My name is Robert Plagmann “Bobby” and I am a traveling yogi based out of Dolphin Virginia. I grew up more or less in rural North Carolina, near the Outer Banks. I spent some time in Kansas and Georgia along the way.
I joined the Marine Corps in December of 1999 and served until December of 2017. During my career I served in some of the most beautiful places on Earth with some of the most amazing people the world has to offer. I also suffered many of the hardships that go along with a life of military service. During my last two years on active duty, while struggling with drug and alcohol dependence, and on the verge of being ushered out of the Marine Corps as a result, I attempted suicide.
I learned a lot in the military, but I never learned what to do when my life unraveled and I found myself divorced, addicted, and coming apart at the seams from a lifetime of unprocessed trauma. I had no idea where to turn or who to ask for help. I was ordered to participate in an outpatient rehabilitation program where I was introduced to creative arts and yoga as a treatment modality for post traumatic stress symptoms and as an outlet for recovery.
The first time I wrote, a small cloud cleared. Writing required me to go into the depths of my pain and to turn it over in my head and my hands. The group allowed me to do that in a safe place. It was a place free from judgment. It was a place where I could always go even when I thought everything about me was bad. I continue to write my heart out now even occasionally writing a song or two and strumming them out on an old Taylor. During my treatment I was introduced to a writing workshop led by a poet named Seema Reza. Through my work with Seema I was honored to collaborate with 9 other service members and veterans on a writing project. That project turned into an HBO documentary that features the use of poetry, writing, art, and developing vulnerability, to help process and recover from trauma. http://www.wearenotdoneyetfilm.com/
The first time I closed my eyes in a yoga class all I saw was fire. Eventually the tips of the flames softened. Through a consistent yoga practice I continued to learn more and more about how to sit still with my pain, to feel it and allow it to run its course, undiluted, concentrated and savage. I wanted more of what yoga had to offer. When I left the service I traveled to India where I spent several months studying yoga, reiki, and energy healing, in the Himalayas of northern India, with some of the world’s most renowned gurus. My goal is to bring the message of hope that I have discovered to others who may be suffering and struggling alone. We are better together.
There is a lot of strength to be revealed in how we embrace our pain and our past. Writing and yoga have allowed me to do just that and, more importantly, to build my own future.
I live on a farm and travel in a customized RV with my Pit Bull Terrier/Terror “Baagh” surfing, singing, and trying to share as much love as possible with the time I have left. From time to time I write about it over at robertplagmann.com.