Fort Bragg Center Healing Soldiers Though Yoga

By Pfc. Joshua MaxieNovember 8, 2022

Fort Bragg Center Healing Soldiers Though Yoga

Treating Traumatic Brain Injuries Though Yoga

FORT BRAGG, N.C. — “More than 450,000 service members were diagnosed with Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBI) between 2000 and 2021”, according to the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention. Information taken from studies during those years theorize that some Soldiers may have various ongoing symptoms and experience co-occurring health problems. This is where Fort Bragg's Intrepid Spirit Center helps to support soldiers managing TBI.

Alejandro Godinez, U.S. Army veteran, is a yoga instructor at the Intrepid Spirit Center on Fort Bragg N.C. Godinez had his first exposure to yoga before joining the Army. Later on, however, he joined in a class where the instructor challenged him to try applying his practice to his daily life. This remark would change both his perspective and path forward in service. After finishing his time in the Army, Godinez left for the West Coast, got his undergraduate degree in film but saw the need to go back to graduate school. This led to him traveling to India practicing yoga for a life-changing 30 days.

“So, I like to think about a lot of similarities that yoga tries to instill onto people and how people like to instill yoga principles into their personal practice that resembles the lifestyle of a Soldier,” said Alejandro Godinez. “There are a lot of commonalities, practicing discipline, dedication to discipline that yoga asks of you and that is cultivated with yogic practice. Like the Army values that we reflect on especially during basic training as they’re trying to instill the right concepts of pride of leadership, humility, selfless service and so on.”

Fort Bragg is one of three bases piloting the new Holistic Health and Fitness (H2F) program. It is geared to assess, improve and sustain a Soldier’s ability to meet the demands they may face while they are serving. The H2F program is broken down to focus and elevate components of mental, physical, spiritual, nutrition and sleep readiness.

The Intrepid Spirit Center on Fort Bragg was designed around holistic programs with a patient-centered interdisciplinary model of care that brings all the disciplines together in one building to provide better treatments to Soldiers. Offering comprehensive treatments for those with different TBIs, the center focuses on the power of your body to heal itself with yoga and mindfulness without the need for drugs or surgery.

Yoga is a mind and body practice that combines physical positions, breathing control and meditation. The practice of yoga has been known to help patients with TBI to calm down their nervous systems and improve their balance.

“Yoga asks you to pay attention to your physiology,” said Godinez. “So that you can feel some of those more subtle energies of yourself-from your heart rate, to your body temperature, to your emotions, and your mental processes. You're trying to get a better understanding of yourself through all those various levels.”

For those Soldiers suffering TBI, contact your Primary Care Manager (PCM) or provider and get evaluated. All those that receive a referral can schedule an appointment at the Intrepid Spirit Center.