Labyrinth Hosts President Obama, Wounded Vet & His Family Doing Yoga

Official White House Photo by Pete Souza:President Obama with military family on NICOE labyrinth Bethesda MD

Aug. 26, 2016
“While visiting service members receiving therapy at the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, Master Chief Petty Officer David Hall asked the President if he would join him and his family in a yoga therapy session at the National Intrepid Center of Excellence. Master Chief Petty Officer Hall of the SEAL, Naval Air Station Ocean, Va., was injured while deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan, where he suffered multiple Traumatic Brain Injuries. He has served in the Navy for 26 years and has deployed five times.” 

Just released in the latest batch of official White House photographer Pete Souza's candid photos of the president. The hardwood labyrinth is in the center of the National Intrepid Center of Excellence (NICOE) which treats our vets with brain injuries. When not used for walking mediation, the labyrinth provides a sun-filled meeting space for small group activities such as the yoga session pictured. 

NICOE is part of the Bethesda MD hospital complex which includes Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, the National Naval Medical Center, and the National Institutes of Health.

The labyrinth is our St. Paul a la Chartres 7 circuit design, custom crafted from natural maple and cherry wood planks specifically for this space at NICOE. More information and photos of this labyrinth and other hardwood designs can be seen here:

Hardwood Floor Labyrinths

David Tolzmann
David Tolzmann


2 Responses

Rebecca Smith
Rebecca Smith

March 12, 2017

Beautiful! As a Certified Yoga Instructor, I led many vets through Hatha Yoga classes in the addiction treatment program I worked in for 15 years in WA State. Yoga postures, breath work and meditation had a very positive, even profound, affect on many vets. When my son was nearing his 20 year stint (12 as a diver working with a SEAL team) I got him interested in yoga. He loved it and has now almost finished a MA in Performance Psychology!

Dorothy Estvander
Dorothy Estvander

January 18, 2017

Thank you for a beautiful and unexpected photo. I love labyrinths and have a friend who leads group walks, i.e, be open for what happens as you walk. How can I send this photo to my friend?

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