Mindfulness & Yoga for beginners to maintain mental, spiritual, and physical fitness

Yoga for physical Injury Recovery healing and for physical Excercise

In 2009, I had a terrible back injury by lifting a heavy wood-log. I had to stop my daily routine because it was so painful. The following day, I could not get up from the bed. I had to turn my whole body and use my hands to support my body to get up. My doctor told me to lie down and elevate my feet on the chair to minimize the pain. I did that, but the pain was there, bothering me. 

In a Thai community, the Thai massage is a prevalent treatment. It helped for a couple of days. I dealt with my back injury by stretching my body called "Self-trained Ascetic," an alternative self-care in the ancient Thai treatment related to Buddhism and Hinduism in India. Nowadays, it is known as Yoga in the Western world. I used Yoga to cope with my pain. It helped to release pain more than pain medication. I thought pain medication was not good for the body; if I continued to take it. Therefore, I stopped the pain medication and tried not to lift heavy objects to prevent more injury. If you don't re-injure it again, a back injury could take time to heal, even 5 - 10 years. If you cannot stop medication all at once, try to reduce the amount of intake until you can handle the pain. The important thing is to try not to re-injure your back and exercise to help your back be strong again.

What if you have to do a job that requires physical strength? In my case, in 2011, I joined the Army. I was concerned about the PT sit-ups because, as a Soldier, I have to do pushups, sit-ups, running, and any other physical training. I know that I wanted to join the Army, but I had a back injury. I was so afraid that I might crack my back again. Since I was in the Army in 2011, I always have been careful about my physical exercise or training. I told myself that I had to do what I needed to do to fit in the Army fitness. At least I can pass the PT. I started doing Yoga in my style. I used to take a Yoga lesson for my PE (Physical education) at City College of San Francisco. So, I have some background about Yoga in America. However, based on my personal experience regarding using Yoga to heal my back injury, Yoga helps me keep my physical fitness more robust.

During eight years in the Army Reserve, I maintained my physical fitness to pass the PT. I did my sit-ups about 45 times within 2 minutes. Even though my last PT, my score for sit-up was 45 within 2 minutes. I came to Europe Mission "Defender 2020" and continued doing PT at least six days a week. I set my goal to improve my PT score while on this deployment. Before I do regular exercise in the gym, I do Yoga for about 30 minutes to warm up my body. Now, I see the improvement in my sit-ups. Within 2 minutes, I can do 70 sit-ups. Within 3 minutes and 30 seconds, I can do 100. The maximum I can do is 110-120 sit-ups. I never thought that I could do this. Now, I have reached my goal for the sit-ups. I continue to maintain 70 – 75 sit-ups for my standard. Currently, Soldiers don't have to do sit-ups for a new ACFT (Army Combat Fitness Test). That is good news for me. I don't have to do that to risk my back injury. However, I believe that Yoga helps me to meet this goal. 

After Defender 2020 in Erouop, I returned to Fort Stewart, GA. I conduct the Mindfulness and Yoga Training every Tuesday during PT time at the SSA Building at 703rd BSB, Motor pool. At this point, in the beginning, I teach basic stretching to allow my Soldiers to prepare for the next level. Soldiers who have health issues such as back pain and arthritis Etc., If you want to join me, please come and work together. I work with CPT Nancy Hausterman, PsyD, Clinical Psychologist, Behavioral Health Officer from 2ABCT, 3ID, Fort Stewart, GA, to support our 703 BSB Soldiers. 

I am now at 53D Transportation Battalion, JBLM, WA. I am working on organizing my mission to support my Commander by providing spiritual support to our Soldiers. I would like to continue Yoga PT and Muay Thai Yoga for Soldiers.  

 The UMT mission: Nuture the living, Care for the Wounded, and honor the Fallen.