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US military personnel, veterans turning to yoga for healthy life

Health Medical Pharma

Press Trust of India  |  Washington 

US military personnel and veterans especially those returned from war zones are increasingly turning to yoga for a healthy life.

Veteran Affairs Secretary Robert Wilkie, in an op-ed in Newsday, listed yoga as one of the alternative systems being pushed by his department for military veterans fighting pain and addiction.

Army veteran Michael Streeter from Huntsville, who was diagnosed with PTSD (Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder), found his inner peace through yoga, reported Rocket City Now in a latest article.

"Before I had yoga and meditation and everything, it felt like I was in the back of a bus, and someone was driving and making the decisions for me," Michael told the local daily from Huntsville, Alabama.

"I'd start yelling and screaming and getting mad at someone or something. It was a lot of turmoil inside. I had given up at one point in 2013. I felt like I wasn't man enough, wasn't good enough and no one wanted me. I had applied for all these jobs, and everyone was turning me away. So I felt like I wasn't contributing anymore. I wasn't the asset I used to be," he said.

Michael, who now teaches yoga in Huntsville, argues that yoga is not just about the poses, but about the mind as well.

"It's about clearing the mind and being at peace during a challenging moment. That's what I teach in my class. When poses reach their challenging moments, you just breathe, and find peace in the pose in the breath," he said.

Yoga is not new to the US military, but it has been gaining ground every passing year.

As early as 2006, it was revealed that US Navy Seals and other military units were getting trained in yoga.

Last week, the Wounded Warrior Project held a yoga session for the veterans, during which they focused on restoring and healing their bodies and minds.

"It was a chance to try a new way to relieve pain," said Army veteran Jennifer Martin.

"It helped, and I learned a lot. Also, I could relate to many of the other veterans. The event really helped me feel that I'm not alone with being in pain. We all deal with some of the same things," he said.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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First Published: Mon, October 29 2018. 23:20 IST