Howard Magazine - Page 32 - In Fighting Shape (3)

Howard Magazine
- Page 32
In Fighting Shape (3)

such pressure, and they never speak of anything but work,” she says. “They go overseas to Afghanistan and come back but never talk about that fight-or-flight mode; they’re not in a good place. Anyone being deployed has a risk of being exploded; it’s horrible stress.”

 

Her goal: Get each warrior’s body to take a deep breath. There are dangers in learning yoga, Maliner says, most involving careless instructors.

 

“I took a class, off-base, where we were asked to do a lotus pose (sitting crosslegged). It’s a risky position and I dislocated my knee,” she says. “Yoga is not a magic bullet; it takes discipline and daily practice under the tutelage of teachers like Lucy, who minimizes the risks.”

 

For two years, Air Force Staff Sgt. Joe Jamison has trained with Lomax. A cyberwarfare planner at Fort Meade, he sought a remedy for the ills of sitting at a desk for hours on end in a hush-hush, high-stress job.

 

“I quickly learned the problems I had with my body’s alignment, balance and posture — and it echoed out to other parts of my general well being,” said Jamison, 26. “Yoga helps me to focus in a more targeted way and to tackle my daily challenges better. You feel different when you’re able to sit and breathe properly.”

 

Now retired after 22 years in the Navy, Vaughn attends Lomax’ class while earning her Warriors At Ease teaching certificate.

 

“Yoga has been a joy for me, and I want to give back,” she says. Recovering from back surgery in October for a service-related injury, Vaughn spurns narcotics for the pain.

 

“Yoga has taught me you can breathe through anything,” she says.

 

Vaughn wants to pass on that prescription.

 

“It’s important to take care of the entire war-fighting machine, which is what every soldier and sailor is. You’ve got to take care of the whole package,” she says. “I mean, you can’t just put gasoline in a car; there are other things you need to do to maintain its overall performance. Like changing the oil. And kicking the tires every once in a while.”