In my work as a professor of American Studies, I teach about state violence—war, the prison industrial complex, poverty, structural racism—and the ways in which individuals and communities (and our nation and our world) are impacted. In my introduction to American studies this last fall, one of the students had a particularly difficult time with this material because her husband was currently deployed. It is not easy to read about the lies, the history, the patterns, and the hypocrisies of war, let alone when a loved one is on the front lines.
And, yet, the veterans I have had in my classes over the years have been some of the most critical thinkers and some of the quickest to see through the propaganda and lies—not only about war, but about American history, culture, and society.
Veterans need tools to help them reintegrate into society—to heal the wounds of war. In addition to tools for personal transformation (like those provided by YogaFit for Warriors), tools for critical thinking are also important. It might not be easy to face the truths of American war; it is certainly not easy to face the realities of American war. And America does not do enough to take care of its veterans, which is why we so need programs like YogaFit for Warriors.
It holds true here as much as anywhere else: we have to deal with our own shit before we can help other people deal with theirs. We have to deal with our own daemons before we might feel ready to fight the daemons with power. Healing the body and mind must happen before we can heal the nation.