How Yoga Saved This Marine's Life

Many of us come to practice yoga through local boutique studios, complimentary gym classes or even programs offered by our employers. However, one U.S. Marines veteran discovered yoga and its benefits where she least expected it -- but needed it most.

During her first deployment in Iraq, Sarah Plummer received a Shiva Rea yoga DVD from one of her fellow Marines. She sat down with HuffPost Live host Caroline Modarressy-Tehrani today to talk about her early experiences with yoga and how much the practice ultimately helped her while on duty.

“On the first deployment, it didn’t really click for me,” she said. “I had been practicing yoga off and on for years prior to that, but having been a collegiate athlete and a marine and just really always wanting to push and go hard and having a lot of injuries, I actually hated yoga at first. I felt like it was uncomfortable. I didn’t really get the point of it. I had heard it was good for you, but it didn’t really have that click factor yet for me.”

On her second tour, however, she was struggling to cope with the trauma of an earlier sexual assault, her inability to sleep, the stress of being in a combat zone, extreme working hours and additional harassment from one of her units. It was during this period that she discovered just how beneficial yoga could be.

“When I was basically pretty close to dying, I felt like yoga saved my life,” she said. “If I could get on my mat and just breathe, and that very very basic union of breath and movement meant that I was still alive, then that was like an anchor point for me… I was pretty limited in both physical space and emotional space with what I could really do. In a way, yoga kind of forced my hand to get real deep and real personal with myself in that environment.”

To hear more, watch the full HuffPost Live video clip above.