Unity founder Sevanti reflects on the help that gentle one-to-one yoga, breathing, meditation and more are giving to people who find the current times difficult.
Ciara is a young girl who’s profoundly affected by anxiety. The isolation of the last few months has made life much more challenging for her. She’s a child who lives with fears no child should ideally have to face and it’s unsettling. Every week, I feel privileged to be able to make the trip out from Lewes to visit Ciara in the village where she lives with her mum, and to spend an hour leading her through a one-to-one, socially distanced yoga class that helps Ciara to manage her life.
Ciara isn’t her real name, of course, but the help that the Unity Centre has been able to give her over recent months is very real. And she isn’t the only one.
After months of lockdown, the majority of people are now slowly finding our way back to normal, or a new sort of normal that we want to resemble the good parts of the old one as much as possible. We want to believe that the last few months – not just of lockdown but the height of our fears about infection and the loss of loved ones – may now be mostly behind us. And we’re hoping with all our hearts that it will stay that way.
But life is paradoxical. There are some who felt safer and happier in lockdown and find the present time very challenging. They are all around us, in our communities, some of them our neighbours: vulnerable people who are affected by extreme anxiety. They’re worried about leaving the house and they’re afraid of what lies ahead.
Sometimes, because of the way the Unity Centre works, we’re able to make a significant difference.
June, whom I’ve been visiting for a while, told us that, coming from our private sessions, she finally feels the trust growing within herself to leave her house again. Rose recently told us that the pranayama breathing and grounding meditation we’ve brought to her at home has really helped her.
I’ve enjoyed teaching Ciara, June, Rose and many more in their gardens, in quiet parks and even on my secluded allotment. Children and adults alike have gently opened their bodies and hearts through meditation, breath work and gentle yogic movement, in safety and the nurturing surroundings of nature.
As a social enterprise (the Unity Centre is a community interest company – a CIC), we at the Unity Centre feel passionate about ensuring that all the wonderful, supportive and potentially life-changing services we offer should not be restricted to the few. We work closely with local link workers to help those most in need, by applying for funding and redirecting internal funds to those on our priority waiting list.
This means that every class you attend and every sauna or float you book enables us to help more of the people around us who are suffering deeply in these times. I am so grateful to those of you who have been able to maintain memberships throughout these months, and those who’ve donated to Zoom classes and otherwise supported the Unity Centre. Your kindness is helping to sustain the wellbeing of those less fortunate than ourselves. And when the Unity Centre re-opens on 7 September, we hope to do even more.
So, simply, thank you. And I’d like to leave the last word to the mum of another girl I’ve been visiting, Anna.
“I am so grateful to Sevanti for giving of her time and energy during this difficult time. My daughter is between schools at the moment and has really struggled with pent up energy and anxiety due to isolation. Sevanti kindly travelled to our village to do socially distanced 1-1 yoga with her and it was wonderful. The calm and peace that flowed from her after the session was amazing!”
To learn more about our one-to-one and one-to-two classes and specialised support, please email firstname.lastname@example.org