John West of True Blue Yoga is able to offer free Yoga classes throughout parts of the Upper Hunter over the next few weeks.
The classes have been funded by the Hunter New England and Central Coast Primary Health Network (HNECCPHN), an Australian Government initiative
HNECCPHN has provided sufficient funding for a total of 12 classes in each of the following locations - Aberdeen, Merriwa, Murrurundi and Scone. This comes to 48 classes which will be delivered over six weeks across these Upper Hunters towns and surrounds
The classes are open to any person in these areas who have been affected by the extended drought conditions or anyone who is struggling with their mental health and wellbeing
There are two classes in each of the listed towns per week.
One class for experienced Yoga practitioners and one for beginners or Novices
The beginners' classes focus on Yoga techniques for breathing, mindfulness meditation and relaxation combined with gentle exercise, all of which have been shown to assist in many cases with health and wellbeing issues such as stress, anxiety, depression and difficulty sleeping.
In addition, these techniques combine to increase body awareness, reduce muscle tension, strain, and inflammation, and may also sharpen attention and concentration, while calming the nervous system.
The classes have been running since early March with great success in all locations and there are still several weeks left to try one out
About True Blue Yoga
John is a full time Yoga Teacher and has been running classes for many years in all the locations, traveling weekly to Merriwa, Murrurundi and Scone from his studio base in Aberdeen.
He has had extensive training from highly regarded teachers and has travelled great distances to sit with them.
He is ably assisted by his partner Helen who not only attends many of the classes but also keeps him focused with feedback and suggestions for improvement
In an interview with the Hunter Valley News, John spoke of his passion for yoga and how it has helped him stay fit, healthy and mobile.
In addition to the physical benefits, he uses the tools of breath, meditation and relaxation to maintain his mental health and wellbeing
Running over 400 classes in a typical year is a big job, but John says what makes it so easy for him is the people that come to his classes.
Yoga tends to attract people who want to do something for themselves, trying to improve their physicality and mental wellbeing.
He also points out there are many other teachers in the area that have the capability to assist if his classes don't suit.
Padaba Yoga covers Muswellbrook and Denman and Pieternella Jarvie (Yoga with P) and Sharon Parkinson both in Scone
Sharon Parkinson has recently opened her new Fearless Studio in Scone where John has teamed up with her to deliver classes.
Currently he is teaching at least two classes a week with more to come in the near future
A brief history of Yoga
Yoga can be traced back 5000 years but may have existed longer and is said to be the oldest known form of personal development
Yoga was developed in India but gradually spread to other countries in Asia, particularly China where parts of Yoga were integrated into the Chinese practice Quigong (pronounced Chee Goong)
The word Yoga is said to mean union.
This is generally accepted to be a union between mind, breath and body.
In short, these three are developed over a long period to become one.
A further extension of this is mind, breath, body and soul
Yoga endeavours to build a strong and flexible body so that you can about your daily life with ease, comfort and confidence.
It also gives you the tools of breath, meditation and relaxation that help you react to events calmly and thoughtfully
For more information, text 0412466722, visit www.yogawithjw.com.au or check out the Facebook page (True Blue Yoga).