Marines are Meditating! Mindfulness-Based Fitness

Meditating MarinesGuess who is singing “Om?” Those valiant men in the Marines are now practicing yoga exercises which include meditation techniques.

If you are one of many individuals who practices a daily discipline of meditation, you are not alone.  Now some of the toughest men in the world have added this discipline to their rigorous training routine.

It is termed “Mindfulness-Based Fitness Training” and hoped that this Buddhist-inspired training will help those in the Marine Corps increase their ability control the mind, focus the attention on the moment and their mind in the present.  Right now suicide and post-traumatic stress disorder rates are high.  These techniques are meant to help Marines better handle stress.

Veterans PTSD Statistics

The incidence of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) is high among veterans

A research study was conducted in 2011 involving two groups of 160 Marines.  One group used silent concentration and breathing techniques, under stress-induced situations, including screaming actors, controlled blasts and a setting created to look like an Afghanistan village.

Veteran TM-PTSD-study

The Effects of Transcendental Meditation on Post Traumatic Stress Disorder with Veterans

 The second group did not use these breathing and mindfulness techniques and were also exposed to the same combat stress-induced situation. Naval Medical Research Center scientist Douglas C. Johnson collected data and physical evidence of stress, blood and saliva samples, images of their brains and the results of problem-solving tests.   The results of this research is expected to be published later this spring.

Cadets Meditating

Cadets meditating

Another study by the same research scientist involves three separate control groups, each consisting of 80 Marines.  One group will receive mindfulness-based training, one will practice sports psychology training techniques, and the third will be a control group. Those results will be published later this year.



King, Lynda A.; King, Daniel W.; Fairbank, John A.; Keane, Terence M.; Adams, Gary A., Resilience–recovery factors in post-traumatic stress disorder among female and male Vietnam veterans: Hardiness, postwar social support, and additional stressful life events, Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, Vol 74(2), Feb 1998, 420-434.

EB Blanchard, LC Kolb, TP Pallmeyer, RJ Gerardi, A psychophysiological study of post traumatic stress disorder in Vietnam veterans  – Psychiatric Quarterly, 1982 – Springer

Marines expanding use of meditation training,
Washington Times

U.S. Marine Corps members learn mindfulness meditation and yoga in pilot program to help reduce stress,
Associated Press, Wednesday, January 23, 2013, 11:09 AM

Julie Watson, The Associated Press,Meditating Marines: Military tries mindfulness to lower stress, NBC News, Sunday Jan 20, 2013 11:00 AM


Jean E. DartThis article is written by Jean Voice Dart, M.S. Special Education from Illinois State University. Jean is a published author and has written hundreds of health articles as well as hosting a local television program, “Making Miracles Happen.” She is a Registered Music Therapist, Sound Therapist, and Master Level Energetic Teacher, and is the Executive Director, founder and Health and Wellness Educator of the Monterey Bay Holistic Alliance. The Monterey Bay Holistic Alliance is a registered 501 (c) 3 nonprofit health and wellness education organization. For more information about the Monterey Bay Holistic Alliance contact us or visit our website at

The Monterey Bay Holistic Alliance is a charitable, independent registered nonprofit 501(c)3 organization and does not endorse any particular products or practices. We exist as an educational organization dedicated to providing free access to health education resources, products and services. Claims and statements herein are for informational purposes only and have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. The statements about organizations, practitioners, methods of treatment, and products listed on this website are not meant to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. This information is intended for educational purposes only. The MBHA strongly recommends that you seek out your trusted medical doctor or practitioner for diagnosis and treatment of any existing health condition.

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