Monday, December 25, 2006


2. Army Reservist Teaching Yoga in Baghdad's "Green Zone."

BAGHDAD, IRAQ, December 22, 2006: Just after the Muslim evening call to prayers wafts through Baghdad, Maj. Michele Spencer and her students add their own chorus: Om. Spencer, a medic training officer with the multinational security transition command in Iraq, teaches about 20 soldiers to channel their energy in her yoga class. "I believe that I teach with more conscious intention [in Iraq] to create peace and share a space where people can come and 'be one with their breath' -- away from the cacophony of war," Spencer said by e-mail. "With all that focused intention, I believe the energy synergistically creates healing for all." Two years ago, Spencer began teaching yoga as a personal trainer from her home after studying Ashtanga Yoga, and then Power Vinyasa Flow yoga. Six months ago, when the reservist went to the Green Zone in Iraq with the 9th Brigade, 108th Division out of Charlotte, N.C. , she decided the class could provide a calming effect for soldiers facing daily battles with stress. She said at least one other yoga instructor teaches at the embassy. She started teaching four students during her off time. Now, she said, she instructs yoga veterans and newcomers three days a week. Visit Spencer's web page here.


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