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Twenty-two veterans commit suicide everyday. For the men and women who have sacrificed so much for our country, one is too many, let alone twenty-two. In an effort to elevate the social conversation around veteran suicide, while also de-stigmatizing PTSD, and reframing the benefits of yoga and meditation, Combat Flip Flops and nearly 20 other veteran and non-veteran owned businesses are joining MalaforVets’ #22adaychallenge.
MalaforVets was established in 2012 by Air Force veteran, Defense Information School instructor, and combat correspondent Chris Eder. Chris began practicing yoga in 1999 and started teaching in 2007. Through yoga, Chris found enormous benefits to his mental, spiritual, and physical capabilities and has made it his mission to share these experiences with other veterans. He teaches several yoga classes each week and offers free classes to vets using the Mindful Yoga Therapy principals.
The goal of the #22adaychallenge is to raise awareness and funds for Save A Warrior and Mindful Yoga Therapy. Participants are encouraged to post an image on Instagram of them doing the daily pose with the #22adaychallenge hashtag. Each day, a random person participating will be selected to win a prize from one of the veteran-owned sponsors. The campaign will run Nov. 1-22, 2015.
“Post military, I had a hard time staying in shape because I wasn’t being paid to work out every day,” said Matthew ‘Griff’ Griffin, former Ranger and CEO/Co-Founder of Combat Flip Flops. “After a motorcycle accident, I was introduced to yoga as a non-impact, balanced form of recovery. It has since been a core part of my workout program because it travels well, provides mental breaks, and a stellar workout. When Chris contacted Combat Flip Flops regarding participation in the #22aDayChallenge, we thought it would be a great way to bring together the local community, introduce veterans to yoga, and create bonds through communal suffering.”
During the challenge, Combat Flip Flops will be sponsoring daily free yoga classes for veterans with veteran-owned, Uphill Running in Issaquah, WA. Non-veterans and family members are welcome to participate with a donation to Save A Warrior Foundation, Mindful Yoga Therapy Foundation, or The Station Foundation.
Additional yoga studios across the country participating include:
- Whole Yoga , Odenton, MD. FREE yoga for Vets Nov. 8-14. Whole Yoga will also be hosting 2 donation yoga for vet classes on November 1st and November 15th.
- The Studio Cooperative , Waldorf, MD. FREE yoga for veterans on XX. The Studio Cooperative will also be collecting donations for Save A Warrior and Mindful Yoga Therapy from Nov. 1-22.
- The Mind and Body Studio, Brielle, NJ. 30 days of FREE yoga for veterans during the month of November. The Mind and Body Studio will also be hosting 4 donation classes during the challenge.
- Inner State Yoga, St. Petersburg, Florida. FREE yoga for veterans Nov 1-22.
Current veteran-owned sponsors include Combat Flip Flops, Nine Line Apparel, Malaforvets, Free Meditation Bench, Buddhist Boot Camp, Webers Wood Creation, 22 Veterans Apparel, Blooming Lotus, Heather’s Treasures, Knot Geek, Cordium Clothing, Yoga Joes, The Sox Box, Fractal 9, and Yoga Warrior Renew. Additional sponsors include Brogamat, Yoga for Men, Bhujang Style, and Kira Grace. Be on the lookout for daily prizes from these brands.