guest post by Dina Weldin
“Your husband is in the military?!”
I hear this question all the time. I get it. You think, yoga teacher and military man, how does that work?
The truth is that yoga and the military go together quite serendipitously.
I’d been practicing yoga for about five years when I met my husband. We met, we dated, he went off to training, we got married, and before I knew it, he was leaving for deployment. Along with the pride, love, and honor I feel being a military spouse, there is also the worry, uncertainty, and fear.
Is he alright? When will I hear from him again? How long will it take the mail to deliver his package this time?
As month three of deployment arrived, I took a giant leap of faith and did something I’d always wanted to do but had never “found the time or the money” before – I enrolled in Yoga Teacher Training at Yoga One.
I learned so many things during the weeks of teacher training but what I didn’t expect to learn was something I will treasure beyond time. I learned I am so much stronger than I knew. Not a physical strength, but an emotional, mental, and spiritual strength I didn’t know I possessed. The challenges of deployment, though always looming, were not insurmountable. My yoga practice and the beautiful community of yogis in teacher training were always there to support me.
Here is what I found to be true:
Breath is life and life is breath. We don’t often get a chance to just listen to ourselves breathe. When was the last time you stopped, felt your heart beat, and actually listened to yourself inhale and exhale? This is such a powerful tool when going through worry and stress of any kind, especially in the military world. On the days I felt my world was collapsing, all I had to do was stop and listen to my breath. It was always there for me, every single time. Calm your breath to calm your mind.
Life is about right now. I felt victim to living in a constant state of “what if?” What if I can’t do this alone? What if something happens to him? Instead of “what if?” try “what is?” What is happening right now? What is true is what is in front of us in this very moment. Yoga teaches us present moment awareness which creates gratitude for what is right now: Life, Breath, Connection.
Community is everything. The last five letters in that word – unity – this is the literal definition of the word yoga. To be united with our breath, with our community, with our friends, and with our family, whomever you choose to call your family, this is truly what yoga is all about at its very core. Whether I am alone on my mat in my home, or in a class full of 100 yogis I have never met, we are united. And having my fellow trainees, Yoga One family, my amazing sets of parents, my beautiful friends, military community—that is where I find strength as a military spouse.
When I think about the military-yogi connection, it all makes perfect sense. Feel present in your life. Live it for what it is, not what it should have been or what it could be. Draw energy from your community on days you don’t have any of your own. And finally, find your breath every single day. It can be as simple as that, just breathe. You are exactly where you need to be.
Are you a service member or military spouse interested in yoga?
Yoga for Vets offers a listing of classes around the country for free or reduced rates for current service members.
Dina fell in love with yoga ten years ago on the east coast and currently teaches all over San Diego in many unique environments. She has a diverse yoga background and incorporates attention to mindfulness, breath and alignment in her teachings. When not practicing yoga, she can be found on doggie beach with her husband Will and dog Mar.