Holy Smoly! US. Army Incorporates Yoga to Make Soldiers Combat Ready
It’s the warrior pose for warriors: the US Army has introduced yoga as part of its new fitness regimen. It is the first overhaul of the soldiers’ exercise plan in 30 years and the first time that the army has used yoga to improve soldiers’ physical fitness.
Although this is the first time yoga has been part of the military’s fitness regimen, the army has actually been using yoga for many years, albeit for different reasons. Yoga has often been used to treat PTSD and other anxiety-based mental disorders for recently returned veterans, with remarkable results. But now the focus is on combat readiness, not inner peace, as the new exercise curriculum is phased in.
Yoga will be introduced to the troops at several different bases over the next six months. General Mark Hertlin, the Deputy Commanding General for military training says that traditional fitness training often leads to muscle stress, fractured bones and other injuries. Yoga’s emphasis on flexibility will be a safeguard against that as well as a way for soldiers to gain new skills necessary for combat.