I first heard about Team RWB back in 2013 when I was teaching at a local studio. A student approached me after class and said she would like to have a private class for a group of veterans. She explained a little of what Team RWB did in our community and how yoga would fit with their mission of enriching the lives of America’s veterans by connecting them to their community through physical and social activity. I believe we had a group of about 15 people come to our special class.
Here we are four years later and I have had the privilege of sharing yoga with Team RWB several times, through private classes, donation classes and special events. This past April, I was thrilled to be asked to provide Yoga Nidra Meditation for their leadership conference here in Kansas City. It was to be the finale of their weekend, tying together their meetings, special events and team building sessions. I was honored, and I knew I wanted to make it special. I reached out to David Strange, the local chapter president, and ask what were some of the key themes of their leadership weekend. He gave me a list of core values and topics they would be discussing. I wanted to weave those topics into the meditation as much as I could so it would make the closing of the weekend special for each person.
When I arrived they were finishing up a breakout session on empathy. The hotel conference room was packed. As I walked in, all eyes turned to me. Here I was an outsider coming in to meditate with them. Many had never meditated let alone heard of yoga nidra. I'm pretty sure they were thinking, "What's this crazy lady going to do to us?" After the meeting, we pushed the tables to the walls and everyone found a spot on the floor. With a lump in my throat, I stood in front of this group, mostly veterans and active military, and introduced myself. I believe I said, "First and foremost, I'm an Army Mom!" And I flashed the front of my t-shirt that says, Sleep Tight America, My Son's Got Your Six. That got me some brownie points and few cheers. I talked a bit about my background and explained Yoga Nidra. I could see the relief in some of their faces. They weren't going to have to stand on their head that day. And so we began...
I began the meditation and instantly felt a calm come over the room. For about 30 minutes I watched defenders of our constitution, melt into complete relaxation and peace. After the meditation, several people came up to me and thanked me and my son for our service. There were several active duty soldiers in the same MOS as my son who did everything they knew to do to make me feel comfortable and honored as a Mom. They presented me with a Challenge Coin and Certificate of Appreciation in a very heartfelt way. It was so humbling. It still brings up emotion today.
I believe it has been a Divine appointment that this group keeps showing up in my life. I encourage all of you to check out your local Team RWB chapter and make time to attend some of their events. They bring veterans and community together in activities like running, yoga, game nights, social events, etc. You can learn more at https://www.teamrwb.org/
Here are some photos from the past few years with Team RWB and below is a Yoga Nidra Recorded Meditation.