Over the last three years I have had the great fortune to travel; to immerse myself in trainings; to work with some exceptional teachers, all over the world. Not only has this expanded my presence as a human, but it has expanded and enhanced my presence as a teacher and healer.
One of the trainings I was so fortunate to be a part of, thanks to a colleague of mine, Kim Gebro,a talented healer, mental health professional and teacher in New Hampshire, was Warriors at Ease, a national program created by today’s thought leaders in the yoga and meditation community.
Today, I thought I would take a moment to share why I chose Warriors at Ease, to add to my toolbox of wellness services.
1) Personal Development
Ten years ago I took my first yoga class. I had no idea how that decision would change the trajectory of my life.
It created an opportunity for me to start my own business, to step into a power I never knew I had, to develop a sense of health and wellness that has been hard for me to live by before now. Yoga, as a physical practice, and way of life, helped me begin to heal from experiences, trauma and simply put, my past. Maybe heal isn’t the best word, yoga has helped me create new awareness, perceptions and radical acceptance around my past and look to the future with a fresh set up eyes; to stop living in a self-sabotaging mindset that have been impacting my entire life.
I have been empowered by the trainings, healing modalities and teachers, I have met over the years. They have contributed to my personal development and completely transformed my life.
Knowing where I was when I began this journey, if these experiences can transform my life, they may have the same impact on others, i hope I can be a conduit for that.
2) Serving in Memory of Another
At the same time, I also reflect back on an important person in my life, my grandfather, Jim Hunt. He was a Korean War veteran and prisoner of War for 28 days in Korea during the conflict. Although he shared little of his time during this experience, he lived a life committed to veterans through the VFW organizations around New England. Veterans were important to him, he served in several leadership roles in his time, and was highly respected by his community.
Since his passing a few years ago, I have tried to think of some small way to honor him and his life. Knowing of his commitment to veterans and my love of yoga, meditation, mindfulness and holistic healing I was blessed to be offered an opportunity, by the Warriors at Ease program, to begin my training.
This training allowed me to deepen my training as a yoga and meditation teacher, but also honor a very important person in my life.
As I think back on my grandfather, and the love he showed me, I know that he was also a man with a short fuse. Could I help someone like my grandfather, traumatized by war, so they could better manage their emotions, minimize anger, increase joy and compassion so they could live an even happier and richer life; so their spouses and family members and children could live a happier, richer life.
I believe I can help people, especially veterans, service members and their families, live with more ease, happier and richer lives.
3) Evidence Based & Inclusive
Our personal wellness is defined by not just our physical choices - food, diet, exercise - but by how we feel energetically, emotionally, spiritually and mentally. During my 300-hour advanced yoga teacher in India with Sadhana Yoga School, and through my training at Phoenix Rising Yoga Therapy, I began to work on a deeper level with the role that yoga, meditation and mindfulness can play in people’s lives beyond just a weekly yoga class, but when curated properly these practices could be used for deep deep, therapeutic purposes.
WAE was designed by people who have been working in yoga, meditation, mindfulness and direct therapeutic practices for more than a decade, with direct experience in the nation’s leading veterans hospitals.
From their website:
Yoga and meditation are mind-body practices that promote health and well-being.
Research shows that these practices can:
improve one’s response to stress
reduce sensation of chronic pain
improve quality of sleep
create a sense of calm in body & mind
decrease symptoms associated with PTSD
They have amassed, developed and become a source for a large, and growing body of evidence that supports the use of these practices to manage and minimize the effects of trauma, anxiety, depression and stress. Their work with veterans and services members, especially in the field of post-traumatic stress disorder has been powerful. A secondary benefit to employing these practices is it is not a pill, its does not have dangerous side effects, they can be used as a part of a comprehensive wellness program and companion practice on the path to healing.
Let us not also forget that practices are over 5000 years old. Because of their origins they can seem a bit esoteric, and assumptions and stereotypes have been formed since yoga emerged in the western world because of this and practitioners who have set unrealistic expectations.
One of my missions as a teacher and healer is to make yoga, mediation and mindfulness more accessible in our busy world, and I love that WAE is doing the same. WAE is working hard to promote the use of these practices and at the same time breaking down stereotypes to create an inclusive and accessible community for our military communities, and expanding awareness of yoga, meditation and mindfulness at the same time.
More people doing yoga, equals a better world.
You can learn more about Warriors at Ease at their website, and see my classes and workshop schedule for upcoming offerings. I also offer private classes and lifestyle coaching for veterans and service members, you can book a service right online.