What do you think of when you hear the word “yoga?” If your image of yoga involves headstands and pretzel twists with a group of women in a studio, then it’s time to reimagine yoga.

Yoga can offer all people better balance, posture, strength and flexibility. It can even help with mindful awareness, being present, and creating a sense of community.

Yoga has been recommended as a first line treatment for acute and chronic low-back pain in the clinical practice guidelines developed by the American College of Physicians. An evidence map of studies on yoga, conducted on behalf of VA, showed evidence of positive effect for nonspecific chronic low-back pain and potentially positive effect for depressive disorders, anxiety and insomnia.

If yoga is something that sounds interesting to you, check out this video by Whole Health Coach and Yoga instructor, Katherine Hillgren from the St. Louis VA Medical Center. She’ll lead you through an 18-minute practice you can do from your chair, and which has many of the benefits listed above.

No matter where you are, you can take care of yourself and improve your health and well-being.

Whole Health

Did you know many of VA’s Whole Health Coaches and peer facilitators are Veterans themselves? Check out this handout to learn more about how they can work in partnership with you as you think about your health in a new way.

You don’t have to embark on your Whole Health journey alone. It’s important now more than ever that we stay connected to those we love. With the Live Whole Health app, you can easily share your goals and achievements with your family, friends and health care team. Download the app, here: https://mobile.va.gov/app/live-whole-health.


Marc Castellani, Ph.D., NBC-HWC, is the Whole Health clinical education coordinator for the VHA Office of Patient Centered Care and Cultural Transformation.

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One Comment

  1. Suzanne Valentin March 3, 2021 at 9:58 am

    Please add more yoga and related movement program sessions. Very helpful.

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