Emanuel Salazar was born and raised in the Washington Heights area of New York City. In 1992 he enlisted in the United States Marine Corps and served for 25 years on Active Duty and Reserves. During his time in the Marine Corps he was selected to serve with the world renowned United States Marine Corps Drill Team. After completing his initial enlistment Emanuel joined the Fairfax County Sheriff’s Office where he served faithfully for 14 years as a detective and undercover officer in the Criminal Street Gangs Unit. During his years as reservist Emanuel was activated and served in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom.
Emanuel was having a difficult time transitioning back into his civilian career due to service connected injuries he suffered while on Active Duty. Emanuel discovered the life-changing power of yoga, which has enabled him to heal from his service connected injuries and invisible wounds of war in a way that nothing else could. He quickly became obsessed with his practice and realized he wanted to share the healing power of yoga with other veterans.
He has completed a 200 hour RYT training with Vetoga in trauma-informed yoga and mindful awareness practices. He has taken his practice and teaching back to his local community and has begun to work individually and in groups with at-risk youths, veterans, and victims of trauma. Emanuel is proudly embracing his new role as a healer, mentor, and leader in the healing arts. One of his proudest post deployment achievements has been assisting veterans with their mental health needs. He has worked closely with local veteran leaders and organizations and has developed an integrative health and wellness retreat to help veterans suffering from PTSD and chronic illnesses.
Mental health claims the lives of approximately 22 Veterans a day and his goal is to save as many Veterans as possible. Every Veteran he can reach is a Veteran he can save!