What a wonderful day on Fort Stewart, I recently had. No longer a military wife, I kinda jumped at the opportunity to do this one! I cannot say I miss living or visiting military bases that really kinda always just remind me of concentration camps.....but I am extremely passionate about my country, am super patriotic and I have an undying respect for all those who serve, active duty, reserve, all branches and spouses. So I like to go on base somtimes! -Just not every day please.
I was honored to be asked to do a Yoga practice/class/mini workshop with the Air Force! The Air Force keeps calling to me, for some reason. Okinawa was my first real duty station living as a military wife and the main base there was an Air base, Kadena Air Force Base. I SO LOVED living there. If you are military and EVER get the chance to go to Oki, go, go, GO! -without a hesitation. Kadena is a rocking base with some of the best military facilities, food, shopping, camping, hiking and fun in the entire world. The Army branch there in the Okinawa forces is TEENIE TINY, so it was weird we got stationed there being with an Army guy. And here in Savannah, where I call home now, it is the opposite. The Air Force branch on Fort Stewart Army Base seemed really small here in this giant Army town. But one thing I loved about my experience as a military wife was mingling between the different branches. We are all USA. So I loved hearing the different experiences and stories from each branch and family.
One common stereotype I used to hear over and over was the Air Force was the most out of shape physically of all branches. I am not historical or military-minded enough to know where this misconception came from but let me tell you MY experience:
I was impressed. These men and women SWEAT with me and all did AWESOME jobs with their Yoga that day. I was so happy to meditate, quiet down, stretch out, get barefoot, work, push hard, get their T Shirts a darker shade of grey by the time I left and I was even presented with a gorgeous Air Force coin. They were all in FANTASTIC shape. It was fun.
Some people think fitness is something to be made fun of, or others seem to think it is a super easy solution! And in this (in my opinion) idiotic article by military.com, they have your mindless and simple solution!!! "Eat better and exercise more."
Well, MILITARY DOT COM, if it really were that simple, then everyone would be SKINNY, fit, beautiful, healthy, disease-free, strong and perfect. It goes SO MUCH deeper than that! And if it is such a "simple" problem to fix, then why are all your over weight soldiers and recruits creating such a scary position for you to be in? -as stated in the EXACT SAME ARTICLE: "And, on a far worse level, if the overweight and obesity of our troops is not fixed, we are dealing with a national strategic problem which makes it difficult to defend America from our enemies."
Just fix the problem y'all! Tell your men and women: Make those choices on your own, soldier. It is "SIMPLE." Whatever. It is not simple. It is emotional, it is what CRAP GMO laden junk they feed us and make available in mess halls, gas stations, shoppettes and grocery stores (commissaries). It is stress and cortisol levels creating heart attacks and belly fat. It is the LACK of coping mechanism training on those who endure MUCH fatigue, death, murder, killing, starvation, bombs, terror, snipers, plane crashes, loud bangs and live among and through the darkest most evil places in this world. THERE IS NOT ONE SINGLE BIT OF HELP FOR THOSE WHO SERVE. (-in my opinion. It is ALL lacking in the military and sister communities like the Military Fire Fighters, rescue, NCIS and so on.) I know this because I have asked them, more than one, "are there coping mechanisms taught to you once you recover a dead body or endure a near death experience or loss of a fallen soldier or friend?" "NO, none." was always the answer. I have spoken to both fire fighter rescue divers and NCIS crime scene victim employees. They both handed me the same answer.
MIND-BODY-SPIRIT is real. It is not a catch phrase that is meaningless and trendy. It is science and is IMPERATIVE for our total well-being, weight included. The cool thing is, YOGA DOES ALL OF THIS. We need to balance our mind, the way it feels, thinks, is conditioned, processes, problem solves, patterns, triggers, habits (both good and bad), obsessions, our love, our hate, anger, learn to create and happiness and control sadness, we need to help the mind, not fight against it or try to escape it always. We need to help the body stay psychically fit, agile, strong, centered, resilient, preventing injury and illness. And we need a space, place or allotted time in which we can practice our spiritual choices on a daily basis, whatever they are or are not, but scheduled downtime MUST be given, if even just 5 minutes per day. I believe meditation and prayer should be mandatory for all military: atheists, all religions and otherwise. THAT is your solution military.com, and it ain't simple. But I am willing to contribute to that solution. And so I did.
I felt HONORED and so excited to be a part of a squadron that was focusing on wellness week. Teaching these airmen was calm, peaceful and made me want to be a better American. This is a forward-thinking way of being for the military and I am so excited to have engaged in it, however small my impact.
Thank you so much for visiting my blog! I love to connect with people, so please comment and email me and talk with me about anything I have written that might have spoken to you!