Ukrainian refugee in North Royalton turns to yoga to raise money for war-torn country

Published: May. 4, 2022 at 10:51 PM EDT
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NORTH ROYALTON, Ohio (WOIO) - Months after fleeing Ukraine and settling in North Royalton, Valeria Kyryienko is trying to raise money for her native country by teaching yoga.

“Yoga really helps. It heals and helps with the emotional pain,” she told 19 News.

Kyryienko was a yoga instructor in Kyiv who, despite hearing about the threats that Russia would invade her home country, stayed home.

“Nobody wanted to believe it’s going to happen,” she told 19 News. “It felt insane. Why would I flee? It felt completely insane.”

Her mother, who has lived in Northeast Ohio for eight years, convinced her to leave two weeks before the shelling began.

“It’s so hard to realize you will not come back to a normal life,” she said.

Now that she’s settling into Northeast Ohio, she’s hoping to give back to her country during a time of need.

“I wanted to do what I can do. I’m an artist and also a yoga instructor, so I came up with the idea I could do a benefit yoga for Ukraine.”

She’s been promoting her benefit on social media, and is asking anyone who is interested to contact her directly on Facebook by clicking here.

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