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                 conducted yoga. As seen in the illustration below, there was a 25% reduction in the participating
yoga platoons’ overall injury rates. There was, however, a slightly negative correlation of a higher number of muscle strains on run/sprint PRT days attributed to inadequate or improper stretching during yoga. Data suggests a need to potentially add additional stretching, different yoga poses, or traditional preparation drills to those days for body preparation. From the battalion Cadre and staff ’s observations, the yoga program desired outcome goals of reducing injury rates and improving retention rates were met during this cycle. It will have to be determined through the final survey data whether or not the third goal of creating the desire and commitment to sustain yoga practice was achieved or not.
Conducting this Mindfulness and Yoga pilot program was a very interesting and worthwhile endeavor. The program provided holistic methods and techniques for Trainees and Cadre to improve their mental and physical well-being. There is great merit in mindfulness and yoga’s foundational principles and applying these practices as part
of initiatives under the Army’s Holistic Health
and Fitness System. It is the practical application of these practices that need to continue to
be considered. Is the Basic Combat Training population the right training audience for this type of initiative? Should yoga replace or supplement current PRT practices?
The pilot program results have shown some success that cannot be argued, specifically
in reference to lower injury rates from the participating mindfulness and yoga platoons and the battalion’s overall retention rates. Should the program continue during Basic Combat Training, it is highly recommended that the nature of the yoga movements chosen for the yoga practice provide support for more intensive PRT activities requiring power, explosion, and strength. Once the WRAIR team completes their study, they will determine
if the MBAT training met their hypothesized
goal of achieving greater performance and health benefits. Based on the 2nd Battalion 60th Infantry Regiment Cadre and staff feedback, I recommend that future Mindfulness and Yoga Programs in
the BCT environment focus on implementation during supplemental PRT. This proposal would give Trainees the best of both worlds. Trainees could receive BCT PRT executed according to the current POI standard six days per week, and yoga and MBAT training conducted three times per week (minimum) during supplemental PRT. This adjustment would allow units to effectively pursue the physical, spiritual, and mental readiness aspects of H2F during PRT throughout the training cycle.
LTC Rousch is the former Commander of 2nd Battalion, 60th Infantry Regiment, 193rd Infantry Brigade.
Mindfulness and Yoga
    Work Cited
LTC Howard, Kelly. Yoga in Basic Combat Training Familiarization Manual. TRADOC / Holistic Health and Fitness, 2020. l
MAJ Smith, Carl, CPT Nassif, Thomas. Mindfulness and Yoga in BCT – Drill Sergeant In-Brief. Research Transition Office, Walter Reed Army Institute of Research (WRAIR), 2020.
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