As it’s Pride week in Southend, in this week’s post Daniel explains why it’s so important to hold yoga classes for LGBT+ people.

Why is it important for the LGBT+ community to have a specific Yoga class?

Are you aware that over 80% of identifying LGBTQI+ people have or in the past have had mental health concerns? This figure is staggering. There are many contributory possible reasons for this statistic and one as a community and as individuals we need to address. Yoga in its essence can be a wonderful therapeutic tool to support our mental wellbeing and allow us to feel part of a community, but what stops us as LGBT+ people from getting involved?

Many people within our community really struggle to feel at home in classes for a multitude of reasons. From past experiences of changing areas, toilet facilities, appropriate clothing choices to gender specific language used by the studio and/or instructor can cause us to feel unwelcome and stop us from stepping through the door.

Once we get past those barriers the assumptive language used in the class can be the next hurdle. Being invite to lay down and close our eyes may be upsetting, focusing on certain areas of the anatomy unsettling, being “adjusted” or touched without being asked by the teacher can trigger us into past memories and/or just be an invasion of our personal space.

To experience the therapeutic depths of yoga we need a safe space and teachers who understand the diverse and adaptive needs of our community. We need options of what to do if we feel we may be triggered and to have the assurance the community around us will not judge us for our specific needs.

What to expect?

Each session will last for 90 mins in total, 60 mins gentle movement and breathing which will be accessible to anyone as the practice can be done on a chair or on a mat, 10 mins led reflection and 20 mins + time to share experiences after and commune with one another.

  • Session dates for 2019 all 11:00-12.30
  • Sunday 28th July, 22 Sept, 20 Oct and 24 Nov
  • At Anahata Yoga Centre, Leigh on Sea, Essex, SS9 3JY

Donations

There is no cost to attend this event however we would ask you make a donation on the day. Donations will be split between Southend Pride and Transpire, two amazing LGBT+ charities based in Southend and helping to raise awareness of the needs of our community.

We have a Facebook page community page set up for this group, to join please click on this link!

Please do join us to celebrate LGBT+ diversity in Southend on Sea and Leigh on Sea.