This website is all about the combat vets but a close second are the yoga teachers who want to help say Welcome Home. Recently, I asked all yoga teachers to support not just the vets but Yoga For Vets also by donating a portion or all of the money collected on Veterans Day so we can continue to grow. The financial response was as I expected, mixed. See, the fact is, some teachers who are listed at our website still have not been contacted or approached by a single vet despite being listed for years so some teachers on Veterans Day held special classes where the turnout yielded not a single vet. To them I say it was a great effort and intention, despite the outcome. Others had very nice turnouts of both vets and civilians alike. The point I am trying to make is we are doing just fine. Vets don’t need to take yoga for us to be successful, vets just need to know that we exist, we care and they can have free yoga classes if they wish. In the next year we are going to grow tremendously, mostly due to word of mouth. We are quickly approaching 400 listings from around the U.S. but when you think of how many yoga teachers there are, we can easily go into the thousands. If you are a yoga teacher inspired by what you are reading, sign up. If you are a vet reading this, tell your military friends to check us out. Lastly, to the people reading this who simply fall into the category of "I care" please spread the word or make a donation to us. I will end this entry with a recent e-mail I received that includess the teacher and studio location. I think Beth is a great example of the caring spirit of yoga teachers who despite having no military background can really have a great effect on our deserving combat vets. She deserves credit here on our website as does that Vietnam vet who attended her class despite being a little unsure but stayed till the end. Enjoy.
“My name is Beth Jones. I teach yoga at The River Studio in Hallowell, Maine where I offered two free yoga classes to veterans and their families on Veteran's Day. While I teach veterans in Trauma Sensitive Yoga classes, too, this felt very special and very sacred. As we centered and quieted down the breath to begin, we brought hands in prayer to our hearts and concentrated on why we were there, who we were practicing for and we prayed for those who were being deployed. It got very still and very focused in the room. Only two veterans were there. The rest were non-veterans who made the effort to attend and make donations. A Vietnam veteran who wasn't sure he should be there had the most beautiful practice. Though he was in true physical pain, he made small, careful movements, with mindful breaths. And then I caught him smiling. That right there--that made my day.”