VYP AMBASSADOR


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emanuel salazar | Washington dc

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 five years on Active Duty during which he was selected to serve with the world renowned USMC 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 and Organized Crime Task Force. As a reservist, Emanuel was activated and served in support of multiple missions, including Operations Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom. In 2006 Emanuel embedded with the Marine Corps Regimental Team 6 and served as Deputy Advisor to the Regimental Commander on intelligence/terrorism target matters in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. Demonstrating a relentless dedication to serve, Emanuel enlisted in the US Army Reserve and was selected to become a counterintelligence (CI) agent at Fort Meade, MD. During his tenure with the Army he was activated and served as a Supervisory Agent in Charge of a CI detachment in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. During this deployment, he was a member of the Joint Casualty Assessment Team and managed many high-profile investigations. During his military service tenure, Emanuel received numerous awards for his meritorious service from the Department of Defense, Department of Justice, and various law enforcement agencies.

Upon discharge from active duty in April 2015, Emanuel experienced difficulty transitioning into his civilian career due to service connected injuries sustained during deployment. Emanuel discovered the life-changing power of yoga, a practice that has been instrumental in his journey to heal from his service connected injuries and his invisible wounds of war. He quickly became obsessed with his practice and realized he wanted to share the healing power of yoga with other veterans.  He completed the inaugural a 200 hour RYT training with Vetoga in trauma-informed yoga and mindful awareness practices as well as an additional 200 hour RYT training with Yoga Heights in Washington, DC. Inspired by both his military experience and work with at-risk youth as a Master’s of Social Work (MSW) student, Emanuel founded Mindful Warrior Retreats, LLC in May 2017 with the mission to empower underserved communities, including veterans and at-risk youth, to overcome trauma and hardship through mindfulness education and the cultivation of emotional resilience. Emanuel is frequently called upon to utilize his unique skill set to provide workshops and retreats in a variety of settings, including hospitals, police academies, veterans groups, schools and social service agencies. Emanuel is proudly embracing his new role as a healer, mentor, and leader in the healing arts and demonstrates his unwavering commitment to be of service in his community.