Washington Hospital Class is Open to Women and Men
Vanessa and Juan Campos look forward to Monday evenings. That’s when
the couple takes time to focus on themselves and learn ways to cope with
some of the stress and anxiety they are facing by participating in Washington
Hospital’s Mindful Meditation and Yoga class.
Being able to reduce their stress and be more present in the moment is
important to the couple. That’s because Vanessa was recently diagnosed
with non-Hodgkin lymphoma, a type of cancer that affects the lymph system.
“The class makes me feel calmer about my situation,” Vanessa
said. “We learn different techniques to calm our minds every week
and it’s such a supportive environment. You can definitely feel
the warmth from everyone in the room.”
The Mindful Meditation and Yoga class is held every Monday evening from
7 to 8 p.m. in the Washington Women’s Center Conference Room, suite
145, located at 2500 Mowry Ave. (Washington West) in Fremont. The class
costs $40 per month (four sessions) and registration is required by calling
“Meditation is a gift you give yourself,” said Laura Constantine,
RN, coordinator of the Washington Women’s Center. “It is one
of the most grounding things you can do for yourself. Meditation allows
you to be fully present in your own life, and supports you in being your
The class incorporates mindful meditation techniques with gentle yoga poses
and is appropriate for women and men of all physical abilities. The different
poses are completed while sitting in a chair, standing, or lying on a yoga mat.
Mindful meditation is a form of meditation designed to develop the skill
of paying attention to our inner and outer experiences with acceptance,
patience, and compassion, Constantine explained. Participants learn how
to withdraw their attention from distracting thoughts and redirect it
to the physical sensations of breathing.
“My husband and I feel so much better afterward,” Vanessa
said. “I think it’s something everyone could benefit from."
Vanessa was surprised when her husband said he wanted to go with her. They
found out about the class when they were looking through some brochures
to see what types of services were available after one of her oncology
visits at Washington Hospital.
“I told him he didn’t have to come, but he wanted to do it
with me,” she said. “I thought he just wanted to be there
for me, but then I realized it would be good for him. My diagnosis has
been hard for him, too.”
It turns out the class has been great for Juan. Not only is he dealing
with his wife’s recent cancer diagnosis, but he has a stressful
job as a construction foreman.
“It’s definitely helping me with my own stress,” he said.
“I wanted to go with her to be supportive, to be a strong back for
her. But the class is good for me, too. It helps me put everything else
aside, my stressful life, and just concentrate on me. I’m under
a lot of pressure at work with constant deadlines.”
Juan said that while the class is held at the Women’s Center, it’s
also a very supportive environment for men. He encourages other men to
give it a try.
“You can take what you learn and use it outside the class,”
he added. “One Saturday morning, I decided to relax my mind and
listen to my breathing. I could hear the birds singing outside. I felt
like I was floating that day.”
Vanessa agreed, “It’s teaching me skills I can use. I feel
at peace, more relaxed. My diagnosis was hard to accept, but I want to
live my life to the fullest and enjoy it. This has helped reduce my stress
and anxiety. I’m just so glad Washington Hospital offers something
like this, and it’s affordable.”
For more information about other programs and services offered at the Washington
Women’s Center, visit www.whhs.com/womenscenter.