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#109: Tristan Rose – Changing how we think of Yoga for Veterans

By Jordan Michaelides

Tristan Rose (@tristanrose.com.au) is the Founder of a Veteran-focused Yoga and Meditation service Blind Tiger Yoga, and a former soldier in The Royal Australian Regiment.

For a long time, I’ve wanted to interview a former Veteran to get a better grasp of how this community perceives itself amongst the general civilian population. War and violence are at times, necessary, and so I wanted to understand how they view that necessity. For quite some time I would continually pitch former and current special forces operators only to have repeated “no’s” come back. After interviewing Tristan, I started to understand why.

The way we treat Veterans in Australia, as a general population, is strange. Whether it’s sticking our head in the sand about suicide post-discharge (through masking statistics), making it hard for veterans to make medical claims, or going along with a culture that doesn’t allow us to celebrate the commitment these individuals make post-career.

I realised that during the research process, and indeed the interview, how important Tristan’s work is. Blind Tiger Yoga – a team focused on complementing health management for Veterans and First Responders – could be the connective tissue that links a multitude of modalities in a Veteran’s life, giving it a wholeness and meaning in a system that has washed people away.

This was an eye-opening conversation, that I thank Tristan for allowing me to be a part of, including:

  • Teaching Yoga & Meditation to Veterans
  • Tristan’s life-changing Yoga moment
  • Compartmentalising as a soldier
  • Australia vs U.S Veteran treatment
  • Being a Veteran in Australia
  • Veteran mental health & suicide
  • What Blind Tiger Yoga does

Listen to the episode

Watch the episode: 

SHOW NOTES:

01:27 – Introduction
04:30 – Worst health advice from Yoga Teachers
10:45 – Teaching Yoga & Meditation to Veterans
13:57 – Yoga without ego
16:01 – Lifting the lid of Pandora’s Box
20:56 – Tristan’s life-changing Yoga moment
26:42 – Compartmentalising as a soldier
28:18 – Earliest memory of wanting to be in the military
29:36 – Australia vs U.S Veteran treatment
35:03 – Being a Veteran in Australia
44:58 – Veteran mental health & suicide
54:21 – Recovery and accountability
57:21 – Bearing the weight of helping others
01:02:29 – Blind Tiger Yoga
01:06:09 – Yin Yoga & Yoga Nidra
01:15:00 – Relating to your audience
01:16:14 – Practice what you preach
01:20:25 – Most impactful stories
01:24:55 – No silver bullet
01:29:14 – Morning routine
01:32:34 – Book recommendations
01:34:37 – Best purchase under $200

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