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Yoga poses bring new purpose for veteran

Posted at 1:38 PM, Sep 21, 2017

The moves are still, sharp, and strong. Similar and yet so different than the moves these students used while serving our country. In this class the yoga students are all veterans. And these poses have helped them with much more than flexibility.

"My post traumatic stress was going so fast," says William Walls, a Marine who served in Iraq. "You accept the fact that possibly every day you could die, that's really what it is."

And his transition back to civilian life, wasn't so easy. "I ended up spending a little bit of time in jail," Walls recalls. "Had a drinking problem and I didn't realize it was a problem. And yeah and it's just been, it was hell."

He tried medicine, therapy and was still battling depression when he received an unexpected recommendation.

"My therapist kept saying hey why don't you try yoga," Walls remembers. "And I'm like no that's for other people. I'm a big bad tough marine. I don't need yoga."

He eventually tried it, and can still remember his first class. "I just started to cry," Walls says. "And I don't even know why I started to cry just something was released inside of me. Something was letting go and I realized like I like this. I like this a lot. This is better than drugs and alcohol."

Now Walls is not only a yoga student, but is becoming a teacher through this program, called Comeback Yoga. Everyone in the organization is a volunteer. And co-founder Margot Timbel says every veteran, no matter their level, is welcome.

"Don't be intimidated if you think yoga is for flexible people or that yoga is for people who have to be able to stand up and get up and down off the mat all the time," Timbel says. " Yoga is for every body and everybody."

Now these veterans are experiencing a camaraderie of a different kind.

"They have experienced the same things you have and may even have the same problems," says veteran Curtis Schaub.

And they are hoping more who sacrificed to serve will join them on this unexpected path.

The Comeback Yoga classes are free for veterans and their family members.