Ever since Rich Goulet left the Army in 1970, he has been experiencing stubborn back pains that just wouldn’t seem to go away. He has even been on frequent visits to a chiropractor but to no avail. This has resulted in his wife bugging him to give yoga a go. Initially, he was quite skeptical about it as he felt that yoga was for hippies. However, when volunteer instructor Dana Fish began offering free classes through Connected Warriors, a Florida-based nonprofit, a couple of weeks ago, he decided to give it a try.
Dana’s classes are specially tailored towards veterans. Her classes involve trauma-sensitive instructions, designed to respect both the personal space as well as the life experiences of veterans who might be coping with post-traumatic stress. “One of the important things is it’s yoga being done with other veterans in the safety of the community of other veterans,” stated Dana, the 37-year-old yoga instructor from Thrive Integrative Wellness Center in Naperville.
As for Rich who showed up for Dana’s first class, he has in fact been a regular attendee since. So far, the yoga practice for him seems to be producing rather positive results. He started to notice the difference after attending the fourth class. “For the first time I can remember. my back felt normal,” said Rich.
As for Dana, who has been practicing yoga for the past decade, she has also been able to enjoy the positive effects of yoga. This include sounder sleep, steadier energy and much lesser stress. After she came to a decision to become an instructor, she mentioned that veterans came to mind as people who also could find solace in yoga. According to Judy Weaver, one of the founders of Connected Warriors, the combination of both mental and physical exertion in yoga can help to aid veterans triumph over trauma due to the lasting effects of overwhelming experiences residing not just in the mind, but also in the cells of the body. “The issues are in your tissues,” explained Judy, who begin offering free yoga classes to veterans back in 2010. As of now, she is in charge of overseeing 175 classes a month in eleven different states. For the rest of the story, you can check it out here.
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