Veterans Wellness

  • Veterans Yoga

  • Chip's Fund for Veterans Yoga

  • Veteran's Healing Garden

  • Annual Veteran's Dinner

  • VA Vet Center Community Access Point

  • Special Thanks 

Veterans Yoga

Wednesdays 6:00-7:10pm in Edwards Hall

In gratitude for your service Veterans Yoga is FREE for veterans, active duty personnel and family members.

Veterans Yoga is for:

  • veterans of any branch of the military service

  • active military personnel

  • families of veterans or active personnel

...whether you are in great shape or living with physical limitations

...whether you love yoga or think it sounds kind of strange

...whether you are struggling with hidden wounds of war or just looking for a relaxing way to end the day

Veterans Yoga is led by:

- Lynn Stoller, Certified Yoga Instructor, Occupational Therapist

- Kimberly McClure, Certified Yoga Instructor

- Debbie Clark, Certified Yoga Instructor

What is Veterans Yoga?

 

Yoga has deep roots and many branches. Originally developed in ancient India to promote spiritual growth, today yoga is practiced by people from many cultures and backgrounds to promote health and general well-being.

This one-hour class uses yoga postures to reduce stress while building strength and increasing flexibility.

The class begins with a focus on breathing and a gentle warm-up, followed by postures from standing, seated, and lying down positions, ending with deep relaxation.

All postures can be adapted to address a variety of physical needs and limitations.

Class is held every Wednesday evening at 6pm, except holidays in the Edwards Hall. 

                         Chip's Fund for Veterans Yoga

                         About Chip

                         Edward Thomas "Chip" Duchnowski was a Massachusetts native who died on Patriots Day in 2018.                               He only left Clinton, MA to serve as a Marine - as a 17 years old, going to war. While in Vietnam, he
                         engaged in ground combat. He received the Marine Corps CAR (Combat Action Ribbon) and was
                         promoted from private to corporal and then to the leadership rank of sergeant. He re-enlisted after
                         completing his initial three-year commitment, and was stationed in California following his tour of
                         duty in Vietnam.

Chip was honorably discharged from the Marine Corps during the summer of 1970, a 21 year old whose life would remain largely defined by his service during an increasingly unpopular war.

About Veteran's Yoga at Open Spirit

Weekly practice with Veteran's Yoga improves lives and moods dramatically, even permanently. Their resilience expands rapidly and hopelessness recedes.  

Veteran's Yoga also helps with focus and balance, stimulates energy and mobility and, in turn, guards against injuries and generally promotes psychological and spiritual well-being. The best benefit is that it brings camaraderie, friendship and engagement in a broadening community.  

Why donate to Chip's Fund for Veterans Yoga

Veterans Yoga is a practice designed for people who have experienced trauma. It honors, acknowledges and works toward healing the invisible wounds, including those that persist among Vietnam veterans.

The practice is backed up by evidence-based research and has been tested with active-duty troops in Iraq. The American Occupational Therapy Association encourages Veterans Yoga practice.

And Veterans Yoga is free.

But teachers need training. Studio space is needed. Equipment is used. Your generous donation will go a long way.

Give in memory of Chip, so that other veterans like him, who live with the hidden wounds of war, can find healing and peace.

Chip‘s family has come forward as the first to contribute seed funding to support Chip’s Fund for Veteran's Yoga, and their generosity will work to expand Veterans Yoga and other trauma-sensitive community healing for Veterans, first responders and trauma support nurses in New England towns and beyond.

Many who served in Vietnam returned to a bitter nation with its own deepening and lasting divisions. Returning troops did not get ceremonies, celebrations or welcoming honors. Their homecomings were often lonely events, sometimes with openly expressed condemnation in place of gratitude.

Some 58,000 service members lost their lives in or as a direct result of the war; more than twice that number have subsequently died of isolation, despair and self-inflicted harm after homecoming.

Veterans whose lives and life visions were to remain largely defined by memories of wartime military service during an increasingly unpopular conflict. South Vietnam, America’s first (but not last) insurgent war.

Veterans Healing Garden

In the fall of  2015, employees from Lowe's in Framingham chose to create a Veterans Healing Garden as their annual "Hero Project." Volunteers from Lowe's, Open Spirit, Edwards Church, and the VA Vet Center spent a long hot day, clearing brush and planting bulbs and bushes.

The result is a lush, colorful garden with benches and a walking path. The VA Vet Center counseling room located on our campus looks out onto the garden.

Veterans Appreciation Dinner


                                     In gratitude for their service, Edwards Church, Open Spirit, and Plymouth Church
                                     invite veterans and their families to an annual dinner of appreciation in November.
                                     The dinner will features speakers and musical offerings.

 

                                     Please watch for more details and information. 

VA Vet Center Community Access Point

Vet Center located on our campus offers counseling services for veterans.

 

For more information, please contact:

 

David Heilman, LMHC

Readjustment Counseling Therapist

Vet Center, Framingham CAP

39 Edwards Street

Framingham, MA 01701

508.753.7902

david.heilman@va.gov

 

Vet Centers are community-based counseling centers that provide a wide range of social and psychological services, including professional readjustment counseling to eligible veterans, active duty service members, including National Guard and Reserve components, and their families. Readjustment counseling is offered to make a successful transition from military to civilian life or after a traumatic event experienced in the military. Individual, group, marriage and family counseling is offered in addition to referral and connection to other VA or community benefits and services.

 

Vet Center counselors and outreach staff, many of whom are Veterans themselves, are experienced and prepared to discuss the tragedies of war, loss, grief and transition after trauma.

Special Thanks

Thank you to Impact Framingham for supporting our annual Veterans Dinner and Veterans Yoga.

To learn more about Impact Framingham visit their site impactframingham.org

©2017 Open Spirit Center, 39 Edwards Street, Framingham, Massachusetts 01701 / 508-877-8162 / info@openspiritcenter.org