Instead of running a mile and executing numerous pushups and situps, veterans in the Murray-Calloway County area will now have the chance to work out in a different way. A new yoga program geared toward returning veterans will strike a pose on campus later this month.
Starting Sept. 7, the Connect Warriors, a charitable organization, based out of Boca Raton, Fla., will hold classes from 5 to 6 p.m. every Wednesday in the south gym of the Carr Health building.
According to their website, The Connected Warriors’ mission is to teach yoga techniques to military veterans and their families through a network of volunteers.
Alison Marshall, associate director for the Transfer Center and Veteran Affairs, said Murray State will be the host site for the yoga classes, but Murray State is not directly involved with the program.
She said veteran students will be allowed to bring their spouse, partner or adolescent child with them to the class. The class is only open to veterans and their immediate family members.
Gayle Rogers, a local yoga instructor, will lead the class. Rogers has taught yoga for 14 years.
Tim Whitaker, Amy Nolan and Kathy Rogers will help Rogers instruct the class. All four were trained by a Connected Warrior leader.
Rogers recently led a program at the Exercise and Cancer Recovery Program at the University, which used yoga techniques to help breast cancer survivors. She said after participating in that program she knew she wanted to be more involved with yoga therapy.
Marshall said the goal of the class is to reduce stress, help build core muscles, gain flexibility and maintain balance.
She said many find yoga to be both physically and mentally healthy.
Rogers said each class is taught so that each fitness level is catered.
“We hope to offer the class every semester,” Marshall said. “We already have a group of individuals who have expressed an interest.”
President Randy Dunn said he was happy with what this program brought to the University’s campus.
“I was really excited to see it get put together and started and I think it’s going to be a real mark of the campus’ dedication of serving this realm of students,” he said.
The class is open to veterans of all ages and are free. All materials, such as mats and chairs, will be provided, Rogers said.
The classes are a way for the University to give back, Marshall said.
“It is a great opportunity for active and inactive veterans in the Murray community,” Marshall said. “We are looking for this to be a way for those who have given their time and service to our country, to get back into the college life.”
Marshall said the yoga program is part of what she hopes will become a trend on campus, along with the Veteran Student Organization she is forming and the Veteran lounge opening Sept. 6. in room 300 in Alexander Hall.
The lounge is a great place for veterans to relax and socialize with other veterans, Marshall said.
To enroll in the Connect Warriors yoga program contact Gayle Rogers. For more information on the Veteran Student Organization contact Alison Marshall.