Yoga’s Call to Service: Navigating Trauma in the Military

Anita Silvestro’s journey from a Marine to a trauma-informed yoga facilitator is a testament to the transformative power of yoga, especially for those in the military. Anita’s story is not just about personal triumph and survival; it’s a beacon of hope for many veterans grappling with the aftermath of their service.

Joining the Marine Corps was a turning point for Anita, where she found discipline and structure but also faced significant challenges, including military sexual trauma (MST) and the pressures of the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy. These experiences, while harrowing, have helped to shape her understanding of trauma and its long-lasting impacts.

Anita’s transition out of the military was not without its struggles either. Finding her footing back to civilian life, she grappled with the haunting memories of her time in service. It wasn’t until she hit a personal low that she turned to meditation and mindfulness, and through this introspection, she realized the depth of the impact of her military experiences on her life.

Yoga entered Anita’s life serendipitously through a class aimed at easing tension in the hips. This practice opened a floodgate of emotions and led her to a profound realization: our bodies hold trauma, and somatic practices like yoga can help release and manage these deep-seated emotions. This motivated her to become a trauma-informed facilitator for The Warrior Flow School, where she obtained her 200-hour Trauma-Informed, Adaptive, Accessible, and Adaptive Facilitator diploma. She has also engaged in additional training to further her understanding and knowledge in teaching Yoga to Active Duty Military as well as Veterans from a Trauma informed perspective. 

As a trauma-informed yoga facilitator, Anita integrates her military background with mindfulness, movement, and yoga principles, offering a unique approach to healing. She emphasizes the importance of trauma-informed practices in yoga, especially for military personnel who may face distinct mental health challenges like PTSD, MST, chronic pain, substance abuse, and the ripple effects of vicarious trauma.

Anita’s advice to yoga facilitators looking to work with military personnel is insightful. She stresses the importance of understanding military language, customs, and the need for a structured yet adaptable approach. Her teachings focus on inclusivity, offering choices to empower her students, and avoiding unnecessary triggers.

Anita Silvestro’s journey and teachings highlight yoga’s potential as a powerful tool for military personnel to navigate trauma and find healing. To learn more about Anita’s experience, click here.


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Author

  • Adrian Molina

    Adrian Molina, a prominent figure in community organization and mental health advocacy, dedicates his life to fostering connections and effecting positive change, particularly among marginalized groups. With a background in social service, including work in homeless shelters and maximum security prisons, Adrian emphasizes the importance of mind-body practices in healthcare and law enforcement. As the founder of Warrior Flow, Adrian offers trauma-informed yoga education worldwide, targeting those in community outreach and the medical field. He's a passionate mental health advocate, volunteering with crisis hotlines, serving as an ambassador for NAMI, and training for various programs focused on suicide prevention and child abuse. Adrian is also working on a memoir exploring themes of mental health, resilience, and growth. Adrian's influence spans globally, inspiring hope and change in countless lives. Click link below to learn more about Adrian’s work.