My interest in mental wellness started well before I was a yoga teacher, it started whilst I was still a young child.
I was 4 years old when my dad tragically took his life. He was a kind, loving man, respected doctor, provider to my family and although he had no history of mental health problems, regrettably was successful on his first attempt. He missed my first day at school, graduation, wedding, divorce, birth of my children (his grand children), he missed my life. The french words are better "Tu me manques " - you are missing from me, perfectly summarises suicide.
The impact has ripple effects. This impacted on my life, my family, the colleagues that worked with him that day, and those involved in his passing had their life changed for ever. Since that very moment m,y interest in mental health awareness began.
My interest in mental health awareness for all kindled my passion for nursing and the mind/body connection. I have watched colleagues struggle with stress. I have known too many good people that are no longer with us due to suicide or self harm.
I continue to teach as I watch the benefits to participants. People leave a class more refreshed, happier, calmer, more engaged, and able to ask questions. Group classes help in different ways: connection with others,, achievement, and moving their bodies. People get healthier, more flexible and surprisingly happier by moving their bodies and their minds.
The class space helps individuals in different ways. For some it is the ability to express emotions - you can laugh and cry in my class. For some it is permission to not do more than you are able - it is okay to not be amazing or look like an instagram post. For others it is the time for them, or maybe the connection with others in a room with the safety of a yogamat for personal space. A space where you feel safe and unjudged helps.
Then COVID came and my classes had to go to the virtual world and needed reconfiguring. The need hadn't gone. Zoom class created a new space. And believe me I have laughed and cried about the challenges that Zoom has created.
Today I started the push up challenge for mental health. My body aches from more than 171 push ups, actually I did so many I started to feel dizzy. I realise my pain in no way compares to those hurting on the inside.
I hope that others join me that need the resouces and reminders given to us each day. I just wish my dad had taken part in some program 40 years ago that would have had him here today.
If you are wondering how you can help? I would love for you to find 5 people today, and talk and listen. Find 5 things to be grateful for. Appreciate your loved ones and tell them how much you need them. Look around you - maybe someone you know is struggling, and you have no idea how much you can help. Attend my classes or support other programs like mine so we can survive financially. And if you want to join my team push up challenge, send me a message we would love to have you. And if you want to come to my classes - come and register we have space for you.