A Mona Vale yoga studio is offering a free weekly class every Saturday at 4pm, in an attempt to help combat a mental health crisis on the Northern Beaches.
Mental illness is rife across Australia and Modern Movement owners Rachel and James believe yoga can help sufferers through the meditation and physical elements of the practise. “Yoga calms the mind and the body. When you finish the class, you can actually take that practise from the matt, into your everyday lives” says Rachel, when asked how she believes yoga can assist people dealing with mental illness.
A 2007 report into mental health estimated that 45% of Australians between the ages of 16 and 85 suffer from mental illness at some stage in their life. Rachel and James endeavour to help mental illness sufferers not only on a local scale but nationally too, collecting gold coin donations at the community classes and pledging to donate the proceeds to Beyond Blue. “It is a gold coin donation, but most people donate more than a gold coin because they all feel the same way about the cause” said Rachel, of the money they’ve raised.
The community class has been running since the end of March and will continue to run for the next two weeks until it breaks for twelve weeks, to again return for the transition into spring. “We try and do it in those times where there’s a change of season. Coming out of summer, going into Autumn for some people can bring up a lot of things and going into Spring is also a really good time to put it back onto the timetable again. Getting ready for summer for some people can also be a trigger because you’re getting towards that family time at Christmas.”
A clinical inquiry found on the Yoga Australia website states that “yoga typically improves overall symptom scores for anxiety and depression by about forty per cent.”
To take part in the community class, visit the Modern Movement website: http://www.modernmovement.com.au/
If you or someone you know suffers from mental illness, call Lifeline 13 11 14.