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    Yoga for it



    Courtesy Story

    USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74)

    Carrying out assignments at sea often requires a lot of Sailors throughout the workday. Routine inspections of ship’s equipment, such as making sure a fire hose is working properly, the integrity of a door being within standards, or inspecting an aircraft’s readiness for the next operation are physically demanding as well as time consuming.

    It is important within a Sailor’s busy day to find the time to fit in exercise. Fortunately, aboard the aircraft carrier USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74), yoga classes are offered benefiting physical readiness and mental wellness.

    Master Chief Navy Counselor Melissa Warren, from Austin, Texas, has been a yoga practitioner for nearly a decade. She is a certified instructor and leads the yoga sessions aboard the John C. Stennis.

    “I think that [yoga is] such a wonderful practice, and I’m not just saying that because it’s something I love,” said Warren. “I think it’s beneficial for everybody. I was a little concerned at first about yoga being more of a taboo type of workout, where you have to have an interest in it to continue with the classes. The crew really appreciates [the yoga class] and have expressed how much of an impact it’s had on them.”

    Warren understands the challenge of maintaining Navy physical readiness standards. She believes that having an outlet such as yoga can not only assist in maintaining standards, but it can provide relief to mental distresses one may be feeling.

    “It exerts you physically and really challenges you,” said Warren. “Concentrating on your balance and breathing puts you in a state where you’re forced to just focus on what you’re doing at the moment, and that helps to bring you back into yourself. [Life aboard the John C. Stennis] is such a fast-paced environment with so much happening. We constantly think about the next ‘thing.’ That hour that you have [with other participants] allows you to focus on the moment right now, and it clears your mind, like a form of meditation. That’s stress relief.”

    With yoga becoming a part of the John C. Stennis’ regular fitness schedule, Sailors have been able to take advantage of attending and receiving the benefits that yoga can provide.

    “Yoga has helped me so much that my friends encourage me to go so I don’t stress-out during work,” said Master-at-Arms 2nd Class Jessica McClennen, from San Diego. “My body was telling me ‘I need to do this’ because of how much it’s helped me physically and mentally.”

    McClennen, who has contributed over 10 years of service to the Navy, attributes the practice to improving her own physical wellness, which has assured her that she can carry out the mission at sea.

    “I used to have the worst hip problem, but now, because of certain poses I’ve learned, my flexibility has improved and I can move around without struggle,” said McClennen. “I believe it’s important to do more than just yoga, but, having [yoga] inserted as a part of my workout regime has helped with my sit-ups and flexibility. I’m not going to stop.”

    McClennen, who found yoga as an alternative method of exercise, is inspired to one day become a certified instructor like Warren.

    “I’m very thankful that we have a crew aboard that allows me to use their space [for yoga],” said Warren. “We have a crew that really appreciates the sessions, and I couldn’t be more honored that they come. Hopefully, whenever we go our own ways, people will still seek out that practice somewhere.”

    Whether it’s for meditation or recreation, maintaining physical standards and mental resiliency is important for Sailors at sea. Yoga is a unique practice, providing participants with an outlet to do both and can be practiced anywhere.

    John C. Stennis is underway in the Mediterranean Sea as part of the John C. Stennis Carrier Strike Group (JCSCSG) deployment in support of maritime security cooperation efforts in the U.S. 6th Fleet area of responsibility.

    For more news on John C. Stennis, visit www.stennis.navy.mil or follow along on Facebook at www.facebook.com/stennis74.



    Date Taken: 05.03.2019
    Date Posted: 05.03.2019 09:30
    Story ID: 320575

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