The Creative Wellness Project: Vincent Garrett

One of my favorite childhood friends from Tobago is an Air Force man.  I’m not quite sure how he manages to get everything done in a day.  Just listening to his schedule makes me tired.  So I’ve always been curious about about the various ways military members successfully manage their work life balance. I came across Vincent’s Instagram last year and was immediately inspired by the way he seamlessly incorporates yoga into in his everyday life.  Here’s what the Air Force veteran had to say about his yoga practice. 

1.    Tell us about your background and what inspired you to start practicing yoga?

I am a married Air Force Veteran who grew up as a military brat (born in Cali but traveled the world after leaving there at the age of 3. I just turned 32 back in November (Team Scorpio).

So what inspired me to get into yoga? I wanted to add a nice balance to my workout routine and yoga seemed like the perfect way to add the sense of calm to it. To be honest, it took me a while to get into an actual yoga class. I had wanted to try yoga for a long time but never had enough courage to sign up and attend one. I didn’t know why I was so scared because the first glance I ever had into a yoga class (which was during a 2009 deployment in Afghanistan) there were several other men in it.

So fast forward a few years to the beginning of 2013 and the yoga itch came back and I decided to scratch it this time. I didn’t automatically just dive into a class; I started with videos from YouTube and like most people these days Instagram helped fuel my growing obsession with my practice. Being self-taught can only take you but so far in your practice so I decided that I was ready to get over my fear of being among other people practicing yoga in a public venue. I have never looked back since.

2.    What does your yoga aim to do?

Well at the beginning I mainly focused on gaining more flexibility and mobility, but as time went on I did realize I was calmer and had a more level headedness about myself. The more I practiced the more I longed to continue to have that sense of calm yoga brought me. So to have that coupled with being more flexible is where I am currently at.

3.    What has been your biggest challenge and how do you overcome it?

I would have to say the biggest challenge I have encountered since starting my practice is getting over feeling embarrassed by my lack of coordination and confidence. That was one of the main reasons why it took me so long to attend a class. Other than that being the only male in most of classes was another challenge. Trying to break down the wall (that men do not practice yoga) and being taken seriously in class.

4.    What book would you recommend everyone should read?

A book that has always helped me in my personal growth is The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz. It is a great book with a lot of insight on what steps to take in order to gain more personal freedom and satisfaction with life.

5.    Who’s your favorite yogi and why?

I don’t know if I have a favorite yogi. There are so many wonderful people I have met through my journey it would be a crime to just single one person out.

6.    Do you have a creative wellness practice? Something creative that you do to encourage yourself to take better care of yourself?

I have tried to keep up with my meditation but being human I have slacked off a bit. That is one thing that even if I can’t get a full practice in while at home/studio meditation will always do the trick of letting go of the stress built up throughout my day. I have to always remind myself not to take life so serious and relax a bit. 

7.    Is there anything else you'd like to add regarding your work? 

The only thing I can honestly say that I would like to add to my practice is to be more consistent. My job in the military can be a bit hectic along with normal family life so having that one thing you can rely on would be vital in my ongoing growth as a human.