Recently, a nationwide yoga program held at Quail Creek’s Anza Athletic Club in the United States has attracted quite a number of Vietnam and Korean War veterans. These veterans have come to realise the benefits that the stress-relief exercises of yoga has to offer. The free Connected Warriors program was launched back in July and is available to all veterans and their spouses.
Karen Baker, a certified personal trainer and yoga instructor, and co-instructor Diann Shively, a Licensed Massage Therapist and Trauma Release Exercise instructor, lead the one-hour weekly session that emphasises on stretching and closes with meditation. “Since it started, I’ve attended all the sessions. My disability is throughout my whole body and it’s hard for me to exercise. This is easier and relaxing … being with a like-minded group of veterans makes me comfortable,” stated John Bird, a 71-year-old veteran.
The two Connected Warriors instructors also take additional training that focuses on issues faced by military personnel and their families. During a recent one hour session, Karen told a group of eleven veterans and two spouses not to proceed with any poses or stretch where they feel pain. She also mentioned that one should go as far as their body enables them to do so. If any discomfort occurs, then they should stop. The class is specially designed for beginners and for all levels of physical ability such as veterans with stiffness, limited mobility, amputation and hypertension. Karen adds that different body parts hold stress in and it also affects each individual differently. Whenever someone retains stress, the body reacts by tightening up and becoming inflexible. “One day I overstressed and Karen and Diann stress not to overstress. All other days I’ve felt good about it. It loosens up my muscles and joints and I feel better — even beyond that evening,” explained 61-year-old Larry Hicks.
According to Connected Warrior, soldiers are programmed to react forcefully and to mask the affects of post-traumatic stress. Through yoga, it teaches them to accept what is happening and to pay attention to what is going on inside their own bodies. “Karen is a great teacher. She’s very aware of physical issues and will fine tune exercises for you,” said Jim Graham, who adds that yoga has help to stop the pain from shoulder and back issues. For more of the story, you can check it out here.
OMG Yoga offers yoga classes in Singapore for students with varying needs. Should you decide to take up our private classes, it can be tailored towards your specific needs to make the best out of each session.