Children of Active Duty Military Love Yoga, Too!
Effie Baldwin recently joined the Veterans Yoga Project as a new Board Member. She is a certified Mindful Resilience for Trauma (MRT) Yoga Instructor and an Army Veteran, having served domestically as well as overseas. Trading in her military fatigues and combat boots, she picked up business suites and a Washington. D.C. commute. While raising her two sons, she navigated the federal government in various high-level program, grant administration, and policy positions. She now spends her time doing community building activities and developing her business, Believing in a Better World.
During these recent world-changing and challenging times, she has been blessed with the opportunity to homeschool her granddaughter while her son, a Marine, is deployed. What began leisurely as before-and-after school care, quickly evolved into round-the-clock care. Totally unexpected and not on her bucket list, she was not daunted by the enormous responsibility. Being a Certified Positive Discipline Educator, she knew the value and benefits of daily routines and child-centered choices. Therefore, she allowed her granddaughter to decide and organize her academic day. This may seem insignificant to an adult; however, this can be both grounding and extremely empowering for an elementary-aged child. Especially when everything changed in just one day. It was a normal Friday school day until her granddaughter’s teacher stuffed her backpack full with 3 weeks of study packets, a thick ELA reading book, and said goodbye.
Many of us are aware of the sacrifices made by active duty military members, as well as the dangers associated with the modern battlefield. However, an impact often not considered is that as a parent, active duty military members miss the experience of seeing their child grow and develop, as well as the casual day-to-day interactions many of us take for granted. In their mind’s eye, they see the four-year old they left behind that needed their help learning to tie their own shoes. A completed deployment and a missed birthday later, a parent finds this confident five-year old saying, “I can do it myself. I’m not a baby!” What is an active duty military parent to do when that child needs assistance with buttoning a shirt and they walk past you and go to Grandma? These children of active duty military members need the community’s attention, support, and assistance. Yoga can help.
As you can see in the pictures, children enjoy yoga too! The advice Effie wants to share is that, “Yoga, meditation, and controlled breathing, as a self-care practice, can help with self-regulating your emotions.” It doesn’t matter if you are young, old, or something in-between… yoga is for every BODY.