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Former NFL Linebacker Keith Mitchell and New York Rep. Charles Rangel joined Roland Martin Thursday on NewsOne Now to talk about the event “Yoga on the Hill,” and how practicing yoga can be used as an alternative to treat veterans dealing with the stress from serving their country.

Mitchell explained he began his journey to becoming a yogi after suffering from a paralyzing spinal contusion and doctors were unable to help him with the injury.

“I found meditation through that whole experience, which really saved my life and it put me on a whole different path. I call it purpose.”

“It was like one of those identity crisis-type things. I had known myself as a football player, but I didn’t know who Keith Mitchell was and I had to develop that. I had to understand who this guy was and develop that person.

“I had always been the person that the media told me I was and my teammates and so forth, and really neglecting myself — because we play when you’re sick, injured, death in the family, and things like that. You have to show up and be accountable, that’s what your teammates — your team expects you to do.

“I had done this for so long, I didn’t know who Keith was.”

Congressman Charles Rangel got involved with yoga because of the “stigma that is attached to the fact that if your brain is not working properly, then you’re supposed to be ashamed of that.”

“If you get a leg broke or a hip broken, everyone says go to the hospital, get well.”

“We got tens of thousands of people that have been in combat and they come back home and they can’t adjust, but if you tell them that they’re crazy or shell-shocked, then you’re insulting them. If you tell them that they have post traumatic experiences and they should have attention given to it, they deal with it.”

Rangel added, “Yoga is a way to get your mind clear of the problems you are facing” and find out who you are.

Watch the men discuss how yoga can be used to transform your life and aid in the treatment of mental illness in the video clip above.

For more info about the Yoga on the Hill event, email hannah.kim@mail.house.gov and for more info about Keith Mitchell, visit www.keithmitchell59.com.

The Yoga on the Hill event will take place on Friday, May, 1st, 2015 on the East Lawn in front of the House steps and is open to the public.

Be sure to watch “NewsOne Now” with Roland Martin, weekdays at 9 a.m. EST on TV One.

Subscribe to the “NewsOne Now” Audio Podcast on iTunes.

SEE ALSO: How Yoga Can Help You Love Yourself (And Your Partner) Better: Two Instructors Share Their Tips!

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