An organization doing some amazing work helping wounded veterans has just added another warrior to its ranks. From Nov. 4-6, Ana Forrest will hold public workshops in Tampa, Florida, to benefit the Exalted Warrior Foundation (EWF), a non-profit that has taught adaptive yoga to wounded warriors in military and veteran hospitals since 2006.
On Nov. 7, Forrest will accompany EWF teachers to Tampa's James A Haley Veterans Hospital, one of the largest spinal cord and trauma units in the United States, to meet and work with the wounded there.
If you've even studied Forrest Yoga, you know that the classes emphasize being fierce, cutting through fear to get to the truth. Working with wounded vets fits right into to this philosophy.
"I feel very strongly about offering up my skills to these women and men that offer up their health and their lives," says Forrest. "I want to support the people who make it possible for me to live in a war-free zone in my own country, and that's our warriors."
Students come EWF classes with a range of injuries, including amputations, brain and spinal cord injuries, and post traumatic stress disorder, and a host of other conditions. Classes include gentle breathing, gentle to more intense stretching, and meditation.
"Faced with the demands of both a physical and emotional recovery, yoga allows newly disabled veterans to reconnect both with themselves and their loved ones," the EWF website states. "These methods of yoga exercises, relaxation, and meditation are keys to wellness that the warrior can practice for a lifetime ... [and] will help the warrior reintegrate into their community after leaving the care of the military, returning home to a potentially fuller and more productive life."
EWF works in military hospitals and rehabilitation centers around the country, including Walter Reed Army Medical Center, Portsmouth Naval Hospital, and Brooklyn VA Hospital.