Overton Brooks VA Medical Center
Yoga studios inspire Vets to yoga
Local yoga studios, Aspire Yoga and Explore Yoga, recently made donations to Veterans who attend yoga sessions at Overton Brooks VA Medical Center. The donations went to purchase additional equipment for those classes.
“Raising money was the easy part,” Monica Carlson, instructor, Explore Yoga said. “I wanted to raise awareness in our community as well to our Veterans about the benefits of yoga. We (Explore Yoga) offered free classes and the participants who attended the classes donated money toward the supplies we need for our students at the VA.”
“We do this to give back to the Veterans who have already given so much,” Heather Delia, owner and instructor, Aspire Yoga, said. “My father is an Air Force Veteran. He just started yoga and I can already see the benefits.”
“The donations were made by our volunteer yoga instructors who teach our Veterans,” Laura Campbell, program manager, OEF/OIF/OND, Overton Brooks VA Medical Center, said. “They (the instructors and Veterans) said we needed additional equipment. Two instructors taught classes and used the proceeds from those sessions to raise money for the recommended supplies.”
Both Aspire Yoga and Explore Yoga reached out to Overton Brooks VA and offered their talents to help Veterans heal from physical, emotional and mental ailments.
“Yoga is something that I’ve always been passionate about,” Delia said. “When I started Yoga in 2001 it was life changing. I would like to share that feeling with others, especially our Veterans. Our goal is to expand and enlarge the yoga community and to do things for our Veterans who have done so much and to pay it forward.”
“They have been very generous with their time and talents,” Campbell said. “Veteran yoga classes are paid through Yoga Across American, a non-profit organization that brings yoga to service members and Veterans. The classes do not cost the Medical Center anything.”
Instructors from both yoga studios encourage Veterans to try yoga, especially those who suffer from a variety of medical conditions.
“Yoga has so many benefits and, in my opinion, almost anyone willing to give it a try will see a difference,” Carlson said. “It is particularly beneficial for Veterans since yoga relieves symptoms of chronic pain and stress. Both of which I have seen in the Veterans who attend the classes at Overton Brooks.”
Held twice a week, each class averages 10 to12 participants. More than 50 Veterans have attended the class so far, according to Campbell.