Yoga in Time of War

Rodney Yee by Rodney Yee | May 7th, 2008 | 2 Comments
topic: Yoga

Our son is turning 18 this summer, which qualifies him to vote in the upcoming presidential election. When I turned 18, the draft had just been disbanded. I’ve heard my oldest brother talk about his brush with the draft, his near induction. Even though my dad was a military man, we five kids were all vehemently opposed to serving in the military. Like my wife Colleen’s mom and dad, Colleen and I would be the first to pack our bags to emigrate if any of our children were drafted. The thought of sending an 18- to 25-year-young person to war is completely incomprehensible to us.

In my college years, I was studying philosophy and physical therapy. In those years, physical therapy was just being implemented throughout the nation in health care facilities. Much of the boon to the physical therapy profession can be attributed to the Vietnam War. Many times, being a witness to a disabled vet on street corner, I have realized the importance of yoga with its practice for the mind, body, and spirit. With all the maimed minds and bodies from the present Iraq war, I realize how important it is to teach yoga techniques. I truly believe that yoga will be an irreplaceable lifeline that alleviates much of the unbearable suffering of these soldiers.


  1. Mr. Yee,

    We have a daughter turning 18 this month and a 11 year old son and I totally agree with you. My husband and I would also move away to spare them from being drafted. I only hope that our troops will soon withdrawl and save so many from the unimaginable suffering that war brings.

    I have practiced for two years and the peace that yoga has brought into my life is something I want to share with others as I study to become an instructor. If I could be of comfort to a soldier in need even for one class it would bring me great pleasure.


    karen | May 9th, 2008 | Comment Permalink
  2. I agree that we need yoga, not only in a time of war, but for a quality of life that is good and healthy as we age. I teach chair yoga once a week in a nursing home. And what stands out for me from this 5 year experience, is the ones who were more active during their earlier years are much better off for it. That being said, with a little bit of luck, and yoga, I think we can all benefit from connecting with mind, body and spirit. My practice with them should be called, “yoga and laughing”. What better medicine than that?


    Sheri | May 14th, 2008 | Comment Permalink
  3. isn’t the point of democracy that, while we all have a voice, we also must submit to the decisions of our representative democracy? it is anarchy if we follow decisions as we like them, and then abandon our country as we disagree. it is selfish to live in America, receive all of the benefits provided, and yet be willing at a moments notice leave if suddenly you are called, as a citizen, to serve.

    jwh | July 4th, 2008 | Comment Permalink

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