbon Program are events specifically geared toward Reservists and National Guard soldiers who do not receive the same support as active duty soldiers and veterans. They help Reservists and the National Guard with support before, during and after deployment.
For more information about Yellow Ribbon Reintegration Events, click here
***Additionally, Beyond the Yellow Ribbon is a comprehensive program that creates awareness for the purpose of connecting Servicemembers and their families with community support, training, services and resources. It originally started in Minnesota but is beginning to spread to other states.
For more information about Beyond the Yellow Ribbon, click here