News: 62nd Med. Brigade soldiers take time to find their chi
Story by Staff Sgt. Antwaun Parrish
JOINT BASE LEWIS-MCCHORD, Wash. – The mood was set with calming music and dimmed lightning as everyone walked into the chapel. They each carefully unrolled their mats along the chapel floor and waited patiently for the instructor to lead them into their yoga poses.
Soldiers assigned to 62nd Medical Brigade and their families participated in a yoga session and healthy lifestyle class, Nov. 1, at Four Chaplain Memorial Chapel, Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash. The class is an effort to promote healthy living for members of the brigade.
“The commander is into the soldiers fitness and welfare,” said 1st Lt. Christina Wingo, a native of San Diego.
Wingo, has been doing yoga for 15 years and teaches classes every Tuesday morning at the brigade. Even though she’s been doing it awhile she expressed that anyone can come to the class regardless of their experience level.
“When I teach the class to the brigade I am only doing beginner’s level instruction,” said Wingo, medical service corps officer. “But I make sure that I show several variations of difficultly for each pose. I want to cater to everyone being that we have people of different skill levels.”
Major Lauren Pecher, a veterinarian who was previously assigned to the brigade, came out to participate in the event.
“My previous soldiers informed me of the yoga event,” said Pecher, assigned to Public Health Command. “If they allow me, I’ll continue to come.”
Pecher has a lot of experience with yoga and is pleased anytime she can participate in a session.
“I think it’s a great form of exercise,” Pecher said. “Yoga is a big deal to me, I do it three times a week.”
After the yoga session, participants were introduced to the art of juicing using fresh fruits and vegetables. The assortment of brightly colored fruits and vegetables quickly disappeared off of the white table, as Capt. Silve Gunderson mixed them in a juicing machine and served them up to the class.
The term juicing means to take fruits and vegetables and strain them through an appliance named a juicer, in an effort to maintain the raw nutritious content and create a tasty drink.
“I’ve been juicing for about four years,” said Gunderson a native of Waterford, Conn. "Generally, I juice five days a week for breakfast. I feel a lot more alive and energized. Juicing has given me an extra pep in my step.”
Gunderson began juicing as an alternative diet in 2008 during Lent; at that time she decided to give up meat and coffee for good.
She also explained that she wants soldiers to take away from the class that there are ways to get in shape without using chemicals.
“The best way to maintain health is by having a nutritious diet, do some wholesome stretching and exercising regularly,” Gunderson said. “You should fuel the body naturally the way it intends to be fueled. “
This is the second time the unit has conducted the session, and according to Wingo they plan on continuing it each quarter.