The following 108 images are a small, chronological selection from a vast body of work created in various places on the globe in 2016.

May this presentation serve as a meditation and a reminder that there is beauty everywhere.

.......

1) Sarah Llewellyn: Venice Beach, California

1) Sarah Llewellyn: Venice Beach, California

2) Sarah Llewellyn: Venice Beach, California

2) Sarah Llewellyn: Venice Beach, California

3) Louise Yang: The Palace of Fine Arts ~ San Francisco, California

3) Louise Yang: The Palace of Fine Arts ~ San Francisco, California

4) Jennifer Martin: San Francisco, California

4) Jennifer Martin: San Francisco, California

5) Bridget Karo: Santa Cruz, California

5) Bridget Karo: Santa Cruz, California

6) Sarah Llewellyn: Somewhere in America

6) Sarah Llewellyn: Somewhere in America

7) Cristi Christensen: Swamis Beach ~ Encinitas, California 

7) Cristi Christensen: Swamis Beach ~ Encinitas, California 

8) Sarah Llewellyn: The South Pacific

8) Sarah Llewellyn: The South Pacific

9) Sarah Llewellyn: The South Pacific

9) Sarah Llewellyn: The South Pacific

10) Sarah Llewellyn: The South Pacific

10) Sarah Llewellyn: The South Pacific

11) Sarah Llewellyn: The Road to Hana ~ Maui, Hawaii

11) Sarah Llewellyn: The Road to Hana ~ Maui, Hawaii

12) Tommy Valencia and His Pup Cisco: Malibu, California

12) Tommy Valencia and His Pup Cisco: Malibu, California

13) Jeremy Brook and Chai: Malibu, California

13) Jeremy Brook and Chai: Malibu, California

14) Cristi Christensen: The Getty Villa ~ Pacific Palisades, California

14) Cristi Christensen: The Getty Villa ~ Pacific Palisades, California

15) Liz Arch: Venice Beach, California

15) Liz Arch: Venice Beach, California

16) Courtney Harms: Venice Beach, California

16) Courtney Harms: Venice Beach, California

17) Sarah Llewellyn: "Feel the Bern" ~ Venice Beach, California

17) Sarah Llewellyn: "Feel the Bern" ~ Venice Beach, California

18) Dearbhla Kelly: Venice Beach, California

18) Dearbhla Kelly: Venice Beach, California

19) Cristi Christensen: Venice Beach, California

19) Cristi Christensen: Venice Beach, California

20) Cristi Christensen: Venice Beach, California

20) Cristi Christensen: Venice Beach, California

21) San Quentin State Prison: The Prison Yoga Project

21) San Quentin State Prison: The Prison Yoga Project

22) San Quentin State Prison: The Prison Yoga Project

22) San Quentin State Prison: The Prison Yoga Project

23) San Quentin State Prison: The Prison Yoga Project

23) San Quentin State Prison: The Prison Yoga Project

24) San Quentin State Prison: The Prison Yoga Project

24) San Quentin State Prison: The Prison Yoga Project

25) San Quentin State Prison: The Prison Yoga Project

25) San Quentin State Prison: The Prison Yoga Project

26) I was on a shoot at the Palace of Fine Arts in San Francisco and I crossed paths with an electrician there and somehow he became the model.  His name's Ryan Jackson and he might as well be the 2016 face of my work and an appropriate image for the following passage, as I'm sure he'd never been photographed doing yoga.  What I want people to know is that even though someone might be putting out 100 pictures a month of them being “idealistically” beautiful, we should not get sucked into the belief that someone else is better than we are. That’s one of the things I love to do in my work: I love the challenge of putting literally anyone who doesn’t think that they are worthy of being celebrated or seen as a yogi, and showing them that they are completely just as good as anyone else. I think there is so much smoke and mirrors surrounding the imaging of the self, and I feel sorry and sad for people with a low self-image, something we all struggle with. People actually believe that someone else is perfect. The challenge is staying awake in this age of narcigramism. It's all perception. And this portrait of Ryan Jackson, the electrician, father, husband, cool humble guy - is everything to me.

26) I was on a shoot at the Palace of Fine Arts in San Francisco and I crossed paths with an electrician there and somehow he became the model. 

His name's Ryan Jackson and he might as well be the 2016 face of my work and an appropriate image for the following passage, as I'm sure he'd never been photographed doing yoga. 

What I want people to know is that even though someone might be putting out 100 pictures a month of them being “idealistically” beautiful, we should not get sucked into the belief that someone else is better than we are. That’s one of the things I love to do in my work: I love the challenge of putting literally anyone who doesn’t think that they are worthy of being celebrated or seen as a yogi, and showing them that they are completely just as good as anyone else. I think there is so much smoke and mirrors surrounding the imaging of the self, and I feel sorry and sad for people with a low self-image, something we all struggle with. People actually believe that someone else is perfect. The challenge is staying awake in this age of narcigramism. It's all perception. And this portrait of Ryan Jackson, the electrician, father, husband, cool humble guy - is everything to me.

27) Laura Kasperzak: Sedona, Arizona

27) Laura Kasperzak: Sedona, Arizona

28) Essie Marie Titus... First Responder

28) Essie Marie Titus... First Responder

29) Seth Kaufman: The Western Wall ~ Jerusalem, Israel

29) Seth Kaufman: The Western Wall ~ Jerusalem, Israel

30) Mor Gutwillig: Tal Aviv, Israel

30) Mor Gutwillig: Tal Aviv, Israel

31) Talia Sutra: Jerusalem, Israel

31) Talia Sutra: Jerusalem, Israel

32) Talia Sutra: Jerusalem, Israel

32) Talia Sutra: Jerusalem, Israel

33) Udi Sahar: The Dead Sea, Israel

33) Udi Sahar: The Dead Sea, Israel

34) Talia Sutra: Jerusalem, Israel

34) Talia Sutra: Jerusalem, Israel

35) Shiri Segal: Caesarea, Israel

35) Shiri Segal: Caesarea, Israel

36) Seth Kaufman: Caesarea, Israel

36) Seth Kaufman: Caesarea, Israel

37) Aviv Tagay: An Ethiopian Jew residing in Tel Aviv, Israel... From Wikipedia: Ethiopian Jews in Israel are immigrants and descendants of the immigrants of the Beta Israel communities of Ethiopia, who now reside in Israel. Most of the community made aliyah from Ethiopia to Israel in two waves of mass immigration assisted by the Israeli government: Operation Moses (1984) and Operation Solomon (1991). Today Israel is home to the largest Beta Israel community in the world with about 125,500 citizens of Ethiopian descent in 2011, who are mainly assembled in the smaller urban areas of central Israel.

37) Aviv Tagay: An Ethiopian Jew residing in Tel Aviv, Israel...

From Wikipedia: Ethiopian Jews in Israel are immigrants and descendants of the immigrants of the Beta Israel communities of Ethiopia, who now reside in Israel. Most of the community made aliyah from Ethiopia to Israel in two waves of mass immigration assisted by the Israeli government: Operation Moses (1984) and Operation Solomon (1991). Today Israel is home to the largest Beta Israel community in the world with about 125,500 citizens of Ethiopian descent in 2011, who are mainly assembled in the smaller urban areas of central Israel.

38) Robin Yaakov: Tel Aviv, Israel

38) Robin Yaakov: Tel Aviv, Israel

39) Robin Yaakov: Jerusalem, Israel

39) Robin Yaakov: Jerusalem, Israel

40) Jacky Alarja: Bethlehem, Palestine

40) Jacky Alarja: Bethlehem, Palestine

41) Nimala Kharoufeh: Bethlehem, Palestine

41) Nimala Kharoufeh: Bethlehem, Palestine

42) Eilda Zaghmout: Bethlehem, Palestine

42) Eilda Zaghmout: Bethlehem, Palestine

43) Bethlehem, Palestine ~~ This kid was following us around. He just wanted to hang with us. Coincidentally, I wanted to hang with him. Beautiful human connections and his first time practicing yoga. His name is Muntaser and if you happen to see him in Bethlehem, show him his picture and tell him I say hello.

43) Bethlehem, Palestine ~~ This kid was following us around. He just wanted to hang with us. Coincidentally, I wanted to hang with him. Beautiful human connections and his first time practicing yoga. His name is Muntaser and if you happen to see him in Bethlehem, show him his picture and tell him I say hello.

44) Bethlehem Trees: Palestine

44) Bethlehem Trees: Palestine

45) In the sacred spirit of YOGA, I was welcomed into Palestine. And what an incredibly rich day we shared, celebrating life and eating hummus. This woman and I couldn't understand each other's words, but we exchanged a few thousand smiles and I left there feeling I was with a life long friend.  Pictured in Bethlehem, Palestine: Rula Samer, who teaches prenatal yoga to her community.

45) In the sacred spirit of YOGA, I was welcomed into Palestine. And what an incredibly rich day we shared, celebrating life and eating hummus. This woman and I couldn't understand each other's words, but we exchanged a few thousand smiles and I left there feeling I was with a life long friend. 

Pictured in Bethlehem, Palestine: Rula Samer, who teaches prenatal yoga to her community.

46) Lisa "Firefly" Johnston: Pescador Beach, California

46) Lisa "Firefly" Johnston: Pescador Beach, California

47) Jacquelyn Krieger: Baker Beach ~ San Francisco, California

47) Jacquelyn Krieger: Baker Beach ~ San Francisco, California

48) Jacquelyn Krieger: Baker Beach ~ San Francisco, California

48) Jacquelyn Krieger: Baker Beach ~ San Francisco, California

49) Yoga and survival on Skid Row: Los Angeles, California Yoga is not a subculture limited to a small percentage of humanity. It has and continues to rapidly grow into a cultural tool for sanity and survival, easily accessible wherever it can be learned — from prison cells to refugee camps. All it takes is learning and so many yogis in this world are hopping on the Seva Train and sharing what we can.   Seva is a word worth defining and remembering again and again: “Seva” is a Sanskrit word meaning “selfless service” or work performed without any thought of reward or repayment. In ancient India seva was believed to help one's spiritual growth and at the same time contribute to the improvement of a community.  Pictured: Eduardo Alvarado who recently completed his 200 hour teacher training and is bringing yoga to the mission on Skid Row, where he lives. There were hundreds of people camped in the streets. Yoga has become one of Eduardo's greatest tools for survival, sanity and creating change.

49) Yoga and survival on Skid Row: Los Angeles, California

Yoga is not a subculture limited to a small percentage of humanity. It has and continues to rapidly grow into a cultural tool for sanity and survival, easily accessible wherever it can be learned — from prison cells to refugee camps. All it takes is learning and so many yogis in this world are hopping on the Seva Train and sharing what we can.  

Seva is a word worth defining and remembering again and again:
“Seva” is a Sanskrit word meaning “selfless service” or work performed without any thought of reward or repayment. In ancient India seva was believed to help one's spiritual growth and at the same time contribute to the improvement of a community. 

Pictured: Eduardo Alvarado who recently completed his 200 hour teacher training and is bringing yoga to the mission on Skid Row, where he lives. There were hundreds of people camped in the streets. Yoga has become one of Eduardo's greatest tools for survival, sanity and creating change.

50) Being with the seven year olds is everything! A great day of yoga in Boyle Heights - Los Angeles, California - with Uprising Yoga at Extera Public Elementary School. Vashistasana never looked so good.

50) Being with the seven year olds is everything! A great day of yoga in Boyle Heights - Los Angeles, California - with Uprising Yoga at Extera Public Elementary School. Vashistasana never looked so good.

51) Boyle Heights ~ Los Angeles, California - with Uprising Yoga at Extera Public Elementary School.

51) Boyle Heights ~ Los Angeles, California - with Uprising Yoga at Extera Public Elementary School.

52) A great day of yoga and an impressive meditation effort in Boyle Heights - Los Angeles, California - with Uprising Yoga at Extera Public Elementary School.

52) A great day of yoga and an impressive meditation effort in Boyle Heights - Los Angeles, California - with Uprising Yoga at Extera Public Elementary School.

53) Tibetan Bowls on the schoolyard. Healing sound bath for seven year olds courtesy of Uprising Yoga-- Extera Public School - Boyle Heights - Los Angeles, California

53) Tibetan Bowls on the schoolyard. Healing sound bath for seven year olds courtesy of Uprising Yoga-- Extera Public School - Boyle Heights - Los Angeles, California

54) During yoga week at many Los Angeles High Schools, my camera and I had the honor of joining the students of Joseph Pomeroy Widney High School, a special education magnet high school. I was moved by the support the students and teachers shared with each other. Today I witnessed an advanced yoga class.  Youth Yoga Mission Statement: Empowering and inspiring youth through Meditation and Yoga. We bring teachers into schools and host events where children and teenagers learn the practice!

54) During yoga week at many Los Angeles High Schools, my camera and I had the honor of joining the students of Joseph Pomeroy Widney High School, a special education magnet high school.

I was moved by the support the students and teachers shared with each other. Today I witnessed an advanced yoga class. 

Youth Yoga Mission Statement: Empowering and inspiring youth through Meditation and Yoga. We bring teachers into schools and host events where children and teenagers learn the practice!

55) Holland and Jolie Bentley: The Gulf Coast of Florida

55) Holland and Jolie Bentley: The Gulf Coast of Florida

56) Ceira Mondowney / aka CeCe photographed on Saint Pete Beach ~ Florida's Gulf Coast

56) Ceira Mondowney / aka CeCe photographed on Saint Pete Beach ~ Florida's Gulf Coast

57) Laura Zinn: The Gulf Coast of Florida

57) Laura Zinn: The Gulf Coast of Florida

58) Inspiring words from Mercedes Bernard, pictured on Saint Pete Beach ~ Florida's Gulf Coast: "As an artist, I spent years behind a camera taking meticulous notes of all the beauty around me. . . and hiding. It wasn't until I started to practice yoga that I began to explore a more inherent beauty, the kind that pours out of all of us if only we'd allow it to. I know as yogis we have these mixed feelings about narcissism and vanity, especially on social media, but if I hadn't seen women in larger bodies sharing their yoga on the internet, I probably would have never been empowered to attend my first yoga class or engage in a practice which has changed my life forever. I'm grateful for all the infinite shapes and colors of our reflections shared in this way. Maybe someday I can help the next person on their way to liberation. Maybe that's the way creation is supposed to work." Mercedes Bernard

58) Inspiring words from Mercedes Bernard, pictured on Saint Pete Beach ~ Florida's Gulf Coast:

"As an artist, I spent years behind a camera taking meticulous notes of all the beauty around me. . . and hiding. It wasn't until I started to practice yoga that I began to explore a more inherent beauty, the kind that pours out of all of us if only we'd allow it to. I know as yogis we have these mixed feelings about narcissism and vanity, especially on social media, but if I hadn't seen women in larger bodies sharing their yoga on the internet, I probably would have never been empowered to attend my first yoga class or engage in a practice which has changed my life forever. I'm grateful for all the infinite shapes and colors of our reflections shared in this way. Maybe someday I can help the next person on their way to liberation. Maybe that's the way creation is supposed to work." Mercedes Bernard

59) Kristopher J Pace, 1996-2002 United States Air Force. "Airman for Life"

59) Kristopher J Pace, 1996-2002 United States Air Force. "Airman for Life"

60) An average of 22 American veterans commit suicide each day. This vet was told he did not have a chance... "By 2010 I had been diagnosed with PTSD, TBI, vertigo, chronic migraines, and ruptured disks in my neck... Amongst other conditions and I was on a cumulative of eleven "medications" at one time... I was seeing my mental health doctor and was told that I was a "Hopeless Case" and that the majority of the people who had my diagnosis would kill themselves or end up institutionalized. Immediately, I walked out and never took another med, began to research health and wellness, found yoga... Found meditation... Found vegetarianism... And found peace and balance. Six years later I have lost over sixty pounds, am in the best shape and health of my life and hope to share my story and knowledge with others that need it or would like to know about it." — Kristopher J Pace, 1996-2002 United States Air Force.

60) An average of 22 American veterans commit suicide each day. This vet was told he did not have a chance...

"By 2010 I had been diagnosed with PTSD, TBI, vertigo, chronic migraines, and ruptured disks in my neck... Amongst other conditions and I was on a cumulative of eleven "medications" at one time... I was seeing my mental health doctor and was told that I was a "Hopeless Case" and that the majority of the people who had my diagnosis would kill themselves or end up institutionalized. Immediately, I walked out and never took another med, began to research health and wellness, found yoga... Found meditation... Found vegetarianism... And found peace and balance. Six years later I have lost over sixty pounds, am in the best shape and health of my life and hope to share my story and knowledge with others that need it or would like to know about it." — Kristopher J Pace, 1996-2002 United States Air Force.

61) Kristopher J Pace, 1996-2002 United States Air Force. "Airman for Life"

61) Kristopher J Pace, 1996-2002 United States Air Force. "Airman for Life"

62) Madonna and Child: Beth Bentley and Troy ~ Saint Pete Beach, Florida

62) Madonna and Child: Beth Bentley and Troy ~ Saint Pete Beach, Florida

63) Danielle Brown: The North Atlantic

63) Danielle Brown: The North Atlantic

64) Megan Marie: The Elizabeth Street Sculpture Garden ~ Lower East Side, New York.

64) Megan Marie: The Elizabeth Street Sculpture Garden ~ Lower East Side, New York.

65) Heather Rice: New York's Lower East Side

65) Heather Rice: New York's Lower East Side

66) Prince and Bowie Tribute: New York's Lower East Side Pictured: Andrea Rice

66) Prince and Bowie Tribute: New York's Lower East Side

Pictured: Andrea Rice

67) Tao Porchon-Lynch: Westchester, New York

67) Tao Porchon-Lynch: Westchester, New York

68) Tao Porchon-Lynch: Westchester, New York

68) Tao Porchon-Lynch: Westchester, New York

69) Brianna Renner - aka Sergeant Power of the United States Marine Corps.

69) Brianna Renner - aka Sergeant Power of the United States Marine Corps.

70) Caitlin Marcoux: Nantucket Island, Massachusetts 

70) Caitlin Marcoux: Nantucket Island, Massachusetts 

71) Caitlin Marcoux: Nantucket Island, Massachusetts

71) Caitlin Marcoux: Nantucket Island, Massachusetts

72) Caitlin Marcoux: Nantucket Island, Massachusetts

72) Caitlin Marcoux: Nantucket Island, Massachusetts

73) Kelly Kamm: Nantucket Island, Massachusetts

73) Kelly Kamm: Nantucket Island, Massachusetts

74) Kelly Kamm: Nantucket Island, Massachusetts

74) Kelly Kamm: Nantucket Island, Massachusetts

75) Kelly Kamm: Nantucket Island, Massachusetts

75) Kelly Kamm: Nantucket Island, Massachusetts

76) Kelly Kamm: Nantucket Island, Massachusetts

76) Kelly Kamm: Nantucket Island, Massachusetts

77) Kelly Kamm: Nantucket Island, Massachusetts

77) Kelly Kamm: Nantucket Island, Massachusetts

78) Who is this man who is the face of my work today and forever? He's the guy who people will never read about in newspapers who makes everything more beautiful that he touches. He's the guy who stops to help if your car is broken down and won't accept a tip because he simply helps because people need help. He's the worker from Central America who loves life so much that it's only natural for him to leave a touch of beauty wherever he walks. That's my definition of an Artist.  Pictured: Edwin Mazariegos - "The Painter"

78) Who is this man who is the face of my work today and forever? He's the guy who people will never read about in newspapers who makes everything more beautiful that he touches. He's the guy who stops to help if your car is broken down and won't accept a tip because he simply helps because people need help. He's the worker from Central America who loves life so much that it's only natural for him to leave a touch of beauty wherever he walks. That's my definition of an Artist. 

Pictured: Edwin Mazariegos - "The Painter"

79) Cristi Christensen: Venice, California

79) Cristi Christensen: Venice, California

80) Tao Portion-Lynch: Central Park, New York

80) Tao Portion-Lynch: Central Park, New York

81) Marie Baez: New York

81) Marie Baez: New York

82) Christina Fuschietto: New York

82) Christina Fuschietto: New York

83) April Puciata: Columbus Circle ~ Central Park, New York

83) April Puciata: Columbus Circle ~ Central Park, New York

 84) Tania Sanchez / aka Bendi Locs: New York

 84) Tania Sanchez / aka Bendi Locs: New York

85)  Tania Sanchez / aka Bendi Locs: New York

85)  Tania Sanchez / aka Bendi Locs: New York

86) Michelle Klinger and Chai: Malibu, California

86) Michelle Klinger and Chai: Malibu, California

87) "Lovers on the Sea" Kristopher Pace and Susie Vanessa Frank with Chai: Malibu, California  

87) "Lovers on the Sea" Kristopher Pace and Susie Vanessa Frank

with Chai: Malibu, California
 

88) Richard Pietromonaco: Grand Central Station, New York 

88) Richard Pietromonaco: Grand Central Station, New York 

89) Russell Simmons: The Flatiron Building, New York 

89) Russell Simmons: The Flatiron Building, New York 

90) Kelly Kamm: Coney Island, New York

90) Kelly Kamm: Coney Island, New York

91) Kelly Kamm: Coney Island, New York

91) Kelly Kamm: Coney Island, New York

92) Danielle Brown: The North Atlantic

92) Danielle Brown: The North Atlantic

93) Melia Marzollo: Cold Spring, New York

93) Melia Marzollo: Cold Spring, New York

94) Three years ago a retired Army Command Sergeant Major invited me to a Connected Warriors yoga class at Fort Campbell. Needless to say, I was apprehensive about going to an unfamiliar activity that I perceived as new age stretching for women. Walking in the room, I was surprised to find such an eclectic group of participants from all different age groups, genders, body types, and fitness levels. Many had some type of knee, shoulder, or back injury - battle wounds from a dedicated life of service. Much to my surprise, the class was an intense workout that challenged my strength, balance, and flexibility. I found myself returning each week to learn new postures and for the challenge of pushing myself to the edge. During that year, I noticed physical changes such as my knee no longer swelling after long runs and ruck marches, increased inner core strength, and an overall improvement in my level of fitness. After that year, I changed jobs and could no longer attend the class at Fort Campbell but was fortunate to find the Yoga Mat studio in Clarksville that offered Connected Warriors classes. I started bringing my six year old daughter to class, and she instantly fell in love with her yoga practice. She even started conducting her own classes at home where she would teach her younger brother. Throughout the year that we practiced together, I found that the classes strengthened our father-daughter relationship. I also started noticing mental changes. I felt more calm throughout the day, was able to fall asleep faster at night, and those little annoying things that would set me off were no longer that important. This past year everything changed. My teacher and mentor, Kathy, invited me to participate in the Elevated Warrior program and attend the 200-hour Connected Warrior Teacher Training. Having seen and experienced all the benefits of Connected Warriors yoga, I knew I had to share those benefits with my fellow Servicemembers, our Veterans, and their Families. I've had the opportunity to teach injured Soldiers, Family members who deal with the stress of frequent deployments, and seasoned Veterans who continue to serve our nation. It's incredibly rewarding to see their practice grow as they realize the positive effects of yoga on their mind and body. Looking back at that first class three years ago, I can't believe how much my life has changed and how many others have been able to share that same experience thanks to Connected Warriors. Michael, MSG U.S. Army Veteran with 17 years in service

94) Three years ago a retired Army Command Sergeant Major invited me to a Connected Warriors yoga class at Fort Campbell. Needless to say, I was apprehensive about going to an unfamiliar activity that I perceived as new age stretching for women. Walking in the room, I was surprised to find such an eclectic group of participants from all different age groups, genders, body types, and fitness levels. Many had some type of knee, shoulder, or back injury - battle wounds from a dedicated life of service. Much to my surprise, the class was an intense workout that challenged my strength, balance, and flexibility. I found myself returning each week to learn new postures and for the challenge of pushing myself to the edge. During that year, I noticed physical changes such as my knee no longer swelling after long runs and ruck marches, increased inner core strength, and an overall improvement in my level of fitness.

After that year, I changed jobs and could no longer attend the class at Fort Campbell but was fortunate to find the Yoga Mat studio in Clarksville that offered Connected Warriors classes. I started bringing my six year old daughter to class, and she instantly fell in love with her yoga practice. She even started conducting her own classes at home where she would teach her younger brother. Throughout the year that we practiced together, I found that the classes strengthened our father-daughter relationship. I also started noticing mental changes. I felt more calm throughout the day, was able to fall asleep faster at night, and those little annoying things that would set me off were no longer that
important.

This past year everything changed. My teacher and mentor, Kathy, invited me to participate in the Elevated Warrior program and attend the 200-hour Connected Warrior Teacher Training. Having seen and experienced all the benefits of Connected Warriors yoga, I knew I had to share those benefits with my fellow Servicemembers, our Veterans, and
their Families. I've had the opportunity to teach injured Soldiers, Family members who deal with the stress of frequent deployments, and seasoned Veterans who continue to serve our nation. It's incredibly rewarding to see their practice grow as they realize the positive effects of yoga on their mind and body. Looking back at that first class three years ago, I can't believe how much my life has changed and how many others have been able to share that same experience thanks to Connected Warriors.

Michael, MSG
U.S. Army Veteran with 17 years in service

95) Thoughts from a beginning yogi — a 40 something blonde haired, skateboarding, kilt wearing soldier and farmer veteran who's found yoga and the ability to live life at 100%. My name is Charley Jordan and I am a beginning yogi. I discovered Yoga because of the desire to not only get my body fit but also to bring my mind and body together into a state of fitness. It was not an easy start, I had reservations about doing Yoga. I had the mentality that Yoga was not a “guy” thing and the apprehension and fear of being ridiculed based upon that mindset prevented me from pursuing it. That all disappeared once I found a program called Connected Warriors. You see, I’m an active duty soldier with 28 years in the service. During this time, I have witnessed and participated in things that normal people probably never should. I knew that I had problems. Problems with relationships, problems with being socially brave, problems which prevented me from being able to enjoy the world around me. Anger and anxiety filled my mind while constantly battling depression along with it. Fast forward now to Connected Warriors. The first time I tried it I had trouble walking for at least two days. This was not a result of being injured, this was a result of using my hamstrings for something other than sitting on my butt in a chair staring at a computer screen. That first day opened up something in my mind. A spiritual door opened up to a peaceful place in me, a place where I actually witnessed a calm inner me who so desired to be something more than I currently was. That was five months ago and I haven’t looked back since. My daily practice is accentuated by a routine of taking regular classes with Connected Warriors and also different studio classes at least 3-5 times a week. My body looks and feels amazing and even though I have a long journey to go, I feel that my mind has begun to finally release the demons that it once housed. To be able to look from my eyes and finally see joy in the everyday world is an amazing thing. You only get one chance to live this life, live it every day at 100% and never let anybody ever tell you that you can’t be or do something. They are not your keeper, you’re a strong, independent and incredible creature. Live your life. Namaste’ Charley Jordan — Aviation Chief Warrant Officer Four.

95) Thoughts from a beginning yogi — a 40 something blonde haired, skateboarding, kilt wearing soldier and farmer veteran who's found yoga and the ability to live life at 100%.

My name is Charley Jordan and I am a beginning yogi. I discovered Yoga because of the desire to not only get my body fit but also to bring my mind and body together into a state of fitness. It was not an easy start, I had reservations about doing Yoga. I had the mentality that Yoga was not a “guy” thing and the apprehension and fear of being ridiculed based upon that mindset prevented me from pursuing it. That all disappeared once I found a program called Connected Warriors.

You see, I’m an active duty soldier with 28 years in the service. During this time, I have witnessed and participated in things that normal people probably never should. I knew that I had problems. Problems with relationships, problems with being socially brave, problems which prevented me from being able to enjoy the world around me. Anger and anxiety filled my mind while constantly battling depression along with it. Fast forward now to Connected Warriors.

The first time I tried it I had trouble walking for at least two days. This was not a result of being injured, this was a result of using my hamstrings for something other than sitting on my butt in a chair staring at a computer screen. That first day opened up something in my mind. A spiritual door opened up to a peaceful place in me, a place where I actually witnessed a calm inner me who so desired to be something more than I currently was.

That was five months ago and I haven’t looked back since. My daily practice is accentuated by a routine of taking regular classes with Connected Warriors and also different studio classes at least 3-5 times a week. My body looks and feels amazing and even though I have a long journey to go, I feel that my mind has begun to finally release the demons that it once housed. To be able to look from my eyes and finally see joy in the everyday world is an amazing thing.

You only get one chance to live this life, live it every day at 100% and never let anybody ever tell you that you can’t be or do something. They are not your keeper, you’re a strong, independent and incredible creature. Live your life. Namaste’

Charley Jordan — Aviation Chief Warrant Officer Four.

96) My name is Melody Jackman and I will always think of myself as a beginning yogi. I started yoga in college but couldn’t find the right class or instructor to hold my interest for more than a couple of classes here and there throughout the years. When I joined the Army I hadn’t been practicing for several years and I volunteered for a unit that is more physically demanding than most. Pain that I had been able to ignore in the past was quickly beginning to affect the way I performed on runs, and I was unwilling to go on profile. Yoga at that point was still so far back in my mind that I never even considered it for pain management or correction, and so started going to a chiropractor. Being in a male dominated profession I was willing to do what I had to to keep myself pieced together enough to stay off profile and physically keep up with them, and at that time it meant going to the chiropractor 5 times a week. I went on like that for close to a month before a new program became available to the unit, Connected Warriors. I didn't go right away, yoga isn't considered something that the “guys” would do, and I was very careful to keep my image of being one of the guys. When I started to hear about attendance increasing I figured that was my chance to give it a try. I was still only thinking at that time of changing up my physical fitness routine, and not wellness. When I did finally drag myself in there I discovered something wonderful, here finally was an instructor who “got it.” I had never before gone to a yoga class and sweated as much as I did that day, I was sore, the kind of sore you get when you push yourself to your limit, and the pain that was threatening to put me on profile was going away. One Connected Warrior class a week brought my chiropractor visits from five times a week to three, then once a month.  After a while I began to notice that the yoga was also good for quieting the mind, for an hour I could let go and just breathe, not process, not worry, no stress. I could deal with the days issues without getting angry, my resilience improved, and stress management became easier. I began sleeping better, and relationships improved because I was a happier person.  Today I am no longer in that unit, but I now fly helicopters and that can be physically demanding on a whole other level. On a recent deployment we were lucky enough to have access to a Connected Warriors class, an I can tell you I really depended on that class. The wellness of the mind is just as important as wellness of the body and in an hostile environment those things can get off kilter very quickly. In closing, go do yoga, just do it. What do you have to lose? Who cares what everyone else is doing, or what they think. Its your body, and you have to live in it. Why wouldn’t you want to be the best, happiest you that you could possibly be? Melody Jackman—Aviation Chief Warrant Officer Two

96) My name is Melody Jackman and I will always think of myself as a beginning yogi. I started yoga in college but couldn’t find the right class or instructor to hold my interest for more than a couple of classes here and there throughout the years. When I joined the Army I hadn’t been practicing for several years and I volunteered for a unit that is more physically demanding than most. Pain that I had been able to ignore in the past was quickly beginning to affect the way I performed on runs, and I was unwilling to go on profile. Yoga at that point was still so far back in my mind that I never even considered it for pain management or correction, and so started going to a chiropractor. Being in a male dominated profession I was willing to do what I had to to keep myself pieced together enough to stay off profile and physically keep up with them, and at that time it meant going to the chiropractor 5 times a week.

I went on like that for close to a month before a new program became available to the unit, Connected Warriors. I didn't go right away, yoga isn't considered something that the “guys” would do, and I was very careful to keep my image of being one of the guys. When I started to hear about attendance increasing I figured that was my chance to give it a try. I was still only
thinking at that time of changing up my physical fitness routine, and not wellness. When I did finally drag myself in there I discovered something wonderful, here finally was an instructor who “got it.” I had never before gone to a yoga class and sweated as much as I did that day, I was
sore, the kind of sore you get when you push yourself to your limit, and the pain that was threatening to put me on profile was going away. One Connected Warrior class a week brought my chiropractor visits from five times a week to three, then once a month. 

After a while I began to notice that the yoga was also good for quieting the mind, for an hour I could let go and just breathe, not process, not worry, no stress. I could deal with the days issues without getting angry, my resilience improved, and stress management became easier. I began sleeping better, and relationships improved because I was a happier person. 

Today I am no longer in that unit, but I now fly helicopters and that can be physically demanding on a whole other level. On a recent deployment we were lucky enough to have access to a Connected Warriors class, an I can tell you I really depended on that class. The wellness of the mind is just as important as wellness of the body and in an hostile environment those things can get off kilter very quickly.

In closing, go do yoga, just do it. What do you have to lose? Who cares what everyone else is doing, or what they think. Its your body, and you have to live in it. Why wouldn’t you want to be the best, happiest you that you could possibly be?

Melody Jackman—Aviation Chief Warrant Officer Two

97) My name is Margaret Schumacher. I am a Trauma-conscious Yoga Teacher, an Ambassador for Connected Warriors, Inc., and a United States Army Veteran (1982-1992). I'm also a Trauma Survivor. Compound trauma to be specific. I have been in more than one traumatic accident and I have been the victim of two violent crimes. I was raped when I was 13 years old and my home was invaded by an armed intruder when I was 22.  In 1982, when I joined, there were not a lot of women in the U.S. Army at all. The men I served with did not always make it easy on me, but they always had my back, and I had theirs. The tough climb through the ranks was not going to stop me from achieving my goals. I was focused. I was at the top of my game, until I was involved in an accident. That accident seemed like almost nothing at the time. However, it ended my Military career. I was medically discharged and began the long battles of learning to cope with chronic pain, nightmares, years of physical therapy, and more than a few surgeries.  These combined traumas taught me to bury things, to be quiet, to be small. Then, I found yoga. Yoga does not allow me to shrink away from things. Yoga heals. For me, there is no denying the healing power of yoga. On the mat, I have to face my fears and I have to let them go. There is no choice but to surrender to the process...surrender to myself. Yoga is my path to positive changes in my mind, body, and spirit. Yoga saved my life. Yes, it is a cliche. That does not make it any less true. Through yoga I have better pain control and my PTS is much more manageable. I can not be small and quiet about YOGA!! Connected Warriors, Inc. allows me share this wonderful thing called yoga with my fellow veterans and their extended families in an environment that is sensitive to our community. A community of understanding. A community of increasing acceptance. All at no cost to our troops (past and present) or their extended families. How cool is that?   I'm a yoga teacher, I want you to come to yoga classes. Hopefully, my story will encourage at least one person to do just that. Will you come to my class?? Any class??

97) My name is Margaret Schumacher. I am a Trauma-conscious Yoga Teacher, an Ambassador for Connected Warriors, Inc., and a United States Army Veteran (1982-1992). I'm also a Trauma Survivor. Compound trauma to be specific. I have been in more than one traumatic accident and I have been the victim of two violent crimes. I was raped when I was 13 years old and my home was invaded by an armed intruder when I was 22. 

In 1982, when I joined, there were not a lot of women in the U.S. Army at all. The men I served with did not always make it easy on me, but they always had my back, and I had theirs. The tough climb through the ranks was not going to stop me from achieving my goals. I was focused. I was at the top of my game, until I was involved in an accident.

That accident seemed like almost nothing at the time. However, it ended my Military career. I was medically discharged and began the long battles of learning to cope with chronic pain, nightmares, years of physical therapy, and more than a few surgeries. 

These combined traumas taught me to bury things, to be quiet, to be small. Then, I found yoga. Yoga does not allow me to shrink away from things. Yoga heals.

For me, there is no denying the healing power of yoga. On the mat, I have to face my fears and I have to let them go. There is no choice but to surrender to the process...surrender to myself. Yoga is my path to positive changes in my mind, body, and spirit. Yoga saved my life. Yes, it is a cliche. That does not make it any less true. Through yoga I have better pain control and my PTS is much more manageable. I can not be small and quiet about YOGA!! Connected Warriors, Inc. allows me share this wonderful thing called yoga with my fellow veterans and their extended families in an environment that is sensitive to our community. A community of understanding. A community of increasing acceptance. All at no cost to our troops (past and present) or their extended families. How cool is that?  

I'm a yoga teacher, I want you to come to yoga classes. Hopefully, my story will encourage at least one person to do just that. Will you come to my class?? Any class??

98) Lauren Beth Jacobs: Saint Pete Beach, Florida

98) Lauren Beth Jacobs: Saint Pete Beach, Florida

99) Crystal McGaha: The Gulf Coast of Florida

99) Crystal McGaha: The Gulf Coast of Florida

100) Crystal McGaha: The Gulf Coast of Florida

100) Crystal McGaha: The Gulf Coast of Florida

101) Kerri Mersereau: The Gulf Coast, Florida

101) Kerri Mersereau: The Gulf Coast, Florida

102) Justin Wolfer: Upstate New York

102) Justin Wolfer: Upstate New York

103) Romina Crespo: Venice Beach, California

103) Romina Crespo: Venice Beach, California

104) Ashley Turner: Marina Del Rey, California

104) Ashley Turner: Marina Del Rey, California

105) Tracee Stanley: Topanga Canyon, California

105) Tracee Stanley: Topanga Canyon, California

106) Tracee Stanley: Topanga Canyon, California

106) Tracee Stanley: Topanga Canyon, California

107) Tracee Stanley: Topanga State Beach, California

107) Tracee Stanley: Topanga State Beach, California

108) Tracee Stanley: Topanga Canyon, California

108) Tracee Stanley: Topanga Canyon, California

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***This is not a 'best of' selection. Hundreds of images were unfortunately left out***

A dedicated yoga practitioner, photographer Robert Sturman has increasingly focused on capturing the timeless grace and embodied mindfulness of asana in his work. His portraits, whether set in the lively streets of Manhattan, the expansive beaches and canyons of Malibu, the foothills of Mount Kilimanjaro, the timeless elegance of Walden's New England, or the bleakness of San Quentin Prison, remind us that there is beauty everywhere. His stunning repertoire runs the gamut from yogis perched on rocks surrounded by the Pacific Ocean, to African orphans practicing yoga in Kenya, to breast cancer survivors, bare-chested and scarred. In addition, Sturman has worked extensively photographing war veterans who have embraced the practice of yoga to to heal PTSD, in an effort to help change the heartbreaking statistic of 22 American veteran suicides each day. In Sturman's own words, "I often think of Rumi's words 'I can't stop pointing to the beauty.' That feels right to me." Sturman's honors include Official Artist of the 47th Annual Grammy Awards, 2010 FIFA World Cup Artist Representing America, and Official Artist 2008 United States Olympics. In 2012 and 2013, Sturman was the subject of two separate New York Times articles celebrating his photographs of yoga from around the world. "I  do not do yoga to get good at yoga. I do yoga to remove the unnecessary and get good at life." —Robert Sturman

A dedicated yoga practitioner, photographer Robert Sturman has increasingly focused on capturing the timeless grace and embodied mindfulness of asana in his work. His portraits, whether set in the lively streets of Manhattan, the expansive beaches and canyons of Malibu, the foothills of Mount Kilimanjaro, the timeless elegance of Walden's New England, or the bleakness of San Quentin Prison, remind us that there is beauty everywhere. His stunning repertoire runs the gamut from yogis perched on rocks surrounded by the Pacific Ocean, to African orphans practicing yoga in Kenya, to breast cancer survivors, bare-chested and scarred. In addition, Sturman has worked extensively photographing war veterans who have embraced the practice of yoga to to heal PTSD, in an effort to help change the heartbreaking statistic of 22 American veteran suicides each day. In Sturman's own words, "I often think of Rumi's words 'I can't stop pointing to the beauty.' That feels right to me." Sturman's honors include Official Artist of the 47th Annual Grammy Awards, 2010 FIFA World Cup Artist Representing America, and Official Artist 2008 United States Olympics. In 2012 and 2013, Sturman was the subject of two separate New York Times articles celebrating his photographs of yoga from around the world.

"I  do not do yoga to get good at yoga.
I do yoga to remove the unnecessary and get good at life." —Robert Sturman