Yoga is both a physical practice and a spiritual philosophy originating in ancient India. Both focus on connecting body and mind to achieve a holistic state of balance. In the West, yoga is generally seen as a physical practice that improves flexibility and strength, reduces stress, and increases one’s awareness of the body-mind connection.
Sometimes, Soldiers assigned to the Soldier Recovery Unit at Schofield Barracks, Hawaii, step onto mats to take an adaptive yoga class that involves Warrior postures. Other times, they roll out their mats for a guided meditation practice called Integrative Restoration (iRest).
When I (Dacher Keltner) was 18, I wandered into a yoga class in my first year of college, hosted on a basketball court in the school’s gym. At the time, some 40 years ago, yoga had mystical, somewhat cult-like connotations.