Women Veterans find healing in yoga - Martinsburg VA Medical Center
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Martinsburg VA Medical Center

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Women Veterans find healing in yoga

March 28, 2018

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MARTINSBURG, W.Va. – Alternative medicine may seem foreign to most people but U.S. Army Veteran Holly Lawrence says it is the original medicine and it works. 

Lawrence has been taking part in the Martinsburg VA Medical Center’s (VAMC) Mindful Yoga program for over a year and has adopted yoga into everything she does.

“I have noticed that the things I learn in yoga carry-over into my everyday routine, especially my posture,” said Lawrence. “Yoga can change a person’s whole life in a good way and that is why I share the many benefits of yoga with others who think they can’t do yoga by telling and showing them how yoga is possible through modifications.”

While yoga does many physically positive things for Veterans, it also focuses on mindfulness. Mindfulness concentrates on a participant’s mental state by helping bring awareness to one’s thoughts and feelings. The Martinsburg VAMC yoga program emphasizes mindfulness.

U.S. Army Veteran Carla Van Curen feels that Veterans need to maintain a healthy body and mind. “Our minds and bodies sometimes need training on how to respond to life,” said Van Curen. “Mindfulness helps to relax both your mind and body through techniques such as breathing and meditation. For a Veteran suffering from PTSD, mindfulness can help to relax and stay focused.”

Mindful Yoga is designed to create a safe space for Veterans to focus on what their body CAN do instead of what it CANNOT do. Veterans interested in participating in Mindful Yoga need to ask their health care provider for a Veterans Health Education consult.