Veteran Lost Both Legs In Iraq, Finds Strength And Healing In Yoga

He claims that yoga is 'one of the most important things he has ever done.'

Dan Nevins beside Donald Trump for Wounded Warriors
Mark Wilson / Shutterstock

He claims that yoga is 'one of the most important things he has ever done.'

ABC News recently ran a video report on a wounded veteran who has dedicated his time and efforts into the practice of yoga, which he claims has basically helped him “forget that [he is] a double amputee.” Dan Nevins is a wounded warrior, yoga instructor, and a professional speaker who has not let the pitfalls in life defeat him, but has instead used them to make himself an even stronger individual.

Nevins was in the United States Army for a grand total of 15 years. His role in combat, he told reporters, was serving as a squad leader. According to Nevins, while in Iraq, he witnessed various “incidents and explosions,” as well as what he says were constant IED attacks. The day that Nevins lost his legs, his squad received intelligence that “some of the insurgency was leaving Fallujah” and heading straight to Nevins and his squad’s area of operations.

“I remember everything about that day.”

The veteran stated to ABC that while traveling down a long road in the darkness, he had his head bowed in prayer. He said he always did this “before every mission.” During this particular prayer, an intense explosion rocked his and the other soldiers’ worlds. While telling his life-changing story to reporters, Nevins became choked up as he described the “deafening blast” which sent the 18,000-pound vehicle that he and his squad were in sailing through the air. The vehicle was, as Nevins stated, “in a ball of fire.”

During the blast, his legs were irreparably wounded. Nevins said that his legs were still inside the vehicle when he felt “unmistakable arterial blood spurt with every beat of [his] heart.” It was then that he realized his femoral artery was severed. Some of the others in Nevins’ squad died during the blast, such as First Class Sergeant Mike Ottoloni, who was driving the vehicle.

Nevins underwent 32 surgeries and told news reporters that the Wounded Warriors Project was at his bedside every day to make sure he was cared for and that there were opportunities for Nevins to prove that his disability did not define him.

Dan began taking some yoga classes during his recovery. He took to the routine easily and happily and is currently a yoga instructor. Other “wounded” warriors often join his classes. Nevins stated that being a yoga teacher is the “most important work [he has] ever done.”

“The reality is that all of us are living with the invisible wounds of some war.”