In military special operations, the ability to multitask is paramount
We trained to become autonomous and self-sustaining in any situation and environment imaginable; to NEVER QUIT and always accomplish the mission
Our training frequently involved massive information overload that often mimicked real world operations; mass-casualty situations, multi-systems trauma patients, technical rescue and extraction scenarios, parachute insertions, dark, cold, firefights, no sleep, limited resources, constant radio chatter, etc,etc
It was in these stressful training evolutions that we developed the ability to receive and process information differently; to prioritize action and reaction, to trust in our skills, to apply the appropriate amount of attention to a multitude of problems, and to ultimately inoculate ourselves against self-doubt and anxiety, at least in times of profound external duress
With our training replicating what we would experience in combat, we would deploy confidently, knowing that our preparation was purposeful and sharpened our capabilities to a razors edge
When I began my study of yoga, I identified a massive amount of similarity between military special operations, and the powerful interpretation of the physical and mental elements of the practice
On the mat, I received massive internal information dumps, and found myself in the same state of mind as on an operation
The need to multitask and spread my awareness to a much greater length mirrored combat, although this time the battlefield was internal
Forcing myself to move deliberately as to not waste energy, consciously surveying my physical body to identify threats and negative information, breathing deeply and with control, and silencing the excessive ‘radio chatter’ of my inner mind; my internal experiences became combat missions
Yoga, unlike other physical practices, has the unique ability to conform and shape to our specific needs; our intention as we begin each mission/practice is what we will receive from the experience
To develop resiliency, tenacity, body and breath control, to soften our internal edges, find inner peace and
my mother wakes me up,
earlier than usual.
"today's the day champ
you know what to do",
with a smile that doesn't quite reach her eyes.
papa gives me a hug,
like he always does.
but today, it seems different.
it's almost like the hugs uncle and aunty give me before they leave.
brushing it off,
I go through the plan in my head.
they've been preparing me for this,
for weeks on end.
it's just like the stories, they said.
there's good guys and there's bad guys,
and there's always a hero.
in our story, it's me, champ.
"anytime now son", my dad says.
that's when we hear them.
the bad guys, the hoomans.
"get ready honey", my mom says.
she's shaking, I notice.
before I can ask her why,
we hear screams. "go champ, go!"
I start running towards the water and
the screams behind me get louder.
my parents said it would be this way.
that I had to swim far away,
without looking back,
so that I could get help and save everyone.
they said they'd be waiting when I got back.
but I can't help it,
I turn around to take a quick glance.
"mama?", I whisper.
the hoomans, they're dragging her away. "papa, where are you?", I look around.
those hoomans, they're hitting him.
this isn't part of the story.
a hooman starts coming towards me,
and I run.
faster champ, faster, I tell myself.
but it's of no use.
he grabs me with both hands
and says something.
I, I don't understand, I stutter.
the hooman, he just laughs.
he takes me towards a big box and throws me in.
my parents are in the one next to mine,
I call out to them but they seem to be taking a nap.
it's okay, I tell myself.
it doesn't matter that the plan failed,
I'll always be a hero in their eyes.
as I wait for them to wake up, I look around the box.
I've seen one of these before,
except my brother Nico was in it, not I.
my parents said he was going to visit the south.
and later when I asked them why he never came back,
they said he liked the south so much, he had decided to stay there.
I was slightly hurt.
after all, I thought we were the best of friends.
but it doesn't matter now, I'm probably going to see him soon.
the thought cheers me up considerably.
I wonder what I'll say to him.