This may be the first time these words have appeared in the same sentence except within America’s largest active-duty, armored US military base. Today’s show will destroy many of the stereotypes that present major barriers in the minds of many to taking up a practice of yoga and meditation. Many men, for example think it’s not macho enough or that they aren’t as flexible as the women they see in magazine pictures and they will be embarrassed. Many seniors think they’re too old. Kids, teens and college students are often too busy with their social media devices and apps and African Americans and Latinos often think that “no one like me does yoga”. If you fall into one of these categories, you will find many just like you, actively using yoga and meditation to regulate the stress and anxiety in their lives.
My guest today is Dr. Beth Funk. Dr. Funk is on the frontline in a number of ways in helping American military service members and their families cope with lives that are marked with uncertainty and subject to constant change. She grew up in an Army family and has been an Army wife and professional educator for 31 years. I’m not sure there’s such a thing as a royal military family, but, she’s as close as one can be. Her father General, Paul Yeosock commanded all US Army ground forces during Desert Storm. Her husband, Lieutenant General Paul Funk II is the base commander at Ft Hood and is currently on deployment in Iraq, and her father-in-law is General Paul Funk Sr. US Army Ret. She is sometimes, affectionately referred to as the First Lady of Fort Hood.
As with most who grew up in an Army family, Beth attended 10 different schools from Kindergarten through 12th grade and graduated from Marymount International High School in Rome, Italy. She is a graduate of the University of Texas at Austin with a degree in Elementary and Special Education, she also holds a Master’s degree in Educational Administration and a Doctorate in Educational Leadership.
Continuing her life’s mission of service, she has taken on a new mission and this is our topic for today. She owns a business, Life Moves Yoga, dedicated to serving the entire demographic profile at Ft Hood, including the enlistee, their families and the large civilian employee at the base. She and her instructors specialize in trauma sensitive, therapeutic and adaptive yoga.
As briefly mentioned before, the stability that the rest of us strive for our entire lives, is virtually unknown to the military family. Setting aside the stress of overseas deployments for the enlistee, the requirement to pick up and move without a lot of advance notice is a constant in the life of the military family. Building the coping skills and resilience in a population that ranges from young children to adults and seniors is a major challenge, but, that is the herculean task Beth and her team have undertaken.
She is the recipient of a number of awards, including The
Secretary of the Army’s Public Service Award, The Department of the Army’s Outstanding Civilian Service Medal, The Yellow Rose of Texas,
The Saint Joan of Arc Award, The Molly Pitcher Award, The Margaret C. Corbin Award, and The Dr. Mary E. Walker Award.
In this episode you will learn:
–How Beth, a very fit, tri-athlete suffered a stress-related virtual physical breakdown from the enormous burdens she was carrying, and how she discovered the magic in yoga and how it changed her life.
–The size and scope of Ft Hood, the world’s largest military base.
–More about the stress and anxiety of the families back home, the entire family unit and all the age ranges that entails, and their different needs they have from a coping and resilience standpoint
–About providing therapeutic, trauma sensitive and adaptive yoga. This is not your stereotypical big city yoga studio serving a clientele that does yoga primarily for the physical body benefits.
–How yoga is for everybody, and every body.
–How secondary trauma is a condition for the wives and children.
You will see from all these examples that people exactly like you are actively participating in yoga and meditation as a means of restoring balance and equilibrium to their lives amidst this global epidemic of stress and anxiety that we find ourselves in. The good news is that there is an exit ramp from this A. S. A.P. Lane and I hope that you have learned some valuable insight into how to apply to your own life. Thank you for joining us today.