“Find your tribe and love them hard” they say. So who is my tribe? My tribe are those who answer the call, protect, and serve. They are my WHY. So, I've found my tribe. Now, how do I love them hard? Well... I hope to use my knowledge and skills to aid and improve their mental and emotional wellness so they can continue to do the amazing and selfless work that they do. Over the last year, I have been building my education and expertise in order to instruct yoga and meditation as a form of therapy for our service members. In doing this, I came across the Warriors at Ease Trauma-Informed Yoga program. This program is specifically designed for the military but it transcends just as well to meet the needs of first responders.
Last weekend I attended the Warriors at Ease Level 2 program and it was such a phenomenal and enlightening experience. The moment I walked into the multipurpose room at Mt. Carmel Veterans Center, which was set up for our teacher training, I rolled out my mat and was in a state of excitement and wonder. For many of us in the room, this was maybe the first time since the beginning of the pandemic that we were sharing a space with people outside of our household. Just having the connection of new individuals added a whole other element to my experience. The class was pretty diverse and there were about 20 trainees and 3 leaders. To look around and think that this whole room is filled with people who want to aid and heal our troops was quite profound. I felt an overwhelming sense of unity. Over the next 3 days, we all shared our personal history and affiliations with the military. There were remarkably powerful stories of overcoming injuries, tragedies, and adversity. The openness and sense of community in the room were awe-inspiring. We began our lessons with a deep dive into emotional intelligence, self-regulation, and the anatomy of trauma. Next, we explored adaptive yoga techniques for service members who might be in a wheelchair or amputees. I was eager to adopt all of these new tools and translate it into my practice and instruction. The reading materials alone were worth the cost of tuition. But adding in the experienced and impressive training leaders was the cherry on top. On the last day, we all had built a 10-minute yoga sequence and were required to demonstrated it to the room. I was by far the newest yogi in the class and I was terrified to get up and instruct in front of so many veteran teachers, but our leaders created such a notable container of acceptance and openness that I felt completely empowered to stand and show my authentic self. It was so wonderful to practice and see everyone's unique and individual teaching styles. From Yin, to Power, to IREST, and so much in between. It was encouraging to know that all of these individuals will leave this room and go out into the world to help heal our heroes.
My Warriors at Ease Level 2 training weekend gave me the opportunity to reflect and reaffirm my passion and purpose. In just 3 days, I had gained a whole new tribe. The relationships that you create along your yoga journey run deep and these intimate relationships tend to draw out the very best version of yourself. It was the first time in a long time that I renewed my intentions and I felt entirely motivated. I was overcome with gratitude; my cup had been filled. I was utterly inspired by every single human in that room. Being with your tribe is a gift. Cherish those connections. They are the ones who lift you up and help you remember who you really are. Find your tribe and love them hard! Namaste.