Stressed-out local schoolkids will learn how to relax and improve their mental and physical health through a new yoga for teenagers class in Glenarm.
The initiative, aimed at youngsters aged 16-18 who are sitting their GCSEs and A-Levels, is the brainchild of Sue McBride, who owns the Shared Yoga Light relaxation centre in the village.
Sue, who also teaches yoga in Ballygally, Larne and Ballymena, says she was inspired to create the free yoga class for young people after witnessing its benefits for her own children when sitting exams.
After receiving small grants funding fro North Antrim Community Newtork and the North Eastern Health board, she will launch the programme this February.
She told The Times: “I have three children aged 23, 20 and one about to do his A-Levels so I’m clued into that age group and I know that yoga and meditation can help relieve their stress. I practised yoga with my own children and it has been so beneficial for them.
“I’ve also taught classes in body awareness at St Killian’s College which really helped the pupils there with exam stress.”
Sue says that yoga can offers mental benefits as well as physical. She continued: “It can help with mental health issues such as anxiety and depression. It’s a life tool that you can learn and take with you.
“It’s a complete awareness of how your body feels right now in this moment, connecting with yourself physically and mentally, there are breathing techniques.
“It helps with anxiety disorders and to cope with the pressures of life and problems such as addiction. You become aware of how your body feels under pressure so by teaching them this it helps to reduce stress through posture work, breathing techniques and meditations.
Sue believes that the pressures of the modern world make relaxation practises like yoga particularly important. She explained: “It’s a different world today with pressures which aren’t the same as the ones we were up against. Social media can provide terrible pressure and body image is nothing like what we grew up with.”
The Yoga for teenagers course begin on Monday February 6 at Glenarm Presbyterian Church Hall from 6.30pm-7.30pm. The class is aimed at young people aged 16-18 and will run for six to eight weeks. Booking is essential. Contact Sue on 07921061868.