Yoga for Veterans – Veterans Yoga Project

Yoga for Veterans – Veterans Yoga Project – Nederland, Texas



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You have questions? We’ll do our best to answer them.


Veterans Yoga Project is an educational and advocacy organization dedicated to improving the health and well being of military veterans through yoga and meditation practice. Working in partnership with veterans, active-duty military personnel, student veteran organizations, and other non-profit organizations, Veterans Yoga Project supports recovery and promotes resilience among veterans who are living with post-traumatic stress or other trauma issues.


Each year, VYP hosts two annual fundraisers, VYP Gratitude Week and Light-A-Candle Memorial Day, supported by donations from yoga classes, individuals and organizations. Held the three weeks surrounding Veterans Day, VYP Gratitude Week encourages yoga studios to host donation-based classes to support veterans in a tangible way. In many cases, these classes have brought together veterans and civilians in an environment where veterans can share their military experience with their community.


While magnified by media reporting, only 30% of veterans suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder or trauma-related issues. Practicing yoga can undo the nervous system dysfunction that underlies PTSD symptoms.


Less than 1% of Americans have ever served their country, however, veterans experience a disproportionately high suicide rate. VYP Gratitude Week is a way for those who have not served to both give back to veterans in a tangible way and to better understand the challenges of military service.


Our goal for 2019 is to host 500+ classes in all 50 states. We can use all the help we can get to raise awareness and encourage participation. If you’d like to host a class, please sign up here so that we can include your studio on our online class map and provide materials.

How is the money raised from VYP Gratitude Week used?

Veterans Yoga Project is an IRS-recognized 501(c)(3) charitable organization and depends upon the support of donors to take care of veterans in need. 100% of the proceeds will go to VYP’s mission to support recovery and resilience to our veterans, families and our communities.


Yes! Please visit our donation page. Thank you for your support!


Veterans Yoga Project is a growing organization that relies on amazing volunteers like yourself! Do you ever find yourself asking the question, what can I do to help? We would love to hear from you! Please fill out our volunteer application at and we will get back to you!

Didn’t find the answer to your question? Email us at

Gail Pickens-Barger will be teaching two Veterans for Yoga Project classes during gratitude week.


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Gail Pickens-Barger is a yoga teacher with over 19 years of teaching experience.

She first used yoga during the birth and pregnancy of her first child.  Fifteen years later, became a yoga teacher.  Gail’s 200 hours was through YogaFit International Training Systems, and more recently her 500-hour certificate was through Lex Gillan’s The Yoga Institute.  Gail recently finished a Yoga Nidra course through Wise Owl Yoga and the Mindful Resilience for Trauma Recovery through the Veterans Yoga Project. Currently, Gail is studying to become a Low Back Care Yoga Teacher through the Yoga Vista Academy.

In addition to teaching a weekly beginner yoga class and a chair yoga class, Gail teaches a free Kids Yoga class to the Pre K class at her church and teaches Adaptive Yoga for Multiple Sclerosis for the National Multiple Sclerosis Society.

Gail originally came into contact with the Veterans Yoga Project, after reading an article on Baxter Bell’s Yoga for Healthy Aging Website.  In the article, it talked specifically about volunteering to provide a free yoga class for veterans and to raise funds to support the Veterans Yoga Project during Veterans Gratitude Week.  Gail likes to do karma yoga for raising funds for local food missions, raised funds for church playground equipment, Girl Scouts and such, and the providing free class for veterans and raising funds seemed like a worthwhile effort.

So for the past three years, Gail has hosted several classes to benefit the Veterans Gratitude Week for VYP.

More recently Gail was contacted by the local VA to present chair yoga to the vets in the Beaumont/Orange Texas area.  In doing so, Gail came into contact with Brianna Renner, who assisted her tremendously in providing a class format, that would present the 5 tools that VYP uses in providing classes.

Gail has gone onto doing the Mindful Resilience training provided by Veterans Yoga Project and hopes to in the near future provide a weekly class to area veterans.

Yoga for MS at the Medical Center of Southeast Texas. First Saturday in October 2019 at 11:00 AM

Chair Yoga Fitness to help ease back pain, lessen stress, gain flexibility, increase strength, have better joint mobility, a better quality of sleep and to build bones! Yoga with Gail – Free class – Saturday, October 5th at 11 AM at the Medical Center of Southeast Texas. 409-727-3177

Chair Yoga Fitness - Gail Pickens-Barger

Yoga for MS at the Medical Center of Southeast Texas. First Saturday in October 2019 at 11:00 AM

MS Support Group of Southeast Texas

The Medical Center of Southeast Texas (Auditorium)

2555 Jimmy Johnson Boulevard

Leader: Crystal – 409-853-2397 /
  • Lower Blood Pressure
  • Gain Flexibility
  • Improves Circulation
  • Increase Strength
  • Better Joint Mobility
  • Ease Back Pain
  • Build Bones
  • Lessen Stress
  • Better Quality Sleep
With Chair Yoga Fitness – #ChairYogaFitness
Meeting Details: First Saturday of the month at 11:00 a.m.

yoga Sept 2019 Chair Yoga for Multiple Sclerosis with Gail Pickens-Barger

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No Yoga on September 30th, 2019

No Yoga on September 30th, 2019

Yoga Canceled

Monday Yoga canceled due to middle school open house activity!  See you on October 7th at 6:15 PM.  Call Gail at 409-727-3177 if you have any yoga questions.  Leave a voice message if I am unable to take your call!

Peg Board

This essential oil inhaler has been used to ease nausea in those taking chemotherapy.  I use doTerra Essential oils.  Drop these oils onto an aromatherapy inhaler cotton wick, place into an aromatherapy inhaler tube, snap shut and you have this “Ease Quease” stick to use on the go!  

Information to have on hand in case of a flood

Information to have on hand in case of a flood.

This was shared with me after Harvey.  It is worth repeating.

Resources for figuring out What Next, after a Flood!
Things I wish I knew before I had to clean up my house after a flood
If you have flood insurance, take pictures of everything before cleanup. Take too many pictures.

• Put the AC on Low, about 66 F. This will help draw out moisture from your house.

• Make sure you have large black garbage bags for trash. There will be a lot.

• Purchase a few cheap Floor Fans ($20 each) and one dehumidifier. Let them run for weeks along with your ceiling fans. Get to Home Depot ASAP.

• The city will pick up any trash you put on the street but it will take a good while. There will be large piles in your street for weeks.

• You can purchase small “Dumpster Bags” at Home Depot for wet sheetrock and insulation or put it in garbage bags. They have a hard time picking up wet sheetrock that is not bagged but they can and will do it. If it is a big job, rent a dumpster.

• You can hang clothes and linens on your fence outside to dry and wash them later at a friend’s house.

• If you want to save furniture and let it dry out, put it in the back yard in the sun.

• If you have Tile Floors, this is a good place to store household items and furniture while you deal with wet carpet and wooden floors. Flooding does not hurt tile floors usually.

• Slice up the wet carpet and padding in strips that you can roll up and carry to the street. If you have flood insurance, save a 1-foot square piece.

• Some wood floors survive a flood. Not many. You can wait a few days to see how they make out. Most will buckle and warp. Interior doors may also survive but will “swell” until they dry up.

• Remove the carpet “Tack Strips” with a small pry bar but wear shoes and wear gloves. The nails here are very, very sharp.

• Clean the bare concrete floor with bleach/soap and a mop then let it dry. Every square inch of the first floor will have to be mopped sooner or later.

• To remove sheetrock, take off the baseboards (some people try and re-use them), light switch and plug outlet covers first. Baseboards are not a lot of money.

• Most people cut sheetrock ~49 inches from the floor so you can put in new 4 x 8-foot sheets later. Try and get all the sheetrock and insulation out in the first few days or green and black mold will grow.

• Kitchen and bathroom cabinets can sometimes survive a flood unless they are particleboard.

• If you do see mold, it wipes off with bleach/soapy water and a rag. Let the brick backer board and 2 x 4 studs dry and then spray on a product called “Mold Control” sold at Lowes. You will need a hand pump sprayer. “Mold Control” is better than bleach to stop mold from coming back. This also must dry before putting in new insulation.

• There is often wet insulation around your built-in shower. You can get to it from the bedrooms sometimes. You can often get to wet insulation by cutting sheetrock in the garage.

• There will be wet insulation behind some kitchen and bathroom cabinets. You can get to it by cutting out the back panels inside your cabinets. You can repair this later with new panels. You can also drill small 1-inch holes in the back panels to lets the insulation dry. Place a fan here to blow air. (second-best option)

• Flood insurance does not pay for lawnmowers. Dump out all the oil and gas. Remove the spark plug and pull the rope a few times. Turn it upside down and let it dry out a couple of days. Replace the oil, gas, and sparkplug. It may or may not startup.
FEMA advise-The FEMA adjuster made it to my parents’ house. I wanted to share somethings we learned for those of you who are waiting on FEMA or for those who are helping someone clean up and that person may file a claim.
1. You cannot cut more than 2 feet of Sheetrock until the adjuster shows up

2. The waterline on the walls must be visible (do not cut above the water line if it’s less than 2 feet)

3. You can remove flooring, but you must leave a section of flooring in each room

4. Any furniture you are going to make a claim for must stay in the house

5. Any item you are going to make a claim for cannot be thrown away. It must be kept so the adjuster can look at it, touch it, see it

6. The pictures you take of the items in which you are going to make a claim for has to be horizontal (due to their computer program) 🙄

7. When you take a picture, it must show the water damage, the brand of the item and if possible the model number

8. Don’t leave claim items out in the elements. You have to show you took steps to preserve the item. Right now we have things in garbage bags with a tarp over it. The adjuster didn’t seem to have a problem with it

9. You will be sent a spreadsheet that contains the following fields-item, quantity, brand, serial number, item description, item age, room, item condition, cost to replace (pre-tax)

Foot Yoga, Hand Yoga, a bit of everything seated on the chair!

Foot Yoga, Hand Yoga, a bit of everything seated on the chair.

I share little handouts with my chair yoga students every now and then, and it bears repeating this info I find.  Find us on Thursday at 10:00 AM at Wesley UMC, 3515 Helena Avenue, Nederland, Tx 

Today, in my email feed Sherry Zak Morris shares this little vignette of a bit of hand yoga.  Please enjoy this youtube and follow along!

Hand Exercises for Arthritis with Sherry of the YogaJP fame!

Additionally, from the Get Fit Where You Sit Chair Yoga from Lakshmi Voelker, I share the hand sequence that we use in #ChairYogaFitness class occasionally.  In class, we typically only repeat 9 times. Here’s a little snippet of the routine.




Benefits of Chair Yoga can be found here.

117 Health Conditions Helped by Yoga

117 Health Conditions Helped by Yoga

Permission granted by Dr. Timothy McCall to share this pdf.

117 Conditions Helped by Yoga. Permission granted to copy and share this information. Yoga as medicine. As found in scientific studies as of June 2019. Yoga with Gail

117 Conditions Helped by Yoga. Permission granted to copy and share this information. Yoga as medicine. As found in scientific studies as of June 2019. Yoga with Gail

Here is the link to this PDF and the scientific studies supporting the health conditions helped by yoga.

No Labor Day Yoga – Nederland, Texas

YEP, no yoga on Labor Day

Wesley UMC is closed, so I am too!

See you instead for Chair Yoga on Thursday at 10:00 AM, and YogaKiddos right after that!

Regular Monday night yoga resumes, Monday, September 9th at 6:15 PM. $10 at Wesley UMC, 3515 Helena Avenue, Nederland, Tx.

Call Gail at 409-727-3177 if you have questions.

Sept 2nd No Yoga

Monday classes start back up September 9th, 2019