Yoga Day in Christchurch

For the first time yoga en masse is planned for Saturday November 27 in Christchurch, timed to coincide with a similar event in Auckland.

Timed on the eve of summer, it is an opportunity to feel the grass under your toes, the sun on your back and experience the collective energy of doing gentle yoga poses and a group-guided meditation practice, while raising funds to help those suffering from mental health. Set amongst the peaceful surrounds of Ferrymead Heritage Park in Christchurch, from 10am to 5pm, organisers say there is no need for prior yoga experience, and everyone is welcome.

Franko Heke, event owner says: “NZ Yoga Day is a chance for everybody to put down their devices for a few hours, head to the park with friends or whānau and try a yoga class for the first time or continue their yoga journey.”

NZ Yoga Day is about more than stretching bodies; it is also about emotional well-being. To emphasise this benefit, NZ Yoga Day has partnered with I Am Hope, a charity that supports young people and their families dealing with mental health. A percentage of ticket sales goes directly to the charity.

Heke, who has suffered from his own mental health issues, says meditation and yoga helped him through hard times and the partnership with I Am Hope felt logical given the benefits of mindfulness at alleviating anxiety and other mental health issues.

“Our high rate of suicide is evidence mental illness is not dealt with very well in Aotearoa New Zealand. We believe that practicing yoga and meditation can help people deal better with the anxiety from the stress of everyday modern life – I know because it helped me”, says Heke.

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