When Justin Blazejewski lay on his mat after his first yoga class he was soaked with sweat, but for the first time in years, he was peaceful. Jowita Kiwnik-Pargana tells the story of a soldier who learned how to heal trauma with yoga.
It’s a Friday night, 2008. Justin Blazejewski is a 29-year-old soldier and he’s about to go to his first-ever yoga class. He’s not too keen on it, to say the least, but he promised his flatmate he would come and now it’s too late to cancel.
If, just yesterday, someone had told Justin that he, a red-blooded marine, would try something like this, he wouldn’t have believed them.
“I was a tough guy; I served in the Marine Corps. I thought yoga was a girls’ sport,” he says. “My flatmate practically forced me into it.”
Two hours later, Justin knew there was no way he could ever give it up.
“The first class was a real challenge. By the end of the class, as I lay in corpse pose, I felt something I hadn’t felt before: peace and quiet – in my heart and in my mind. I was ‘hooked’ and started practising almost