Warriors at Ease Certification

Warriors at Ease brings the healing power of yoga and meditation to military communities around the world, especially those affected by combat-stress, PTSD, and trauma. We do this by training and deploying certified mind-body professionals to settings where they can enhance the health and well-being of service members, veterans, families, and healthcare staff.

We currently do not have any live trainings scheduled for 2018. Click here for more information about National Access to becoming certified.


The Warriors at Ease Level I Teacher Training is an invitation to learn valuable skills to support the health and healing of service members, veterans, and their families, including those who’ve been impacted by war and sexual trauma experienced while serving in the military. In this course, you will learn yoga practices and teaching principles grounded in an approach that is trauma-sensitive, evidenced-based, and informed by the unique aspects of military culture.


*Registration March 1, 2019 from 4pm-5pm
March 1, 2019 5pm-8pm,
March 2-3, 2019 8am-5pm

Training Schedule:

We currently do not have any live trainings scheduled for 2018. Click here for more information about National Access to becoming certified.

Curriculum Focus

  • Yoga for Special Populations
  • Adaptive Yoga
  • Working mindfully to create safe container for trauma, PTSD, TBI and limb loss.



Included in program tuition:

This program provides RYT continuing education accepted by Yoga Alliance. Participants must be present for the entire training in order to receive CEU credits.


Exalted Warrior Foundation is a nonprofit 503(c). The Exalted Warrior Foundation facilitates an adaptive yoga instruction program that is designed for wounded warriors in the active military, veteran hospital facilities, and veterans within communities around the country.

Faced with the demands of both a physical and emotional recovery, adaptive yoga allows newly disabled veterans to reconnect with both themselves and their loved ones. Warriors with amputations, traumatic brain and spinal cord injuries have greatly benefitted since the program began.

The gentle movements of a yoga practice support the restoration of the body-mind connection. Practice varies from subtle breath work, accompanied with gentle stretching postures, for beginners to intense exertions, as the parties’ comfort with these healing techniques increases. Through practice, the warrior will being to release the “issues from the tissues.” While strengthening the body, a warrior is provided new pathways to release tension and frustration. By the use of tools learned from their yoga practice, the symptoms of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) are also addressed. For example, forward bends and inversions deliver great benefits to those suffering from insomnia and depression. Breath work helps alleviate the PTSD sufferer’s hyper vigilance by slowing the heart rate and giving them a tool to regain a sense of control from a seemingly uncontrollable situation. These methods of yoga exercise, relaxation, and meditation are keys to wellness that the warrior can practice for a lifetime. These keys of wellness will help the warrior reintegrate into their community after leaving the care of the military —returning home to a potentially fuller and more productive life.

In 2006, Robin Carnes, clinical psychologist and yoga scholar Dr. Richard Miller, and the research staff at Walter Reed, collaborated on a pioneering yoga research study sponsored by the Department of Defense at Walter Reed Army Medical Center. The study, Yoga as a Therapy for Traumatic Experiences, was designed to assess whether Yoga Nidra meditation would be a feasible approach to reduce symptoms of Post Traumatic Stress (PTS) among military personnel. Ms. Carnes served as the lead instructor in this study and Karen Soltes served as the assistant instructor.

Robin subsequently was hired to work in a Defense Department-sponsored PTSD treatment program as a yoga and meditation instructor. Karen Soltes began working at the War Related Injuries and Illness Center at the Washington DC VA as an iRest Yoga Nidra instructor.

They later met Molly Aseby-Birkholm, a yoga and iRest Yoga Nidra meditation teacher working at the Miami VA. As pioneers in the field, they recognized this work required both technical and sensitivity training beyond what is included in most yoga teacher certification programs and seminars on yoga and trauma.

In 2008, they founded Warriors At Ease (then Yoga Corps). Out of this, they developed a teleconference training to share their experiences and insights with other teachers who want to bring the healing power of mind-body practices to military communities. Several U.S. service members who are also yoga teachers, including Colonel Pat Lillis and Sue Lynch, offered their generous guidance.

Warriors At Ease expanded its offerings in 2011 & 2012 to include a webinar format and a full certification program for yoga teachers  and meditation teachers designed around core competencies required to be an excellent teacher in military communities.

As of July 2014, Warriors At Ease has trained more than 450 yoga and meditation teachers to serve in military communities.

Annie Okerlin

Annie Okerlin


E-RYT 500 (application pending) – She has been a yoga teacher for over 14 years. The daughter of two World War II and Korean War veterans, Annie has a deep appreciation of the service our veterans render to our country. In that vein she sought to help the wounded warriors of today’s wars and realized that the practice of yoga could be of great aid in their rehabilitation and return to their communities. As a result she introduced yoga at Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, DC and then established the Exalted Warrior Foundation where she now serves as the President of the Board. Deciding to deepen her practice led Annie to Bikram certification in 1999. Within three weeks she knew teaching yoga was her passion in life and Yogani Studios became the home for it. In 2001 she did a 200 hour teacher training with Shiva Rea. Annie’s energy and compassion have led her to working with everyone from professional athletes, homemakers and those of different abilities. In 2005 Annie began a new path of working with wounded warriors. This path became official with the birth of Exalted Warrior Foundation in 2010 with Annie continuing to teach to all the wounded populations throughout military and Veterans hospitals. Annie designed the program to support the seen and unseen wounded populations; including amputees, burn victims, and those with orthopedic poly-trauma, traumatic brain and spinal-cord injuries, PTSD, and depression. She is currently finishing her certification as an iRest® Yoga Nidra instructor.Annie and EWF support nationwide programs assisting the re-integration of the wounded back into civilian life, and have begun documenting best-practices to present in teacher training programs. This work has led her to be on the faculty of Warriors At Ease, teaching other yoga instructors how to teach adaptive yoga to the traumatically wounded in a military setting. Annie is also a founding member of the Military MindBody Health Consortium and advises many groups working with our injured service members and their families.

Annie has the remarkable gift of helping her students meet challenges and conquer “fears” both in their yoga practice and in life. Annie helps her students see that their body holds a road map of their life; moments of joy, success and celebration are mixed with injuries, illness and emotional concerns – all held within our bodies. Annie enables her students to discover and grow, gaining in confidence, wisdom and patience.

Annie has an understanding of human anatomy and deep appreciation of the power of the will and the mind that enables her to reach students of all kinds. Her gentle-yet-firm manner and her compassionate communications ability has built a remarkably broad-based, yoga community of men and women of all ages, backgrounds and physical ability. Annie creates tailored practices for all her students, but especially for her differently-abled Wounded Warriors who are supported through the EWF.