Speaker, Roy Dennington, talks about Yoga Warriors
  • Thanks to everyone from our club who attended last week’s Wine/Beer/Food Tasting Event with the Acton-Boxborough club.
  • Reminder about the District Conference on May 20-22, and our club’s display on Repair Cafes at the House of Friendship; volunteers are needed to represent our club at the display.
  • Next week begins a long stretch of regular meetings; in 3 weeks, we’ll receive an update on the Guatemala Rainwater Harvesting Project.
  • On June 2, we’re scheduled to have a Club Assembly; ideas from the members as to agenda items are welcome.
  • On June 8, we’re having a joint meeting with the Bolton Lions Club, at the Billiards Café in Ayer. This is a Wednesday evening meeting, to accommodate the Lions.
  • Wings and Wheels is coming up, and a volunteer coordinator is needed; Carolyn volunteered.
  • On May 14, the next Bolton Repair Café will be held. Two other Repair Cafes are in Ayer, June 18, and in Westborough, June 25.
  • Carolyn presented certificates to Nanci and Jacky, for “women build,” a program of Habitat for Humanity.
Happy/sad fines:
  • Leigh: happy about Yoga Warriors, and the connection it enabled with her dad.
  • Laura: actually a tired fine, after a week of meetings, including a two-night town meeting.
  • Ray: glad that town meeting went quickly.
  • Ron: glad about a Rotary District seminar, where some ideas we’ve adopted are now recommended for other Rotary clubs.
  • Mary Ann: sad about the weather, and hoping her golf group cancels today; happy for Ray, that two people came into her shop and referenced the Repair Café.
  • Richard: helped his daughter move for the tenth time; and happy that the checks for the  Malawi project arrived yesterday.
  • Chris: thanks to all stepping up and shouldering responsibilities during his upcoming year as president; loves his week of a new job; and grateful for a Mothers Day family get-together.
  • Brian: grateful to have survived the latest round of Rotary training.a
  • Bob: grateful for a non-confrontational town meeting, favorable to education; and that a spool of wire is being delivered for the Bolton Common.
  • Jim: thanked Mary Ann for contributing a Lamp to the District Conference silent auction; and glad that a repair to his 140,000-mile Volvo only cost $25.
Our guest speakers were Roy Dennington and Ed Sammarino. They spoke about Yoga Warriors, a research and teacher training program with a twofold mission.  First, Yoga Warriors provides evidence-based hatha yoga to prevent or alleviate symptoms of combat stress (COSR) or Post Traumatic Stress (PTS).  Second, Yoga Warriors is committed to the comprehensive training of yoga instructors equipped to teach this methodology to veterans, military, first responders and others who have experienced PTS or high stress.  There are over 350 Yoga Warriors trained teachers around the world.
People who have been through high-stress experiences often live in the past—haunted by or reliving their memories. Yoga, however, helps these people concentrate and focus their attention on the present moment. Paradoxically, with all the physical support that veterans receive, it’s more difficult for them to integrate back into society mentally. During World War II, and Korea, these were the country’s wars and veterans were considered heroes. Starting with Vietnam, however, veterans weren’t received as well by the public, and were often despised.
Returning from the nation’s recent wars like Iraq and Afghanistan have been more individualized experiences. Veterans are expected to return to society and to a “normal” life but what is normal to someone who has seen a friend killed, or who may be injured himself? On top of this, they face multiple deployments. They come home to family, get a job, begin a career, and then are called back again. These things are difficult to talk about, but it’s not necessary in Yoga Warriors; everyone does understand. The teachers are trained specifically in how to help their students deal with stress and anxiety.