Obviously, that first sentence is ever so slightly cheeky, but it is true that the effects of yoga are being studied and documented on soldiers abroad and coming home from war zones such as Afghanistan, often in conjunction with therapy to help soldiers recover from post-traumatic stress disorder which many suffer. While these studies are still in the preliminary stages, they offer a great deal of hope for the use of yoga alongside other therapies to help soldiers recover faster.
Yoga is also being used in the military as part of a training regime. This may seem completely wrong to many yoga teachers who believe in pacifism and peace, but many of the Eastern meditations and gentle exercises were often used in combat. Tai chi for example is not just a way to learn to move with yourself. The moves sped up become vicious punches and kicks. And while you won’t be throwing punches in yoga class, you will become more flexible and better able to tell when you’re pushing yourself too hard and that can be very helpful to soldiers. A traditionally peaceful type of exercise and mediation can find itself sharing bedspace with warriors, and may even make better and more compassionate soldiers at the end of the day.
Photo By: U.S. Army