The Dutch armed forces have brought in a yoga teacher to see if yoga exercises can help soldiers process stress and traumatic experiences, according to the AD.
Johan Noordloos will focus primarily on teaching army sports instructors to incorporate yoga into their programmes, the paper said.
Noordloos told the AD that yoga and being trained to kill are not incompatible.
Dutch soldiers do kill, but they do that to protect others, he said. ‘This is the world we live in,’ he said. ‘But I can help people who have been trained to deal with war to experience peace.’
The lessons will be voluntary and no soldier will be forced to take up yoga, although officials say they do believe the practice will be useful.
‘Being in the army puts soldiers in stressful situations,’ spokesman Jeroen de Vries told the paper. ‘Yoga can help restore the balance in their lives. We want to find out if it helps them deal with difficult situations more easily.’
Jean Debie, head of the VBM military union, has welcomed the move. ‘Why not learn the technique if it helps your relax and beat stress,’ Debie said.
According to the AD, yoga is already used in by the British and US armed forces.
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