Can yoga help you when you can’t cope with life? Hear Benef’s story of being at her wit’s end while serving in the Army. She was a mom and dual military spouse, serving on active duty. And she needed a way to find healing and keep moving forward. Luckily, she found that through Yoga.
Retired Army Lieutenant Colonel
Benefsheh Verell (Benef) is a retired Army Lieutenant Colonel with twenty years of active duty service. She graduated from the United States Military Academy, West Point in 1997, and has a Masters of Science in Physical Geography from the University of Maryland. She spent ten years as a Military Police officer and ten years as an Information Operations officer.
As a retiree, Benef remains passionate about educating service members of the benefits mindfulness practices have on the mind and body. She’s trained to teach trauma-sensitive yoga and is also on the board of directors of Warriors at Ease. Warriors at Ease is a non-profit organization that brings mindfulness practices to the military and veteran communities. She’s an iRest (Integrative Restoration) meditation teacher. She also advocates to have mindfulness practices as part of a regular resiliency program that starts in basic training and continues throughout a service member’s career.
Volunteering in the Community
Benef continues to serve as a spouse and retiree through volunteering in the community as the president of the Zama Community Spouses Association, the treasurer for the Boy Scouts, advocating for mindfulness practices in the military, educating senior leaders about the benefits of mindfulness, meditation, and yoga, and mentoring service members and spouses. She is the author of Military and Mindful: Eight Essential Elements to Manage Your Military Career and Motherhood.
In this episode, we talked about the challenges of attending West Point. We also covered the challenges of being a dual military couple. It is often difficult for dual-military couples to manage their service, having a family, and being separated due to deployments and TDYs. Benef found herself struggling with life and that’s is when she found yoga as a place of healing and refocusing. It changed her life.
The Transition Out of the Military
After 20 years of service, she transitioned out of the military. She found many challenges. Although she was ready to leave the military because she was tired and ready for a change. But she wasn’t mentally ready for the transition. She didn’t know what life would mean without her military service. She transitioned to the role of military spouse and mom. It has been a struggle. But through hard work and learning who she was and who she wanted to be, she is thriving today and even wrote a book.
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