Practicing yoga in a class is an excellent self-care practice, but sometimes it just isn’t possible to grab a mat and head to a studio. Yoga teacher and Whole Health Coach, Katherine Hillgren, from the St. Louis VA Medical Center, suggests that a home practice, like chair yoga, is a suitable replacement in a pinch.
Practicing yoga at home allows one to let go of worries and to-do lists, and is great for peacefully settling into the body. This 18-minute, gentle, upper-body, chair yoga class guides you through a relaxing series of movements. Grab an armless chair and give yourself this gift of yoga and gentle movement.
Being physically active is an important step that Veterans can take to improve their health. Some physical activity is better than none, and any amount of physical activity can improve health-related fitness.
Choose enjoy activities and start at a comfortable level. Learn more about being physically active from VA’s Health Promotion and Disease Prevention Healthy Living Tips: https://www.prevention.va.gov/Healthy_Living/Be_Physically_Active.asp
Researchers studying Yoga find it effective for addressing many physical and mental health ailments. One study shows that yoga can offer relief to people who are suffering with Parkinson’s Disease, addressing issues such as mobility, balance, strength, flexibility, mood and sleep.
People often fear starting yoga class due to stereotypical portrayals in the media. It isn’t only for the most fit and flexible among us! On the contrary, yoga adapts with practice and ability. Its functional and psychosocial benefits suit a wide variety of abilities. Read more here: https://www.blogs.va.gov/VAntage/37274/veterans-parkinsons-disease-benefits-yoga/
Andrea Young is a Field Implementation Team Consultant with the VHA Office of Patient Centered Care & Cultural Transformation.