The word yoga means union. When we practice yoga, we experience the union of our body, mind and breath. This creates ease and well-being in the body and mind. Chair yoga offers a more accessible way to enjoy these benefits of the exercise.

This 23-minute gentle lower-body chair exercise class guides you through a relaxing series of movements. St. Louis VA Medical Center’s yoga teacher and Whole Health Coach, Katherine Hillgren, is your guide. Grab a chair, a strap or towel, and give yourself this gift of gentle movement.

Yoga is a form of exercise that has transformed the way many people manage their health and well-being. There are hundreds of styles of yoga, and not all of them require the kind of strength and flexibility that we see on the covers of magazines and on social media. Yoga has been practiced in the west since the early 1900s, and many options and styles make it accessible and appropriate for all bodies, ages, and levels of fitness. Learn more about yoga, and how you can incorporate it into your own life with this Introduction to Yoga for Whole Health: https://www.va.gov/WHOLEHEALTH/Veteran-Handouts/docs/Yoga-508Final-9-4-2018.pdf

More information

VA conducts and reviews research on yoga and how it can benefit Veterans.

In a study published in the American Journal of Preventative Medicine, Researcher Dr. Erik J. Groessl and his team from the VA San Diego Healthcare System found that Veterans who completed a 12-week yoga program had better scores on a disability questionnaire, improved pain intensity scores, and a decline in opioid use.

Learn more about how Complementary and Integrative Health approaches like yoga can help you deal with pain.


Andrea Young is a Field Implementation Team Consultant with the VHA Office of Patient Centered Care & Cultural Transformation.

Share this story

Published on Jun. 1, 2020

Estimated reading time is 1.5 min.

Views to date: 262

One Comment

  1. Harris R Angell June 4, 2020 at 12:36 am

    How does one sign up for online instruction and monitoring?
    HRA is an 82 yr old Vietnam USM Vet, I am wife 75 yrs old, sole caregiver for 10 yrs unpaid. A and A applied years ago, denied, recently applied again, in works for months.
    10 years ago, he went to VA hospital for cataract eye surgery. Too much air was put in his head, caused a hole in brain, a stroke which left him paralyzed. and Stenosis of spine. medical records confirm, but still not received yet.Recovered halfway, left side paralysis, frozen shoulder remains. Plus ear, eyes, incontinence being managed, and teeth problems. Great Brain, in spite of hole.
    Has a few PT sessions at a VA hospital, 80 mile round trip to attend, got a few weeks at a local gym, a few weeks in home care, but cost, transportation, motivation, no tangible progress.
    He loves computers, tablet, smart phone. Has had a few zoom sessions with his faith group.
    HE NEEDS PT WITH SOMEONE TO MONITOR HIM, other than wife. Preferably Military oriented.
    Any help will be appreciated.

Comments are closed.

More Stories

  • When we have aches and pains, we often notice our body “talking” to us. This Tai Chi basic moves practice helps with those aches and pains before they begin.

  • Connecting mind and body is important for your overall whole health. Your body responds to the way you think, feel, and act and this is often called the “mind-body connection.” 

  • Relationships support our quality of life and contribute to our whole health. Relationships can affect our emotional, mental, and physical health and well-being. Connections to family, friends, community, and even animals can help reduce stress and improve physical and emotional well-being.