Our 2023 grant support to the yoga therapy sessions provided by Kitty is helping to fill the gap in the mental health support system. The program introduces people to different ways of managing their mental health through the practices of yoga as a mental health tool for life-changing impact.
Yoga therapy is defined by the International Association of Yoga Therapists as:
“The process of empowering individuals to progress towards improved health and well-being through the application of the teachings and practices of Yoga.”
Kitty explains yoga therapy to people as a combination of counselling, yoga, health coaching and physiotherapy all rolled into one.
Kitty’s yoga therapy serves Sydney’s inner west amid a mental health crisis. Alarming statistics reveal that one in five Australians aged 16-85 experience mental illness, with one in six facing anxiety.
Funding limitations and extensive waiting lists hinder widespread support. Medicare-funded mental health sessions are decreasing, worsening access challenges. Subsidised by Kitty and Yoga for Good Foundation, sessions aim to reach 40 individuals for one-on-one and group yoga therapy over eight months, concluding by March 2024.
We are looking forward to hearing how yoga therapy has made a lasting impact on her clients in this round.
In her initial program, Kitty reached 12 individuals in 48 sessions, equipping them with tools for managing stress and anxiety.
The impacts were significant, with clients reporting increased calmness and relaxation. Consistent practice resulted in reduced stress levels, but commitment proved challenging. Some of the younger male clients were accessing mental health support, though infrequently, and older male clients were resistant to using the mental health system. This shows yoga therapy to be a positive gateway into mental health support for those who feel stigmatised.
Women in life transitions gained practical tools, with breath practice and yoga Nidra proving effective. Client feedback emphasised the benefits of slower breathing, practical takeaways, recordings, tailored practices and an overall reduction in stress.
Some client responses:
“The targeted poses were very helpful at addressing the places in my body where I feel anxiety build up. I found the impact of the poses changed during the period of the session. I noticed this in a way I would not have through weekly class yoga practice.”
“My anxiety has improved a lot, especially the tightness in the throat. Also, my sleep has improved.”
“Very useful. Kitty provided some good simple tools to use daily.”
We are passionate about sharing the joy of practising yoga and offering you an opportunity to connect with your true self on a regular basis.
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Ahimsadhara is an expert teacher and author in yoga for trauma survivors. After teaching War Veterans for many years, she is now focusing on international programs and further writing. In this class, she uses asanas to help with healthy breathing and as a preparation for pranayama and yoga nidra.
Angela is an experienced Yogi and Dru Teacher Trainer, environmental campaigner, peace educator, and avid traveller, always seeking the best methods to promote health through Dru Yoga’s practices. Join Angela on the mat for a simple journey through energy block release, alignment with sequence, asana and mudra to leave you feeling refreshed, inspired and welcoming change.
Our sole mission is to create opportunities to do good for others through yoga.
And we’re making an impact.
…for their incredible contribution to our Life Now Yoga and meditation programs!
This generous donation will mean we can buy new yoga equipment, run a new yoga class in Broome, and enhance our meditation program for cancer patients and their primary carers.Cancer Council Western Australia
Their grant is enabling me to offer FREE trauma informed therapeutic movement and relaxation to frontline mental health and social services staff in Bega.
Participants are really valuing the time out for themselves and experiencing integrated poly vagal theory. And I get to be in a teaching space, yay!PremKranti Counselling
…allows us to reach more underserved and vulnerable community groups who can benefit from a trauma-informed yoga and embodied mindfulness practice at zero cost to the participants.
Some of the community groups we’ll be serving in the current months include 000 Foundation, Men’s Walk and Talk and WAGEC.Yoga on the Inside
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