Warrior Success: Anne's Journey
YogaFit® for Warriors Is Powerful Healing Medicine by Anne
We want to say a huge thank you to Anne, who shared in her own words her personal experience and the impact of YogaFit® for Warriors in her life and journey. This story is the perfect illustration for how self love starts with self work and awareness. We're so excited for our 2016 Warriors Mind Body Fitness Conference taking place September 4-8 in Florida to help create more stories like Anne's. Read on for inspiration.
Serving as an active duty Air Force cargo pilot from 1998-2007 (and an Air Force Reserve pilot from 2007-2011), I saw and experienced
violence, loss, tragedy and heroism every day. Over time, I noticed a feeling of being “keyed up,” or restlessness; I was constantly searching for and trying to avoid anything that could possibly threaten my safety. How could I give as a volunteer when I always felt exhausted or on the verge of screaming at someone? In various situations, I could actually hear my heart beating in my ears as I felt sweat oozing out of my palms and armpits—from truly life-threatening situations to something like straightening out a bill or shopping for groceries in a foreign country.
While I observed all of these stress-related reactions, I felt powerless to do anything about it—even while repeatedly trying to take deep breaths to calm myself, I felt like I could never get enough air, let alone that calming, cleansing feeling deep breathing was supposed to give me. The effects of stress bled into my new role as a parent; again, I felt powerless to stop it. I felt constant frustration, sadness, and inferiority, all while constantly striving to make things better. The more I fought to make my actions conform to the brave, strong, and well-intentioned person I knew I was, the more I held on and tried to overpower my anger, fear, worry, or frustration and the bigger and more powerful they became…until I found the YogaFit® for Warriors program in February 2014.
A palpable, open, supportive, positive energy infused the conference—with no harshness of judgment. While combining slow movements focused on grounding and expanding the areas around the belly, heart, neck, and head with yogic practices such as non-harming, acceptance, compassion, discipline, truth and purity, I realized how I’d been procrastinating on processing my emotions from my experiences during the long years at war. In combat, we cannot stop to process our emotions—we must rely on the procedures and instincts we’ve developed during our training or people will die and things will be destroyed. But denying that tensions and feelings are present only stored the tension in my body, intensifying the misery of my mind and spirit. As more and more unfamiliar situations presented themselves in my life, I knew I needed a constructive, healthy, and empowering method of facing my emotions and learning from them.
YogaFit® and the Warriors program gave me the ability to allow suffering and stress to pass, to cope with my new, heightened awareness, and to roll with life's changes by practicing non-reaction and non-attachment ...all this while releasing all of the stored and recurring tensions from my body and mind in a format which builds fitness. I couldn't ask for more, and I look forward to every day when I can help others learn to help themselves by teaching yoga.
Warriors has inspired me to break open instead of breaking down. As veterans of the military or veterans of life, so many of us need this guidance, so many have hurts we don't even know about. I am content to continue my own healing and I remain enthusiastic about sharing the journey with others.
With deepest gratitude,