Army Lt. Col. John Thurman lost 26 co-workers in the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks on the Pentagon. He suffered severe smoke inhalation while trapped in the building for 25 minutes. He spent a week in the hospital recovering.
In the months after the attacks, Thurman found he was suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Thurman’s PTSD meant he wasn’t sleeping for months after the attack, even with the prescription drugs he was taking. And his pulmonary function hadn’t returned to full capacity.
But when Thurman started doing yoga, it “made all the difference in the world in my ability to deal with the stress and my injury from that day.”
He fell so in love with his time on the mat — with yoga’s traditional asanas, or poses, and deep breathing — that in 2013 he attended teacher training. He left his job at the Pentagon and is now teaching yoga full-time, including at the Pentagon Athletic Center, where his classes are packed.
Starting Friday night and running through Sunday, Thurman and 17 yoga teachers from five states will be gathering at Yoga Heights in the Park View neighborhood of the District for yoga for PTSD and trauma training. The studio will host workshops specifically designed to heal and help veterans suffering from both the emotional and physical wounds of war. Continue reading >>