Is downward dog the key to mental health?

On Wednesday, Oct. 26, the Mental Health Education Group (MHEG) held its second annual Moksha Yoga event to help express the positive effects of yoga on mental health.

The Mental Health Education Group wanted to raise awareness of the stigma around mental health issues. Emilie Dudman, coordinator of MHEG explains, “MHEG is a student-run group through the Centre for Student Life and Engagement which focuses on educating the Laurier Brantford community about mental health, stigma, resources and mental illnesses”.

There were high hopes for the event to be well-received. “The event was successful last year and has continued to be successful this year. Yoga is a favoured activity by the student body which makes this event so successful with high attendance. Students are always smiling and enjoying themselves throughout this engaging and relaxing event” said Dudman.

Moksha Yoga, which is located at 53 Dalhousie, is co-owned by Markus Schneider, who decided that being bringing awareness to mental health issues via yoga would be perfect.

“Education and awareness about mental health is a really important part of our culture because it’s so prevalent in everything we experience. There are so many individuals in our lives that are dealing with addictions and mental health issues … and I think we need support for individuals dealing with that … bringing light to it allows us to make it normal…” said Schneider.

Schneider led the yoga class both last year and this year and looks at yoga as a gateway to help people through their troubled times.

“Yoga is a combination of deep breathing and meditation. Learning to breathe slowly and deeply can help calm the mind, body and soul. By attending our event, students are able to take an hour or two out of their day to relax and settle their mind. Taking breaks is essential in order to retain information for studying, so a mental break is a must” said Dudman.

The event ran through to 9 p.m. with Schneider going through breathing exercises and different movements. Each step was done patiently to allow each individual to get the sense of relaxation and feel completely stress-free.

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