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108 Sun Salutations: Fundraiser for mental health awareness

Updated: Oct 2

We would love for you to join us on Saturday, 01 August 2020 for 108 Sun Salutations to raise awareness and funds for suicide and mental health support!

Steph joined us for her Online Teacher Training in April 2020, as the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic rippled across the world. She was truly inspired by her 200-Hour Yoga Alliance Certified Hatha Yoga Teacher Training, and the lessons she learnt left a remarkable lasting effect on her life. 

After Steph’s training, she unfortunately lost a very close friend due to suicide. This impacted her life, and she immediately felt called to support and raise awareness for this important cause. 

After losing my dad, 2 years ago, I went travelling and this is when I discovered Yoga. 

When I returned to the UK, I practised Yoga 2 or 3 times a day for a couple of months, and it truly changed me as a person. I found that if I wasn’t practising Yoga everyday, my emotions were unbalanced… 

It was then, at the age of 36, that I finally realised I wanted to do this for the rest of my life.

Yoga makes me so happy because it changed me, and my life for the better. My mission is to share that with everyone, and help people.

Whilst doing my beautiful Online Yoga Teacher Training with Akasha Yoga Academy, we performed the 108 Surya Namaskara (Classical Sun Salutations) together, and I was truly inspired by this. 

After very recently losing a person who was very dear to me, I decided to carry forward the 108 Sun Salutation practice for charity. 

Mental Health is a huge part of people’s lives, and many people struggle – especially men, who don’t feel they can talk about it. They can feel very ashamed.”

  • Deaths by suicide increased by 10.9% in the UK in 2018.

  • Rates vary across the UK, with the highest rate in 2018 being observed in Northern Ireland, followed by Scotland, then Wales and England. 

  • Overall, men accounted for three-quarters of UK deaths by suicide in 2018. In the Republic of Ireland, the suicide rate is 4 times higher amongst men than women.

JOIN US FOR 108 SUN SALUTATIONS

When: Saturday, 01 August 2020 for 108 Sun Salutations: Time: 9am UK time = GMT +1  Zoom Details: Meeting ID: 930 1170 3068 Password: 744178

We encourage anyone to join and participate in as many, or as few rounds as they choose! It would be such a pleasure to have you join us, even for 10 sets. Let’s combine our energy and Love for this cause!

The zoom link will be open, so you can join, and leave whenever you choose.

If you prefer privacy, you can also leave your camera off. There will be the option to continue (with Steph) to do 308 Sun Salutations, if you choose. 

Please donate as much as you are able to, it’s highly appreciated, and will literally go towards saving lives.

Visit Steph’s donation page here for The Mental Health Foundation, so that you can help to support the movement.

#OnTheMatForMentalHealth

We thank you so much for your support & generosity, and look forward to meeting you

We need to be opening up around the discussion of mental health, as it’s an extremely important facet of our lives.  


Here at Akasha Yoga Academy, we encourage our students and budding teachers to be vulnerable, authentic and to connect with themselves in ways which they have perhaps not explored before. We cultivate a practical perspective on yogic philosophy and develop the Art of Living. This new understanding helps us to maintain our own peace of mind, and to support the mental health of those around us.

Holding space for ourselves in these moments of struggle and overwhelm is just as important as reaching out to others who are going through their own inner battle.

Mental Health Disorders can be especially isolating, as it is not necessarily something that people can outwardly see, allowing those who suffer to hide their inner turmoil.

Being open about our own journeys through human emotions of ebbs & flows, allows those around us to also vulnerably communicate their own inner journey. This authentic connection is especially important for those struggling with mental health issues.

Emotional disorders can be accompanied by feelings of helplessness, overwhelm, isolation, shame, self blame and guilt – so it’s frequently not ‘easy’ to reach out for support. 

With loving awareness we can build a safe space for everyone to be open about their struggles; welcoming each other without judgement, and with unconditional Love & support. Being available to those who need it, is of priceless value.

Steph is raising money for The Mental Health Foundation, a UK charity for mental health research & awareness. Prevention is at the Heart of their ethos. Their mission is to “help people understand, protect and sustain their mental health.”

“The Mental Health Foundation aims to find and address the various sources of mental health issues so that people and communities can thrive.” 

Due to the death of her friend Shane, Steph particularly wants to raise awareness for the high suicide rates amongst men.

There is a large societal stigma that expressing emotions is not ‘manly’. Men in particular are unfairly bound by this stigma which prevents them from having safe, judgement free, loving environments to share their burdens.  Let’s make a change by allowing the men in our lives to know that the strongest thing they can do, is to share with us their true & full range of emotions – from joy to sadness. The human experience contains a huge spectrum of emotions, from ecstasy to numbness, and the inability of men to express anything but strength, is literally costing lives…

All of our Love, Steph & The Akasha Family ॐ

Akasha Yoga Academy Footer-Dean Raphael.

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