(COLORADO SPRINGS) — Comeback Yoga is a Denver-based nonprofit that offers free yoga classes to the military community.
The organization was started by Ned and Margot Timbel who retired from the energy industry and started yoga teacher training.
“As part of their teacher training, they had to do a service project, like many of us do as yoga teachers,” said Kelly Wulf, CEO of Comeback Yoga. “So they worked within the PTSD unit and the hospital psychiatric unit here in Denver. Once their service hours were over, everyone kind of realized that it all made sense.
Comeback Yoga teachers undergo yoga training and military culture-specific training to better support the military, including training on traumatic brain injury, military sexual trauma, trauma-informed yoga, accessible yoga, and more. .
“So if you’re going into a military community, you better speak and understand their language a bit because it’s just respectful,” Wulf said. “Thus, all our teachers are specifically trained.”
For Wulf, she has a personal connection to military community service.
“I’ve seen Comeback Yoga grow into this amazing program and one of the main reasons I’m a part of it is that my grandparents and my mom’s side both fought in WWII,” said Wulf. “It’s just my way of honoring the memory of my grandparents every day for six years.”
Comeback yoga teacher Andrea Roberts said she felt positive emotions after teaching.
“It was always nice to see that, you know, at the end of the class, make people more relaxed and calm and maybe a little smile on their faces,” Roberts said. “So that’s something I’m looking forward to doing in this class.”
Wulf shared how she has personally seen the benefits of teaching the military community how to practice yoga.
“I had a student who felt he had jumped out of a perfectly working plane and hadn’t quite landed. He had a really bad neck, so he was removed from his position,” Wulf said. “After about a year of yoga every week I remember he came to me and threw me a paper and it was his paper that he could return to active duty because he now had mobility in his neck and his back.”
The courses were aimed at improving the physical and mental health of servicemen.
“People can feel lonely or lonely most of the time,” Robers said. “And so having, you know, a yoga class as a way to build that community and meet other people and feel supported.”
Classes are delivered in person and online with the schedule here.
There is a donation page to help Comeback Yoga continue to provide these free yoga classes.