Today is the longest day of summer and -- not coincidently -- the International Day of Yoga.
In honor of this extra-long day of daylight, I thought I would share something that is the perfect expression of the wonders of yoga *and* the wonderful work I get to do as part of my job for the USO: a video piece (and photos. and a print story.) about a local nonprofit in the DC area -- VETOGA.
I don't want to give away too much of the story, but here's a sneak peak at what it's all about:
Justin Blazejewski knew something was wrong.
In 2008, the Marine Corps veteran — who had been working as government contractor in active war zones on and off since 2005 — noticed that the stress of his job near the front lines was beginning to take its toll on his mental health.
“The stress and depression and all that stuff started coming in,” Blazejewski said.
Aware that Blazejewski was battling depression and extreme stress, Blazejewski’s roommate at the time invited him to attend a yoga class with her under the guise that it might help him recover from a recent ankle surgery he had earlier that year.
“She was trying to trick me because she knew the meditation would help with the stress and the depression,” Blazejewski said.
But by the end of his first yoga class, he was hooked.
“I was like, there’s something special going on here so I have to get more of this and see what this is all about,” he said.
Almost immediately, Blazejewski began to incorporate yoga into his everyday life, practicing five to six times a week. After a year of attending classes and one life-changing yoga retreat in Bali, Blazejewski decided to become a yoga teacher so he could bring the transformative power of yoga to others like him... read more here!
Sounds interesting, right? Oh! I forgot to mention, I also shot some sweet photos in addition to shooting the feature video and writing a mini story about the organization.
Check them out!