Free yoga sessions are being offered in GP surgeries, libraries and offices across Lancashire.
The initiative on Friday, June 21, is to mark International Yoga Day and to inspire people to take up the activity.
The Lancashire-wide celebration of yoga is the inspiration of Dr Sakthi Kurananithi, director of Public Health on Lancashire County Council.
He said: “Yoga has moved from the margins to the mainstream in our society. It can be a very effective way to maintain and improve our health and wellbeing, and it has a range of proven health benefits.
“A movement of health professionals and yoga teachers are working together under the banner of #yoga4all and we are encouraging health professionals to promote yoga as a social prescribing activity and local people to give yoga a go to experience how beneficial it can be while being a gentle and relatively easy thing to do”.
Emma Lowther-Wright, Preston based yoga teacher and owner of the Mandala Yoga Centre, said she wants to see yoga being ‘socially prescribed’ by doctors, taught in schools, and available in prisons.
She said: “Yoga really is for everyone, whether we are looking for physical or mental strength, balance or flexibility; or to cultivate a calm body and mind. Yoga can improve balance, strength and flexibility to support our muscles and joints and improve our ability to breath fully, slowly and consciously to reduce anxiety and improve cardiovascular health, mood state and digestion.
"All of us associated with Yoga4All want to share this knowledge that this simple practice can be so effective at supporting physical and mental health. We want to see yoga being socially prescribed by doctors, taught in schools, colleges, universities and made available in prisons”.
Not only is the local partnership promoting yoga backed by science and research but there is now an All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) which is considering the health and wellbeing benefits of yoga and its potential as a social prescription on the NHS.
Lancashire Libraries are offer free yoga taster sessions at the following places:
- Teen Yoga at Garstang Library
- Chair Yoga at Poulton Library
- Rise and Shine at Fleetwood Library
- Chair Yoga at Cleveleys Library
For more information on library sessions, click here.