Vanessa sees the light

COMMUNITY MOVEMENT: Thurgoona woman Vanessa Ayres wants to run a monthly community yoga class at her new Dean Street studio, YogaNess, to raise money for Border youth services. Picture: ELENOR TEDENBORGA Border woman has opened a yoga studio in Albury to help others find inner peace and mental wellbeing.

Yoga instructor Vanessa Ayres saidyoga changed her life about three years ago after she had struggledwith mental health issues since she was a teenager.

She had a history of depression but was only diagnosed with Postnatal Depression after the birth of her third child 11 years ago.

Within six months of practising yoga, Ms Ayres said she knew she wanted to become a teacher to give something back in return.

“I immediately felt calmer from yoga,” she said.

“It gives me clarity, I’m an overthinker;I use the breath in yoga to calm myself and centre myself.

“There are benefits for sleep from the restorative poses too.”

Ms Ayres teaches Purna Yoga to adults (beginners and advanced)and children inhernew studio in Dean Street.

She said children alwaysresponded well to the classes.

“If we’re dealing with emotions and feelings froman early age, there are fewer issues later in life,” Ms Ayres said.

“They love the chanting and I ask them what they’re grateful for that day.”

Having grown up at Myrtleford, Ms Ayres said having her first child, now aged 18 and living in Melbourne, when she wasa teenagerhad given her hope in life.

“When I had Julian at such a young age, he saved me from myself,” she said.

“We had a very strong connection because we grew up together.”

Now settled at Thurgoona with her husband Simon and their children Chloe, 13, and Jayden, 11, Ms Ayres recommended yoga as part of a wellbeing package for people to help find inner health.

“Mental health issues are a chemical imbalance; nobody chooses it,” she said.

“You just need to learn the best way to live with it for a better life.”

Ms Ayres wantsto run a monthly community yoga class as a fundraiser for Border youth organisations.

She said participants could pay what they could afford and all proceeds would be donatedto charities around the region.

Details of the community class will be posted on the YogaNess Facebook page in coming weeks.

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