I’ve been a regular yoga goer at The Yoga Factory in Southend on Sea, since May 2018.
Yoga, I’ve practiced on and off for years.
Whilst living and working in Thailand – I’d use an online yoga practice to deal with headaches when they arose. It would only take a 20 minute focussed work out, to ensure it disappeared or slowly dissipated. So on my return home, I wanted to find the right studio to continue a consistent practice and to build on where I’d started. So I tried a Wednesday morning Vinyassa Flow class, with a restorative ending, taught by the lovely Laura. With a spacious yoga studio on the first floor of the industrial building, close to Southend Victoria train station, 5 minutes from the town centre and with ample parking close by -the high ceilings I believed to be of benefit, when it came to meditation and concentration. If I can’t be outside practicing, then this became the next best place.
Working as a Therapist within a drug and alcohol rehab, I was able to see the positive benefits of a regular yoga practice to help deal with stress, anxiety and addiction. Meeting Josh Lipscombe, I recognised that here was a young man with a good heart, trying to create something more than simply a yoga studio within our community.
When he told me about We Men Can Talk, I felt really excited. I’m a feminist and that to me means equality for all and hearing that he was going to create a safe space for guys to talk about what was bothering them, which was free. Where they could come and talk with other guys, inspired me to write this article. Josh said he feels safety within community and that’s what community means to him. It can become a safe place to support each others voices.
‘Got something you want to say? Don’t know how to say it? Want a chance to say it?
Turns out your not the only one; come join us, come watch us, come listen to us, try to fumble our way through the same thing. We here at ‘we men can talk’ are facing the same stresses, the same anxieties, the same issues, so why not try to share our problems. Isn’t a problem shared a problem halved?
Well what if it’s shared between a group of men across all ages and all walks of life, surely then it’s more than halved. We aren’t experts or offering solutions, and we aren’t pretending to have them, but what we are offering is an ear, a collective ear, to share and discuss – tap into a wealth of knowledge and experience. Offer your own knowledge and experience, maybe learn something, maybe just have a laugh and feel part of something.
We Men Can Talk, But We Men Can Listen’ The Yoga Factory.
Where Yoga is concerned, for guys – Josh says just come and try it. Its not about forcing people to do it but it is something worth being open to and giving a go.
I think about how good it could be for my son. As a Cirque du Soliel performer, I watch him working hard to keep in shape and keep his body strong and am always trying to get him to come to the yoga studio with me, because I think that balance is key to life and if you work out hard in the gym, then it’s worth stretching out on the mat. As a rehab therapist, I have seen the transformation in people, utilising yoga to help with stress and anxiety. It definitely has value and is well worth making the effort. It can aid mental, emotional, spiritual and physical health.
As a Therapist, I know the benefit of group conversation – the benefit of sharing. How, a interweaving of care, can gather round a person, like an invisible blanket – helping them feel safe and secure, when otherwise they may feel adrift and alone.
Josh has my full support for what he’s trying to achieve. He’s likable, knowledgeable. I’ve learnt so much from him, just in conversation. Why not check out the next We Men Can Talk event on Jan 6th 2019.
It’s just a shame that I’m a girl and can’t benefit from going there myself but I am delivering a Moving From Surviving To Thriving Workshop in conjunction with The Yoga Factory on March 24th 2019. So you can always come along to that – whatever your gender. If you want to delve a little deeper with group sharing, creativity, fun, meditation, yoga and learning how to create the life you’d choose to live.