Marine Corps, and the Relevance of Mindfulness, MBSR & Yoga

Screen Shot 2013-03-11 at 10.18.04 AM      Back in 2010 I met Dr. Liz Stanley when she gave a talk about her work training U.S. Marines in a new MBSR-Based training called Mind Fitness Training.  Her remarkable program helped a detachment of marines bound for Iraq stay mentally and physically healthy.  The program includes the components of MBSR translated for the life of those in military training: mindfulness meditation training, mindful movement (a.k.a. adapted mindful yoga, awareness training, etc.)  The young Marine captain who accompanied her offered a poignant testimonial about his personal experience and declared that the training ‘saved lives.’

I had the good fortune to bring a message about the relevance of mindfulness training home with some presentations to military, law enforcement and government representatives at a Hillsboro Police Department conference about returning veterans.  (See the YouTube video of my presentations)  At that conference I met fellow presenter Dr. Doug Johnson from the Naval Health Research Center who would be initiating mindfulness training with the Marines.  (Read the AP Story about Dr. Johnson’s work with Marines and Mindfulness Practice)

As Marie and I do here, Dr. Stanley and Dr. Johnson help translate the art and science of mindfulness practice and adaptive movement and yoga so they can be seen as  practical, helpful ways of caring for our lives so as to better meet the challenges that inevitably show up regardless of what we meet along the way.


“Wow! I wish I would have known about this years ago!” – Things Everyone Should Know About Their Bodies “Down There”

Marie1  As a Physical Therapist specializing in pelvic floor rehabilitation, I am struck by the number of times patients tell me, “Wow!  I wish I would have known about this years ago!” . . .

Here is a link to an article I wrote about this.  Download it and pass it around.  Patients and potential patients often find this so very helpful.  —  Marie


Gun Control, Gabrielle Giffords & Yoga

DSCF1945 - Version 9   Former congresswoman Gabrielle (Gabby) Giffords is no slacker.  A couple of years ago she was a rising star in congress and then she and many others were shot by a madman at a rally in her home state of Arizona.  Even though she has struggled to recover from her brain injury she and her astronaut husband, Mark Kelly, have launched a ambitious PAC and campaign, Americans for Responsible Solutions to prevent gun violence and protect responsible gun ownership.

In a recent ABC News Diane Sawyer interview Gabby talks about her journey toward recovery.  In the poignant interview she notes physical therapy, speech therapy and yoga are part of that journey.  This is in the spirit of our work here; appropriately modified postures and mindful movement are a complement to therapy.  A practice of mindful yoga is nourishing to heart, mind and body regardless of the state of things; brain injury, post-surgery, training for a marathon, difficult mood, active family life and more.

My thanks to Gabby Giffords for her example of courage in the face of the immense personal challenges of the past two years. All-the-best in her personal and public challenges with her new campaign.  Perhaps she can encourage us no matter what we face. Perhaps our mindful movement practice can be a helpful way of nourishing our life even in the challenging times.

You can read more about Gabby’s journey in Melanie Eversley’s USA Today article.