Local lads will be raising their hands and their wallets for a good cause this weekend, as Newport wellness centre Think.Focus.Act starts beginner yoga classes for men, with all proceeds from this weekend’s classes donated to BeyondBlue for men’s health.
The charity is one which is close to the heart of 33-year-old dental technician, massage therapist and yoga instructor Darren Villanueva, who knows all too well how mental illness affects the lives of many men.
“Supporting men’s health and mental illness is something I’m passionate about. I have myself and have known many loved ones that fight depression, anxiety and mental health illness. Also a loved one to Think.Focus.Act was recently lost,” he said.
“I started yoga to treat a bit of anxiety and to find stillness in the mind. I also wanted to start something a bit more Yin in the fitness aspect of it. Most of us have a western Yang approach to fitness, a balance of both is just so great for the mind and body.”
It was anxiety that kept him from teaching yoga for more than twelve months after completing his training in Goa, India, but Darren Villanueva conquered his fear and recently taught yoga for the very first time.
“I had a massive fear of getting up in front of others, so I had to conquer that fear first and I guess I wasn’t ready to teach, I had to do more yoga, attend various different classes, observe many different teachers. I was unsure about who I wanted to teach,” he said.
“I recently thought that I had not come across many male teachers, I knew there are guys wanting to try it, they just don’t have the classes that are dedicated for them. So recently I knew who I wanted to teach.”
“I know from experience attending a class full of super flexible females can be a little bit intimidating, especially if you can’t touch your toes! So, I thought I’ll start a beginner’s men’s class and see what the response is like.”
“I’m also running mixed beginners’ classes, I think it will be a good intro class to start off with, it will have some common basic flows with a focus on alignment and breathing with movement. I want to show everyone that yoga is for anyone.”
Sunday 5 August
9am Men’s only yoga class
10.15am Mixed beginners yoga class
1.30pm Men’s only yoga class
33 Challis Street, Newport
For bookings, contact Darren on 0401 174 885 or Lisa on 0423 855 787 or book online.
24-Hour Telephone Counselling
If you need to talk to someone, call:
- Lifeline on 13 11 14
- Kids Helpline on 1800 551 800
- MensLine Australia on 1300 789 978
- Suicide Call Back Service on 1300 659 467
- Beyond Blue on 1300 224 636
- Headspace on 1800 650 890
- QLife on 1800 184 527
In an emergency, call Triple Zero (000)