iRest© Teacher-in-Training Level 1
Certified Warriors at Ease Teacher
Warrior Spirit Project Co-founder
David is a Registered Yoga Teacher (RYT) and Certified Warriors at Ease teacher, with additional training in Integrative Restoration (iRest) meditation. He grew up in a U.S. Marine Corps family and spent 27 and a half years with the Department of the Navy as a Special Agent with Naval Criminal Investigative Service (NCIS).
As part of his NCIS duties, David deployed to Iraq as a Counterintelligence team leader in 2004 and to Afghanistan in 2011/2012 as an Individual Augmentee to the U.S. Special Operations Command (USSOCOM). He has received numerous awards and commendations, including the U.S. Navy Superior Civilian Service Award, the U.S. Navy Meritorious Civilian Service Award, DoD Counter Intelligence Team Award, and a Joint Civilian Service Commendation Award from CPA Administrator Paul Bremmer.
David is a member of Save a Warrior (SAW) Cohort 063 and feels compelled to continue supporting U.S. military personnel whether they are still active duty or post service. He is a Founding Board Member of the nonprofit Warrior Spirit Project (WSP) and is a dedicated WSP volunteer, providing FREE trauma-informed yoga and iRest meditation to veterans and first responders in the Dallas, TX area.
What motivated you to become a yoga teacher?
After I retired from a 27-year career with NCIS my spouse Charla decided she wanted to bring the benefits of yoga and meditation to the veteran and first responder community and because this is my community I decided the best way I could help her mission was to also become a yoga and meditation teacher. As a result, we founded the Warrior Spirit Project, an all-volunteer 501c3 that brings the benefits of Yoga, Dogs and Dirt to veterans, first responders and their families, at no cost to them.
What motivated you to become a WAE Teacher and bring evidence-based yoga to the military?
After I obtained my 200-hour yoga teacher training both Charla, who had already been teaching yoga for years, and I realized that to effectively provide evidence-based programs we would need specialized training. WAE is one of the organizations we looked at and decided it offered exactly what we were looking for; therefore we both embarked on the journey of becoming WAET(s). I know by linking the Mind, Body and Spirit the practice of yoga can help bring calm to the body and brain, which [in the military] has been trained to be constantly in a high state of alert, which is necessary to survive combat.
What is your connection to the military?
My grandfather was in the U.S. Navy (Naval Intelligence) and then became a Pawtucket Rhode Island Police Officer and was subsequently killed in the line of duty. My father was a career Marine Corps Officer and both of my brothers were Enlisted Marines. My entire 27-year career I served the Marine Corps and Navy and I deployed to Iraq in 2004 where I led a military/civilian counterintelligence team. My team conducted in excess of 80 tactical counterintelligence missions and was awarded the Department of Defense (DoD) Counterintelligence Team Award. I also deployed to Afghanistan in 2011/2012 an Individual Augmentee to U. S. Special Operations Command (USSOCOM), where I led a team of military/civilians that provided specialized support to USSOCOM.
What is your favorite yoga posture?
I really enjoy Warrior 1 (go figure), but I like the modification of the back foot being on the toes, vice the whole foot being on the ground. This pose represents to me the many attributes of Warriors which includes both power and calmness.