A few weeks ago, I wrote about Yoga Warriors, a practice designed for people suffering from PTSD, and Nicole Taylor, the only trained instructor in all of Canada. Nicole, as it turns out, has become a part of our family in a very short period of time, with my father now proving to be one of her most loyal “yoga warriors.” Daily, I see positive changes in my dad, and I know that Yoga Warriors is a big part of that.
Nicole and I have stayed in constant contact with one another and I have written several promotional articles for her, trying to promote what I see as being a vital service being provided to all of our military, veterans and first responders. Recently, Nicole mentioned that she felt I would be an excellent Yoga Warrior instructor, since as a veteran myself, I would be compassionate and understanding of each person’s situation. So much of the Yoga Warrior way relies on those character traits and without it, many of those who benefit from the sessions would never walk through the door of the studio. Do I have what it takes to be this special kind of person? My interest was certainly piqued.
It’s funny, since as I’ve been trying to carve my own path since releasing from the military, I’ve found myself feeling rather aimless. Sure, I have my writing, but in this economy, I constantly worry about paying the bills. And then the other part of me feels as though I no longer contribute anything to the world, and as a yoga warrior instructor, I could effect so much positive change on so many lives. When I worked with all the injured and ill soldiers during my last post in the Forces, I left each day feeling as though I had contributed something to the world. When you suffer with mental health injuries, the small act of someone lending an ear can make such a difference in your day. I was honoured that several members chose me to tell their stories to. Yoga Warriors serves as an outlet for the stress and anxiety associated with mental health injuries so prevalent in the work of soldiers and other first responders.
I never thought of myself as a yoga instructor, or even of it as a career possibility. But I’ve been signed up for instructor classes, and when I return home in June for a writer’s conference, I’ll also be training to become a certified Yoga Warriors instructor. It’s not the direction I saw my life taking, but like life, yoga is a journey. And somehow, it’s directed me here.