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Optimizing the mind, body and spirit with yoga

When Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP) Trace Kather and Registered Nurse Lynn Hart met at a yoga class last summer, they discovered that they share a passion for the importance of supporting mind, body, and spirit to achieve optimal health.

The discovery of that shared passion was the impetus that led to the opening this month of Visana Wellness Family Practice and Yoga on the third floor of the Bruce Brothers building at 603 Hemlock St.

Hart explained that they chose the name Visana for their wellness center because vi-sana means “path to good health,” and that’s the path they want their clients to travel.

Kather, as a board certified FNP, offers services of primary health care, diabetes management, weight loss, bio-identical hormone therapy, and nutritional therapies.

Hart, as an RN and registered yoga instructor, offers a variety of yoga classes for all levels, from chair yoga to the more advanced practice.

Lynn Hart and Trace Kather operate Visana Wellness Family Practice and Yoga.Hart said, “Practicing yoga improves strength, balance and flexibility, reduces stress, and improves breathing, mood, and confidence. Benefits of yoga can enhance all life experiences.”

The August Second Saturday Art Walk last year provided another push toward providing holistic health services to the general public. It all began when Hart met Bob Brian and Jan Norwood while participating in the art walk.

Not too surprising, the conversation included discussion of the unremitting sciatica back pain Brian suffered. Hart offered to come to their home to teach him some yoga that she was sure would help alleviate his pain.

“It started at my house,” Norwood said. “She came for three weeks without charge and it helped so much that we decided to start a class.” Norwood said it has done wonders for 93-year-old Brian and other senior members who have joined the class. “We really love her. You just calm down and when it’s over you feel as relaxed as a wet dishrag.”

Kather said, “We’re here to help people on their way to health. When we met at the yoga class, I fell in love with yoga. We began talking about the wellness of our community and decided to work together to combine alternative health practices with conventional style medication to treat the whole person to provide stress relief, improve bad nutrition, encourage exercise, flexibility, breath work, and quieting the mind while moving the body with every muscle. I want to take it further than just giving out pills. I want them to be actively engaged in doing their own prevention to avoid the emergency room.”

He explained that, as an independent nurse practitioner, he can meet a client’s need for medication with prescriptions, diagnosis and nutrition,while yoga classes can provide harmony and balance.

“We have five classes for all levels,” Hart said. “It’s nice to participate in a class where you feel like part of a group.”

While Hart and Kather were involved in the interview, Yoga instructor Babs Aydelot was working with nine students in an adjoining classroom. Additional yoga instructors at Visana include Victoria Nichols, who specializes in prenatal yoga, and Saun Stone, who will offer a Wednesday evening class in Tai Chi and creative movement beginning next week.

Kather is in office Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., and available Saturdays by appointment. Hart is accepting new students for upcoming yoga classes.

Hart and Kather stress that entering the building from Hemlock Street is preferred because the elevator is located at that entrance for easier access to their third floor center, which they insist is a first step toward “experiencing life to it’s fullest.”

For information or to make appointments, call (541) 469-9100, or visit  online at http://www.visanayoga.com.

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