Thought for the Day – 4th December

Last week I was invited to speak at the House of Lords, the European Commission and a Mental Health conference run by young people.

There is a shift in people’s understanding and acceptance of yoga. The true meaning of yoga can be elusive, finding union in community, in mind and body, finding peace with our neighbours and with ourselves, releasing tension so that we can fully enjoy the present moment.

When we release tension in our minds and bodies, we find ourselves in a place of stillness, flow and joy.

Tension or what we call Chronic stress is everywhere, in the supermarket, in the hospital, in schools and even in families at Christmas. Long term stress, as so many of us know, leads to fatal disease. It makes us brutish, unkind and harsh.

Christmas for many, is stressful, as we have so many expectations of ourselves and our families, yet in the stillness of the deepest, darkest time of the year, it would be simple to tune into the pause as we poise for the turn towards energy, light and activity.

So Pause.

Embrace the stillness, turn off the TV, gift each other your presence rather than your presents, pause at the turn of the year, reflect, relax and return to your true, peaceful self, in union with all around you.

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Teen Yoga Alert

It has come to our attention that there is a training programme in the UK that uses our logo and our manual but is not accredited by us. To be clear, the only teacher trainers running the accredited full TeenYoga course are Charlotta Martinus, Yvonne Morey, Helen Clare and Sarah O’Connor. If you have received training from anyone else and they have used the logo and material from the course, I am sorry but this was not us.
 
If you would like to join our community, please feel free to contact us and we can have a chat on how to move forward together supporting young people in the best way possible. There are many events that we run which you would be welcome to.
 
In peace and unity,
 
Charlotta

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The power of the teens’ voices at Instill

At the weekend, I had the privilege of hosting and attending the Instill conference about yoga for young people in London. I was struck by the powerful voice of a group of teens who concluded the day. 

They ranged from 13 to 18 years old and spoke passionately and eloquently about facing mental health challenges in their short lives. One girl recounted that she had tried 5 different therapies to try to relieve her crippling anxiety without any luck. Finally, she found yoga. Her experience, like the others, was that when she started to release tension in the body and the mind, she became more able to control the mind and guide it towards a more positive way of thinking. As she started her path of reflection and in-time, she felt more able to unhook from social media and connect with herself and more deeply with others.

The final speaker, Flo, 13, mentioned that they all know someone who takes drugs to alleviate some kind of mental illness, they are only too aware of the problem, but why have they not been given tools to support them and resolve the issues? She found yoga and wants it to be in the curriculum. 

This student-led approach to life-long learning – embedding a skillset into their life for the better, is the way forward, to reach out to young people and empower them to support themselves and each other in ways that are meaningful to them.

We need to empower young people to find their own truth, their own path and their own  future which I firmly believe is full of hope.

From Nicki Ledgard

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Thought for the day

Yesterday in my village, big red poppies popped up on lamp posts along the pavements. Remembrance day- it is with mixed emotions I gaze at these reminders of bloodied battlefields and realise how lucky we are to live in a time of peace.

Every year on the 21st of September we celebrate the World Peace Day with yoga sessions across the country. The reason is simple, we experience that when we are at peace with ourselves then we can be at peace with others.

On a daily basis, we are at war, resisting others, resisting the status quo, even resisting ourselves due to the impression and misunderstanding that we are separate individuals, disconnected and alone.

Yoga is a method to find inner peace, through a series of actions such as body movement, visualisations, breathing techniques and physical and mental relaxation. We connect deeply with ourselves, our mind with our body, ourself with the other person, our spirit with God. We integrate our conflicting feelings and emotions, aligning ourselves with the flow of life.

Maybe for some of us it is easy to see the connection between feeling well and being kind, considerate and thoughtful. But it might be less easy to allow ourselves the permission to go ahead and spend time on ourselves, caring for this vehicle, our body and the instrument, the mind, in order that they may work in harmony and at full capacity.

Earlier this week I had the privilege of stepping inside the Palaces of Westminster to talk about yoga as a methodology to support the mental health of young people. At one of the meetings an elderly peer of Indian descent piped up quietly, “yoga saved my life – after my first heart attack, I started doing yoga at my GPs suggestion and I would suggest we offer it to everyone”

On Remembrance day in London this year, not only will there be poppies but there will also be a group of young people coming together to talk about yoga in education as the way of coming into equilibrium with themselves, each other and the world at large. I feel proud to be part of an organisation which is giving the voice to young people to explore their agency in their own wellness.

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