FAQs

FAQs

What is the inspiration for Connected Warriors?

It is Judy’s vision and leadership that created Connected Warriors a 501(c)(3) as a result of meeting an U.S. Army Ranger in 2007 who was diagnosed with ALS (Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis) and experiencing the movie the “Hurt Locker” in 2009.  Using yoga and other therapeutic techniques, Judy observed the benefits her student and his family experienced while going through this journey.

Beau passed away surrounded by friends and family leaving the world with an indomitable inner strength and peace-of-mind more powerful than any mere physical malady.   Beau’s determination and warrior spirit inspired Judy to teach free classes with her student, Ralph Iovino, a Marine Corps combat wounded Vietnam veteran and yoga teacher.

Today, Connected Warriors strives to share with active-duty military, veterans and their family members the tools that were so empowering to Beau, with the intent of giving them the ability to be present and at peace in their daily lives.

How did Connected Warriors begin?

In August 2010, Judy Weaver, assisted by and Ralph Iovino, began a series of free local classes in south Florida. Based on a steady demand for more classes in more locations, Connected Warriors established its 501(c)(3) status and began to expand in December, 2011. Connected Warriors continues to grow based on contributions and volunteerism and offers evidence based Trauma-Conscious yoga classes, programs and teacher training based on the latest scientific and psychological research in communities around the world.

The Community

The community we serve is approximately 100 million people or 1/3 of the US population made up as follows:

21 Million US Veterans

1.4 Million US Active-Duty Servicemembers

1.6 Million US Reserves and National Guard

60-80 Million Family Members

 

 

Where can I find a Connected Warrior Class?

Connected Warriors started in Florida but today over 125 weekly classes are offered in 24 states and 9 countries with an attendance of over 2,200 visits per month at no cost to participants.  Connected Warriors weekly classes are offered in yoga studios, community centers, 14 active duty military installations, 30 VA Medical Centers/Clinics and Vet Centers.

For a link to class locations and class schedules visit: https://connectedwarriors.org/class-listings/

How do yoga teachers become certified to teach a trauma-conscious Connected Warrior class?

Connected Warriors teachers must be Yoga Alliance registered (or equivalent) and are individually selected to lead our classes. Volunteer teachers must complete the Connected Warriors trauma-conscious training, maintain current CPR certification and carry liability insurance.

What are the benefits students receive attending a Connected Warriors class?

Connected Warriors Trauma-Conscious yoga programs offer a progressive teaching system and a network of veterans and volunteers that promote community, self-empowerment, health and well-being for Servicemembers, Veterans and their Families.

Participants learn tools to manage stress, anxiety, depression, side effects of TBI (traumatic brain injury), PTS(D), insomnia and physical and mental health.

How does Connected Warriors operate?

Connected Warrior Trauma-Conscious Training is free to yoga teachers who make a one-year commitment to teach a Connected Warriors class in communities where we operate. We also commit to supplying mats and props for each student and leverage the Connected Warriors network to bring local veterans to new classes. We are very active on social media and will assist in local fund-raising activities as we can.

Evidence-based Trauma-Conscious Yoga Therapy

Connected Warrior’s yoga therapy protocol has been the foundation of several studies since 2011, including U.C. San Diego and the VA San Diego Healthcare System, Nova Southeastern University and the Department of Veterans Affairs – Tucson VA Medical Center.  We are in the beginning stages of a new study with the University of Miami – Miller School of Medicine and the Bruce Carter VAMC in Miami.  We are also working with other Veterans Service Organizations and the VA to continually update our protocols to bring the most effective and efficient program to our participants.

We are partners with the VHA to provide yoga programming for 15 of their 20 VISN’s across the United States which support the 2016 CARA act (reduction of opioid use for veterans) and to provide a more integrative health care dynamic.

How do I help get a local class started?

Please contact our headquarters at (954) 278-3764 or email info@connectedwarriors.org and we will put you directly in touch with the Regional Coordinator for your area. The basic requirements are to find and train a few teachers, identify a facility to hold classes and finally help get out the word to students. Connected Warriors provides mats and props for each student and will announce the availability of each class through its global social media network.

2018 Goals – The Plan Continues:

To change the lives of our Warriors

To lead Trauma-Conscious Yoga research

To increase our fundraising efforts to include areas outside of Florida

To become a legislative participant for inclusion in 2019/2020 Department of Defense and VA Budgets

 

I am interested in volunteering – how else can I help Connected Warriors?

We need and welcome your help – here is how:

  • Monetary donations. Connected Warriors operates with very little overhead. Donations go towards opening new classes, covering the cost of mats and props and teaching trauma-conscious yoga therapies to teachers in local communities.
  • Spread the word. Create awareness of Connected Warriors and use your voice through social media. Make introductions to potential spokespersons and partners.
  • Raising money is a challenge and we appreciate donations of services, gifts, trips, etc. that can be included in our Annual Veteran’s Gala auction.
  • Raise Awareness. The single biggest area in which everyone can help is by making service members, veterans and their families aware of free Connected Warriors classes.

For any questions feel free to contact us at info@connectedwarriors.org

If you would like to make a direct donation, visit www.connectedwarriors.org and push the “donate” button (PayPal or credit card)

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