The US Army has introduced yoga for the first time in its physical fitness regimen.
The changes in its "combat readiness test" are being made as part of an overhaul of its fitness programme for the first time in 30 years, the Christian Science Monitor reported.
The training will incorporate the elements of yoga and benefits of rest among other workouts. The new regimen, announced March 1, will be carried out in phases.
"There have been all kinds of rumors about what this is and what it isn't. People have said, 'It's yoga-like, it's like Pilates' ... And frankly, it is all those things," the Monitor quoted Gen Mark Hertling, deputy commanding general for initial military training at the US Army's Training and Doctrine Command, as saying.
He pointed out that tough training leads to stress, fractures and other injuries. Hence, the new doctrine extols the virtues of breaks on long marches. This new training is a departure from how the army tests its soldiers.
"We've only done push-ups, sit-ups and a two-mile run," for the past 30 years, said Hertling, but "none of those address the kinds of things soldiers are asked to do in combat."
To address this issue, shuttle runs and long jumps have been added to the fitness programme, he said.