With Help from Yoga, Disabled Veteran Walks Unaided

Even if you’ve already come across it, the story of Arthur Boorman is worth revisiting. It reminds us all how yoga can transform our bodies if we exercise patience and determination.

Boorman served as a Gulf War paratrooper: an airborne combat engineer who regularly made jumps with heavy equipment on his back. This, coupled with numerous accidents on the job left Boorman with knee, back, and nerve damage. Unable to exercise normally, he began gaining weight, which only exacerbated his discomfort. “I was in constant pain. I needed assistance to walk, to stand.”

Boorman had to wear braces on his legs and back and needed crutches to walk. “They basically told me that I was not going to walk normally again,” Boorman said in an interview with Good Day Utah. But with the aid of perseverant yoga practice, Boorman proved his doctors wrong.

When he first sought out yoga, he had given up. “I honestly thought that I was going to die,” Boorman said. “I wasn’t looking for a cure or any sort of recovery, I was simply looking for pain management when I started doing yoga.”

What started as pain management grew into something more as Boorman stuck with his practice. “I noticed in a few weeks I’d lost several inches,” he recounts. He weighed himself after the first month and discovered he’d lost nearly 40 lbs.

Now, a year later, he has lost well over 100 lbs, but more importantly, he’s gained back his mobility. In the clip below you can see Boorman’s transformation through yoga. At one point he attempts a headstand and lets us watch when he falls. He gets right back up and reminds us: “Just because I can’t do it today doesn’t mean I’m not going to be able to do it someday.” And indeed, he has. 

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