“Taking time from my day to practice yoga helps keep my stress level down, and helps me deal with the daily violence one is witness to living here,” said Kelly Hale, a member and Peace Corps volunteer in South Sudan. “I do my job better and feel like a better person when I can take time to stretch, get centered, and breathe.”
Peace Corps Volunteers like Hale live and serve for 28 months in a community overseas that needs assistance in the areas of education, community development, health, and more. Far from home, living and serving in often challenging and unpredictable environments, she and other volunteers shared that Yoga for Peace has helped them stay strong physically, mentally, and emotionally throughout their journey.
Yoga for Peace has also helped spread yoga to developing countries by giving members the tools and inspiration to create yoga programs in their communities. Samantha Matty, a Yoga for Peace member and Peace Corps volunteer, has created a vibrant program in a Moroccan community where exercise and fitness are a new concept for women. “I am specifically trying to empower Moroccan women through yoga,” she said. She teaches yoga in girls’ orphanages, boarding schools, shelters, and community centers. She notes that because YogaDownload has allowed her to continue her own yoga practice, she is able to share it with others.
In addition to the Peace Corps volunteers, many U.S. military members shared that Yoga for Peace has helped with the immeasurable stress and pressure they face on a daily basis. Yoga allows them an opportunity for a moment of reprieve, centering, and grounding. U.S Navy officer Megan Hallinan said that the stress of her job and constant travel are limiting factors in maintaining her mental and physical balance. Because of Yoga for Peace, she is able to take yoga with her all the way from the South China seas to dozens of countries in Africa. “Thank you YogaDownload for supporting our military,” she said. “We need all of the Shanti (peace) that we can get.”
YogaDownload’s Yoga for Peace program has allowed hundreds of U.S. troops and Peace Corps volunteers to maintain mental and physical health through yoga and meditation, as well as helped spread the transformative benefits of yoga to many communities around our world. If you or someone you know is an active member of the U.S. Military, or serving in the Peace Corps, and would like to join this program, please email YFP@yogadownload.com.
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