Yoga Fest fundraiser

Jackson Lavell-LeeBusselton Dunsborough Times
South West Yoga Fest instructor Heather Starr with her Cape Naturaliste College Yoga class
Camera IconSouth West Yoga Fest instructor Heather Starr with her Cape Naturaliste College Yoga class Credit: Jackson Lavell-Lee/Jackson Lavell-Lee

South West Yoga Fest returns on February 23-24 at Solitaire Homestead in Yallingup, with all proceeds financing free yoga classes in schools to help teen mental health.

According to Beyondblue, 13.9 per cent of children and adolescents aged 4-17 experience a mental health disorder.

Starr Light Yoga and South West Yoga Fest founding director Heather Starr said yoga and meditation were a great way for stressed students to relax.

“I thought if we could put together a community event and have the proceeds set up yoga classes in schools, this could really help kids,” she said.

Ticket sales, raffles and a silent auction will pay for instructors to go to schools and teach Yin yoga focusing heavily on Shavasana meditation at the end of class.

The initiative started at Cape Naturaliste College, with many more schools in the region looking to participate.

“Teachers here have been great — it gives them and the kids an opportunity to slow down and gain the benefits of deep breathing,” Mrs Starr said.

“A lot of the kids have said they struggled to do other more physical sports but have really enjoyed coming to yoga instead.”

Health and physical education teacher Mikala Mckay said students participating in the ATAR pathway benefited greatly from the yoga classes.

Last year, about 200 people attended South West Yoga Fest, with a target of 500 participants this year. This year’s festival will include more classes and diversified practices, with four classes going at a time.

The new location provides more natural shade with two large marquees raised and a dam for participants to cool off in after practice. Tickets to South West Yoga Fest cost $79 for a Saturday pass, $89 for a Sunday pass, and $150 for a weekend pass.

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