Suzanne has been an “Army Wife” for 24 years. Her husband has served on Active Duty and as a full-time guardsman with the Vermont Army National Guard. He has deployed to Afghanistan twice since 2005 and is still serving. It was her experience of the two deployments that inspired her to share yoga with the military and veteran community in Vermont.
Suzanne first started practicing Kripalu yoga in 2003 at the suggestion of a counselor to help with depression. She soon started to experience the benefits of yoga and loved how she felt after a yoga class. It helped her to manage life a little easier but she didn’t yet make it a regular practice.
Then came the first deployment. As any military family member knows, deployments are extremely stressful for family members. Her first experience was no different, and she struggled again with depression and anxiety.
Sometime after the deployment and reintegration she became more serious about her yoga practice and made a commitment to a regular, consistent practice. Because of this commitment, the second deployment in 2010 was a very different experience for Suzanne. She was able to manage it with much more ease and less stress and worry. Yoga was the reason for this positive change.
Suzanne knew she wanted to share this with other family members to help them manage their deployments better. She began to volunteer and make presentations at Yellow Ribbon events about the benefits of yoga, meditation and other self-care methods. Eventually, her attention focused to sharing yoga and its potential for healing with the guardsmen who were returning home from their deployment. In 2011, Suzanne became a Kripalu yoga teacher and it has been her passion ever since to reach out to the military community in any way possible to introduce yoga and it benefits.
When she discovered the Warriors at Ease program, she knew she had to take the training and become certified. It has been an extremely valuable experience, not only for the training but also because of the opportunity to be part of a network of people who are all working with the military and veterans.
In the past year, she has taught yoga classes at Operation Military Kids and Project New Hope events. She is also teaching a class at her local VA clinic, as well as teaching classes to Active Guard members at the local Air Guard and Army Guard installations.
“I am extremely grateful for these opportunities to introduce and teach yoga.”
Suzanne lives in Huntington, VT with her husband and 2 sons. She also teaches Kripalu yoga classes at the Huntington Library.
Email: suzanneboydyoga @ gmail.com