U.S. Navy Veteran Uses Yoga to Help Other Veterans Heal

Veteran & Yoga Instructor

Anthony Scaletta joined the U.S. Navy as part of the Special Forces as a Special Warfare Combatant Crewman between 1998-2003. Deployed two times, he spent much of his time doing missions on fast attack boats. Boats known for going fast, the repeated jarring on the waves took tole on Anthony's body, causing him severe back pain. Still in his 20s, he didn't start feeling the effects until a few years later. Always an athlete, "I just knew that stretching, and trying to get back into my body made me feel a little better." And so yoga became a part of his routine to get healthy, and now he is using yoga to help other veterans.

Practicing yoga for 10 years now, it has been "ever-evolving and slowly growing." After having a spinal fusion surgery in January 2007, he found that the metal piece in his body was hard to live with in the cold climate of his home in the Northeastern U.S. "So a year or so after the surgery, I think my yoga practice began to pick up. It became apparent it was more than just a physical aspect for me." His favorite yoga pose, Final Resting Posture, or Savasana, usually is at the end of a yoga session, and according to Anthony, "it's where the healing happens."

Using Yoga to Help Other Veterans

Four years or so later, Anthony became aware that he could help other veterans through the practice of yoga. Working with the Wounded Warrior ProjectThere And Back Again, a non-profit out of Boston, and the school he attended, Asheville Yoga Center in North Carolina, he was able to complete his yoga teacher training.

Completing his yoga teacher training at the end of October 2014, he is now a yoga teacher as of November 2014. "It's an honor and a privilege to teach yoga to anyone...I have had the privilege to work with a few veterans that are regulars in my group classes…who had never practiced yoga before." Now, Anthony is focusing on veteran outreach and fundraising, as the new Outreach Coordinator for the Give Back Yoga Foundation.

He is currently getting ready for an event coming up in June, with the Give Back Yoga Foundation working together with Warriors for Healing, a non-profit based in San Diego, CA. As Anthony says, "(Warriors for Healing) are bringing yoga to the military community, especially veterans with PTSD, TBI, and chronic pain." Warriors for Healing put together a great video about Anthony here.

Yoga Journal Live! Event JUNE 25-29, 2015 in San Diego, CA

The Yoga Journal along with Warriors for Healing and Give Back Yoga Foundation are putting on a benefit event to support the recovery of 200,000 American veterans with PTSD. Funds raised will provide free trauma therapy for veterans in VA hospitals, yoga studios, and community centers nationwide. Interested in being a part of this great event? Anthony is fundraising for this event with his own team here and is also asking individuals to start up their own teams to help spread the. Join him to support this wonderful cause.

Bridging the Gap Between Veterans and Yoga

What is next for Anthony? In May, he is moving to Virginia Beach, VA, to begin a Mission Continues Fellowship serving as the Outreach Coordinator for Veterans Programs with the Give Back Yoga Foundation.  He will also be undertaking advanced studies in the Mindful Yoga Therapy for Veterans certification during this time.


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