I know what you’re thinking, and yes, you read that correctly comrade. This is a page about yoga, on a veteran’s website. No, we’re not a bunch of hippies (all of us anyway); and yes, this really works. Yoga can increase muscular strength, improve cardiovascular health, increase your flexibility, and help you manage the symptoms of stress. Yoga has helped me find balance and perspective in new ways of meeting my daily challenges. As each new day unfolds, and in every moment thereafter, we have a new opportunity to face new obstacles (or old ones, in new ways). It is a practice of patience and understanding; and reminds us as Heraclitus of old:

"No man ever steps in the same river twice, for it’s not the same river and he’s not the same man.”

But don’t take my word for it. Here I sit down with our yoga instructor, Ms. Linda Holden Givens about her experiences with yoga.
If you think you want to try it yourself, join us Wednesdays at 1630.
130 W Main
Auburn, WA 98002
Directions, or see map below.

How did you get started in yoga?
I began practicing yoga in 2011 after my acupuncturist recommended slowing down a little. I was doing Zumba, salsa dancing, and a whole mess of other exercises. I was hooked immediately! I fell hard for the physical and mental challenge.

What did you like most about it?
I love everything the practice incorporates; breathing, meditation, your authentic self, and postures that are
designed to encourage physical and mental well-being.

What’s your favorite part of being a teacher?
I’m just grateful to be a part of any yoga community. I love creating a space where we can be safe to discover our own strength and personal power. It’s my goal as an instructor that you leave class feeling exceptionally capable, encouraged, and supported in your journey with yoga.

To someone that says ‘It’s not for me’ what advice do you have?
Usually in my experience, pain is one of the most common reason why people do not want to practice yoga. If you have injuries, there is the hesitation. Allow you injuries to heal first before beginning yoga. Do not eat 2 hours before practicing, drink lots of water through the day and stretch.

For those of use that have a lot of chronic health issues, is this safe?
Well the good news is a lot of people have found that yoga is helpful for improving their health by reduction of stress, anxiety, and fatigue. Yoga teachers are not doctors and cannot solve your health issues. That is something you work with you family and doctors on but, it can provide an effective yoga practice with a lot of health benefits.

How is your life different / better as a result of practice?
Clarity about life in general. The boom of yoga came when I decided to teach during teacher training. Receiving the certification deepened my skills as a teacher. To focus myself on the practice and teach yoga as I needed to in my own way. So I let go and did whatever it took to become a teacher ASAP. I can only tell you the strength and the will that is innately available to us are immeasurable. I am one focused person.

Thank you so much for sharing that with all of the internet Ms. Linda! But her experience isn’t unique, and neither is mine. My life is better today because of my daily practice as well. I’m happier, more present, and better able to deal with my daily difficulties. Still not convinced, then listen to these smart people from schools that wouldn’t even let me in the library; and the VA.

Harvard Medical School

Johns Hopkins

VA (Even the VA says it’s good for you)


A special thanks to our partners at the Veterans Yoga Project and the Federal Way Vet Center . Without your help and dedication we wouldn't be able to provide this service to our veterans.