Voices of the Hub | Ft. POTE

Hosted by Serenity (Art from Ashes Intern) | ft. POTE

“As an organization we want to bridge that gap between the connection and communication with the veteran population and the locals that live in our communities.”

~ Nivardo

“Changing that mindset to this is day one of what I’ve been wanting to do or ‘I’m gonna start today,’ [..] just be that person of action for yourself.”

~ Jesse

Last week, I got the chance to interview People of the Earth. Here are some highlights of what was discussed in the interview:

Q. I know that you guys hosted a SKY Resilience training over the weekend, and I just wanted to know how that went for you?

A: Nivardo expressed that the workshop was successful and that their “primary objective with this one was to host and get as many people there that have never experienced the power of breath…”

Jesse followed up by adding that “[..]It was very successful. Essentially we had ten people go through the program and me just popping in there. I was able to see everybody focused. Especially towards the end, just seeing everybody smiling and saying thank you to everybody and excited to come the next day.”

Q: What type of activities do they typically have at the Resilience training?

A: Jesse spoke about how the duration and the population of the workshop influenced the structure of this particular workshop. He specified that  “[…] because the course is three days long the [instructor] had to tailor it down a little bit. So I think everyone got about 4 exercises out of 6. Essentially the biggest one [..] where you do twenty slow breaths, forty medium paced breaths, and then you do another forty really fast-paced breaths.”

Nivardo then explained that “the actual name of the workshop is the SKY Resilience training workshop, but the SKY is an acronym that stands for Sudarshan Kriya Yoga […].” He also mentioned that “[essentially] the SKY practice brings deep mental and physical relaxation which [..] can reduce symptoms of anxiety, anger, insomnia, and depression just to name a couple of items.”

Q: And kind of tying into what you said about having done the workshop before, I was just wondering if that was one of the reasons why you have hosted it? If that was one of the deciding factors for you and why you liked it so much?

A: Addressing the prevalence of mental health issues that veterans during their transitional years, Nivardo expressed his gratitude for having been introduced to the SKY resilience training workshops. He said, “[…] I attended the workshop and I realized how valuable it was for me and how it helped me with my personal mental health and becoming aware of the different mental problems with my mental health. And not only becoming aware but also finding solutions through this breath work and through meditating and through actually doing something about my personal mental health. So I realized that, you know, if it could help me during a time when I was going through a depression, that I was struggling with [PTSD], then I was almost a hundred percent positive that someone else in the community was going through something similar and that this workshop could help them as well.”

Q: Are there any goals for future workshops?

A: Nivardo said that they hope to create a balance between some veteran specific workshops and also implement one or two community courses each year. He mentioned that in the future one of their goals is to host a workshop every quarter of the year. Or at least do two to four more workshops next year.  

Check out the audio for the whole interview!

This episode of POTE aired live on CityHeART Radio on Friday September 15 at around 10:40 am.

Written and Produced by Serenity Dumler-Beecher, CityHeART’s Art from Ashes Intern

Serenity hosts Voices from the Hub on Tuesdays from 10am-2pm every week. Tune in for the live episodes on CityHeART Radio with the CityHeARTLove App.

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