In this time of ongoing war, more soldiers are seeking mind-body preparation to protect their mental, emotional and physical well-being as they prepare for battle and also when they return home. Warrior Mind Training, a service organization based in San Diego, offers mind-body skills instruction in meditation and mindfulness to both veterans and active-duty soldiers.
Warrior Mind Training got its start in 2005 when Ilene Gregorian, Jennifer Simon and Sarah Ernst began teaching meditation classes to members of the military in San Diego after a Marine participated in one of their workshops and suggested the women offer their program to combat personnel. To tailor the classes to military members’ needs, Gregorian, Simon and Ernst worked with Vietnam-era veterans who had practiced the mind-body techniques and also with medical practitioners, including experts in neuroscience.
Three years later, the program has expanded to include six military installations and is reaching members of the Army, Marine Corps, Navy and Air Force, as well as all types of veterans. “We aim to teach these valuable mental-hygiene tools to our troops before they deploy so that we may lessen or even prevent PTSD [post-traumatic stress disorder] in our combat veterans,” says Ernst.