Wednesday, Feb 28, 2024

Sonya Quijada, Wellness Coach, on Yoga Nidra's Benefits

Sonya Quijada was one of the few female paratroopers in the 82d Airborne Division. In 1989, she was the first female honors graduate of Advanced Airborne Jumpmaster School. She served 28 years in the Army as a leader in Signal Corps and was then chosen by Special Operations Command to join the intelligence community.

The Army Physical Fitness Research Institute gave her a life-changing assignment. She became a Master Ressilience Trainer in the Comprehensive Soldier and Family Fitness Program. This program helps Soldiers and executives build better relationships with their families, friends, and colleagues. Sonya is a certified wellness coach, having earned her college degree in neuroscience and biology, as well as 20 years of practice with yoga and mindfulness.

She is certified in iRest Yoga Nidra, a guided meditation to reduce anxiety, stress, insomnia, chronic pain, and other symptoms.

Women Fitness president Namita Nayyar got in touch Sonya Quijada from Q Wellness, Certified Wellness Instructor, to answer her questions about Yoga Nidra.

Namita Nayyar:

In 1989, you were the first female honors graduate from the Advanced Airborne Jumpmaster School. What was it that inspired you to join The U.S. Army?

Sonya Quijada:

Truth be told, I didn’t know enough to claim that I was inspired when I joined the Army. I had joined Reserve Officer Training Corps in spring freshman year to help pay for university. I had hoped to become a neuroscientist. The detachment sent my to Fort Benning, Georgia to teach me how to get out of an aircraft with static line parachutes, just a few days after I signed up.

Two weeks into my training, I turned 18 as I was already there. After completing five jumps with success, I returned to ROTC headquarters feeling motivated to "be the best I could be." I was also named the Cadets of the Year for my area. This meant that I was commissioned into active component instead of reserve. I didn't want to go to Johns Hopkins to become neuroscientist. Instead, I was a paratrooper in the powerful 82 and Airborne divisions. That was just the beginning.

This content is not meant to replace professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. If you have any questions regarding a medical condition, consult your doctor or another qualified health provider.
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