Bunbury yogi targets men for life rhythms

Jordan BrownSouth Western Times
Melody's Life Rhythms Melody Birrell and Bunbury Men's Shed Eddie Forrest get their yoga on at Bunbury Men's Shed.
Camera IconMelody's Life Rhythms Melody Birrell and Bunbury Men's Shed Eddie Forrest get their yoga on at Bunbury Men's Shed. Credit: Jordan Brown / South Western Times

A Bunbury yoga instructor is hoping to stretch her unique program targeted at older men into the wider community.

Melody’s Life Rhythms occupational therapist Melody Birrell has been holding yoga sessions for Bunbury Men’s Shed members for the past year and is now encouraging others to take part.

The program targets men who are former servicemen or have served in the armed forces.

Mrs Birrell – a yoga instructor with 20 years of mental health and suicide prevention experience – said she wanted more former servicemen to take part in yoga.

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“We want to just make it really inclusive to teach men to be physically flexible, mentally flexible, manage their stress better and also manage pain,” Mrs Birrell said.

“The yoga is something I’ve been doing since I was 22 to manage myself and the stress of my job.

“It’s something that we’ve found through research now that it’s really beneficial for everyone’s health and wellbeing, but particularly for men who have suffered stress and anxiety throughout their life.”

Mrs Birrell said feedback from participants had been great, with men saying it had helped to maintain their level of function and ability.

She said others told how the mindfulness component of yoga had helped them manage emotional transitions that they had gone through, such as the loss of role at retirement and loss of loved ones.

Men’s Shed member Eddie Forrest said the yoga program helped him become more balanced and recommended the program because of the calming effects it had on his daily life.

The classes are held Wednesday mornings for over 50s and in the afternoon for younger men.

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