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Ompractice: Free Online Yoga and Wellness Therapy for Veterans, Caregivers, Staff and Volunteers

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VA Pittsburgh has partnered with Ompractice to provide Veterans, caregivers, staff and volunteers with unlimited access to free livestreamed yoga, tai chi/qigong, Pilates, meditation, children’s classes and more.

VA Pittsburgh Healthcare System provides free virtual yoga, tai chi/qigong, Pilates, meditation, kids’ classes and more to Veterans through Ompractice.  Led by instructors via two-way video, the online classes can be taken from the comfort of home.

The virtual program offers many different types of wellness practices, according to Tina Griffel, acting Whole Health program coordinator. From beginner to expert, Ompractice has classes for everyone.

“It’s unlimited access to two-way, interactive Zoom classes facilitated by a credentialed instructor so you are seen and supported by a great teacher,” said Griffel. “Veterans can share and participate with family members, including their children, making this activity a family affair.”

The online classes are an integral part of VA Pittsburgh’s Whole Health program, according to Griffel.

“Mindfulness, moving the body, power of the mind, family and friends, recharge and personal development are a few of the components of Whole Health that participants focus on through Ompractice,” said Griffel.

Whole Health is a holistic approach to health care that empowers and equips people -- both Veterans and VA staff members -- to take charge of their health and well-being and to live their life to the fullest. Whole Health at VA supports Veterans’ health and well-being by centering on what matters to them and the reasons they want to be healthy. Health teams get to know each Veteran as a person before working with them to develop a personalized health plan based on their values, conditions, needs and circumstances and developing shared goals based on this.

Ompractice was piloted at Coatesville Veterans Affairs Medical Center before it was extended to VA Pittsburgh and other VISN 4 medical centers. VISN 4 paid for employees’ use of the service while generous donations paid for Veterans to use it.

Veterans are giving the online classes positive reviews.

“They are impressed with the individual feedback, the professionalism of the instructors, the variety of classes and varied times of day the classes are offered,” said Griffel.

Ompractice is available to Veterans, caregivers, staff and volunteers at no charge now through Nov. 6, 2021.  Griffel is hopeful the program will be extended, but it will depend on participation.

“We’re urging Veterans to use the service to keep this as an ongoing benefit to all,” Griffel said.  

To sign up:

  • Go to Ompractice Veterans Affairs
  • Select “I’m a Veteran” and click “Sign up Now” under Pittsburgh, PA
  • Click “Sign up now” to add the free membership to your cart, then click “Proceed to checkout” (cart should show $0).
  • Enter your information and click “Sign up Now.”

To take a class:

  • Choose any scheduled class at Ompractice Schedule
  • Add the class to your cart. Classes should show as $0 if you are logged in. If you are prompted for a
  • credit card, you are not logged in.
  • Click “Proceed to checkout.”
  • Verify your basic information and include any notes for the teacher In the “Additional Information” section (injuries, requests, etc.). Click “Place Order” at the bottom of the page (again, will be $0).
  • When you’re done, you will receive an email with a unique link to access the class in Zoom.
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