Skip to main content

Military Health System

Yoga Shield: Building Mental and Physical Resiliency

Image of Airman teaches yoga to a variety of Airmen in Springfield, Ohio, so they learn mental and physical resiliency. An Airman practices leading a yoga class July 18, 2022, at the 178th Wing in Springfield, Ohio. The training is a part of a pilot program called Yoga Shield, which aims to teach Airmen to reduce stress and to build mental and physical resiliency through yoga.

Recommended Content:

Physical Fitness

More than 30 Airmen assigned to the Ohio National Guard’s 178th Wing and the Iowa National Guard’s 132nd Wing began a week-long, 60-hour yoga training program July 18 at the 178th Wing in Springfield, Ohio.

The training is a part of a pilot program called Yoga Shield, which aims to teach Airmen to reduce stress and to build mental and physical resiliency through yoga. The Airmen who complete the training program will become certified yoga instructors and will be able to provide yoga classes for their fellow Airmen.

“A lot of people hear the word yoga and think we're teaching people how to stretch or relax we're really teaching people how to master their own mind and nervous system.” said Olivia Mead, the CEO of Yoga for First Responders and lead instructor of the course. “There is a missing skill set in our Armed Forces training. And that is a proactive way to combat the mental and neurological consequences of such a high stress job and we see that in the statistics, and not all resilience training has been able to make a dent.”

Mead said the Airmen are learning a training protocol and how to deliver that to others. When the Airmen complete the program, they’ll be able to teach other Airmen how to process stress, build resilience and enhance performance proactively, addressing stress and other work-related issues before they become unmanageable.

The program began in 2021 as a proposal for the Warrior Resilience and Fitness Innovation Incubator, which aims to develop, implement, and evaluate new wellness initiatives, analytics platforms, and strategic partnerships. Upon receiving initial funding, the program training 60 Airmen and Soldiers in Iowa and has expanded to eight new sites.

Clare Long, The Sexual Assault Response Coordinator for the 132nd Wing and director of Yoga Shield, said the program has already had a lot of success.

“People are finding connectedness, they are having better sleep, because they're able to have neurological reset, mindfulness, less burnout, and it’s also helping with our recruiting and retention,” Long said. “This is important for the longevity, the health and the welfare of our Airmen. It's another tool in our toolbox. It's not the only tool, but it's one that can definitely help Airmen.”

Mead said it will help Airmen train for the mental and neurological impact of high stress professions, in the same way the military has proactively trained for the physical demands of military service.


 

You also may be interested in...

Sunrise Yoga Class

Photo
9/29/2016
Sunrise Yoga Class

Navy Petty Officer 3rd Class Tara Paradiso participates in a sunrise yoga class on the flight deck aboard the aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt. If you’re thinking of adding exercise to your pain management plan, consider the following types: aerobic, strength, and flexibility. But make sure your exercise program is specifically tailored to your needs. Some exercises might be easier or more difficult to complete depending upon the type and location of your pain. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Chris Liaghat)

Recommended Content:

Physical Fitness | Consortium for Health and Military Performance

Flag Football Game

Photo
9/28/2016
Flag Football Game

Youth participate in a flag football game on Marine Corps Air Station in Yuma, Arizona. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Sgt. Travis Gershaneck)

Recommended Content:

Medical and Dental Preventive Care Fitness | Children's Health | Physical Fitness

Vitamin D B12 Deficiency

Photo
9/19/2016
Vitamin D B12 Deficiency

Adequate intake of B vitamins is important to ensure optimum energy production and the building of muscle tissue.

Recommended Content:

Nutritional Fitness | Physical Fitness
Showing results 1 - 3 Page 1 of 1
Refine your search
Last Updated: August 09, 2022
Follow us on Instagram Follow us on LinkedIn Follow us on Facebook Follow us on Twitter Follow us on YouTube Sign up on GovDelivery