New Week, New You: JBSA-Fort Sam Houston teams up with USO to offer free yoga to military families

By Priscilla Carraman - Producer, Bill Caldera - Photojournalist

SAN ANTONIO - A hometown, a new home, or a passing city. San Antonio has coined the nickname Military City USA because of its large military community. Many of the military families living in the Alamo City all share one thing in common; learning to reinvent their lives in a new place. 

The Vogel Resilience Center at Joint Base San Antonio - Fort Sam Houston is working with the USO to offer military spouses a free space to connect with one another and improve mental health. 

"The military spouse community is struggling with three things primarily. They're struggling with self-identity and purpose, job opportunity and career development, and they're also struggling with connection and community," Melissa Aguirre, the instructor of the Yoga Foundations Course at JBSA - Fort Sam Houston said.

Aguirre is teaching military spouses how to exercise stress reduction, mindfulness, and self-care through yoga. Her 50-hour online program serves as a means for people to focus on their mental health while meeting new people. 

"Part of the foundation's course requirements is to come to these classes so you can establish those connections," Aguirre said.

Launched in June, the program is still in the early stages, but it's already having a positive impact. 

"Every time you go to a new location, you know you leave behind friends and family," program participant and military spouse Stephanie Rosen said.

"I think sometimes especially when we move as frequently as we do, it's easy to become calloused and you're like oh we're only here for two years you know, you'll stay in your bubble," Rosen said. "It's very easy to become isolated and just to allow yourself to stay within your family unit and not to be able to reach out," she said.

The purpose of the Yoga Foundations course is to offer these families an outlet while teaching them a new way of living and coping with the every difficulty of life. 

"I think yoga is allowing me to come at a much more gentle approach to things and I'm giving those skills on to my children," Rosen said. "We need to you know make friends and to reach out to our community and we're all going through this similar process," she said. 

The Yoga Foundations course is free to anyone with a valid military ID and it's child-friendly. Click here to enroll.

Copyright 2019 by KSAT - All rights reserved.