Exercise YOGA – The Defence Team mobilizes for women

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Article / March 16, 2017 / Project number: 17-0080

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By Lieutenant (Navy) Delphine Bonnardot, Canadian Forces Base/Area Support Unit Montreal, Public Affairs

Montreal, Quebec — On 8 March 2017, over 250 members of the Defence Team and thousands of Internet users took part in Exercise YOGA 2017 (Ex YOGA 17) at various locations in Quebec from 11:30a.m. to 12:30 p.m. to highlight International Women’s Day and women’s exceptional contribution to the Defence Team.

“I’m pleased to be with you today to launch the first annual Exercise YOGA, and I’m proud to see so many participants in this yoga hour combining health and well-being for all our members,” announced Lieutenant-Colonel Alain Veilleux, Chair of the D+ Diversity Committee.

Initiated by the D+ Diversity Committee, this teleconference event, live-streamed on the Canadian Army’s Facebook page, consisted of a yoga session for all Defence Team members, be they women or men, civilian or military personnel, regardless of their age or physical condition, in order to be as inclusive as possible. So that more people could take part in this activity during the school break, children accompanied by adults were also welcome.

“Exercise YOGA reminds us that we all have an important role to play in fostering an equitable, respectful and inclusive work environment,” declared Colonel Sébastien Bouchard, Women’s Champion for the 2nd Canadian Division. “The fact that so many people are participating in this event today is a sign of the entire Defence Team’s desire to mobilize for the cause of women around the world.”

With a powerful Om led by a yoga professor in Montreal and taken up by instructors at each location, the yogis began the session and then meditated for the rest of the hour. The Canadian Forces Base/Area Support Unit Montreal and Area Support Unit Saint-Jean, with the presence of members from 2nd Canadian Division Ranger Headquarters, 2nd Canadian Division Support Base Valcartier, the Quebec City Naval Reserve and Her Majesty’s Canadian Ship (HMCS) Radisson in Trois-Rivières, all tuned in to highlight this day established in 1977 by the United Nations.

“This innovative event was made possible thanks to the involvement of many people, including co-ordinators, the members of the Personnel Support Programs, the Signal Squadron and Public Affairs,” said Captain Brigite Noël, Operations and Plans Officer, Personnel Services, 2nd Canadian Division Support Group. “This event has showcased the team spirit of civilian and military personnel working together.”

According to the initial figures, Exercise YOGA was live-streamed by over 9,000 Internet users, reached over 70,000 people via social media and was “liked” as far away as the United States, Mexico, the West Indies and India. Tune in on 8 March, 2018 to make a difference by participating in Exercise Yoga 2018!

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