Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Marines Getting Tough With Meditation Training & Yoga

The people who serve our country by enlisting in the army have my everlasting respect for their bravery, courage and service.  The job requires great physical strength, stamina and skill because of the potentially dangerous situations that are encountered daily.  The hyper vigilance needed for a military personnel's daily work is stressful.  It can be even more stressful if real danger and loss of life occur. 

The military has doctors, counselors and psychiatrists to deal with the after effects of the stress with its personality changes and unhealthy behaviors, but the military wants to take a more proactive approach by giving training to deal with the stress as it occurs.  It is easier to prevent or limit a stressful reaction than it is to fix it after it has already occurred.

Currently, a study is underway where the marines are getting simulated battle type stress while receiving meditation and yoga training.  The training was designed by an officer who suffered from stress disorders in service, and it is called "M-Fit." The goal is to focus on the moment using the breath and postures.  When one worries about the future or the past, anxiety, fear and/or anger overtake the mind.  When one can stay in the moment and control the stress response, the negative after effects of an event are greatly reduced.  The moment itself is also managed better when the stress response is controlled, so better actions and decisions can be made.  Real life military situations require clear, quick thinking, and one cannot do that well in a state of stress.

Meditation and yoga have already proved beneficial for PTSD (post traumatic stress disorder), and the army hopes this type of training will prevent the need for treatment or lessen the severity of the disorder.

Meditation is a pillar of treatment in Ayurveda for the clarity of mind and stress relieving benefits it offers.  A healthy mind also translates to a healthy body.  While we may not be in the military, our daily stresses can make us feel like warriors.  The meditation and yoga might be a good way to go.

Stay healthy & well,

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