Workshop in Linlithgow aimed to fix broken relationships

Instructor Natalie Young demonstrates yoga positions
Instructor Natalie Young demonstrates yoga positions

A yoga instructor has been working with families in Linlinthgow to try and tackle the problem of homelessness.

Natalie Young held a workshop in the Burgh Halls with the Cyrenians’ Scottish Centre for Conflict Resolution and tried to put across the stress busting benefits of being mindful, connected and calm.

Every year in Scotland, 5000 young people become homeless due to relationships breaking down at home and Natalie hopes to try and prevent these situations arising through the practice of yoga.

She said: “We all live really busy lives but often we can lose sight of what we want to do and why. Yoga creates the chance and space to pause, reflect and connect with ourselves, bringing self-awareness to our body, thoughts and feelings.

“And this helps people resolve conflict because it opens channels of communication between ourselves and others, reducing stress and anxiety. When we are calm and in control of our emotions, conversations tend to remain composed and useful.

“The beauty of yoga is that absolutely anyone can practise it in everyday life. Even if you can’t do a yoga posture there and then, you can learn how to breathe long and deep in order to control your emotions. But, like all things that are worthwhile, the more you practise the more you benefit.”

The Cyrenians’ Scottish Centre for Conflict Resolution say families often struggle with arguments behind closed doors, but it doesn’t have to be this way and when conflict is managed constructively, through support and mediation, it can lead to a positive change in relationships and lives.

A previous participant of the session, who didn’t want to be named, said: “When helping individuals and organisations resolve conflict I shall use many of the aspects I learned today. I think it will also help me deal better with all aspects of conflict generally.”

Natalie begins the session by asking why we often react in a hostile manner to throwaway statements before exploring how yoga techniques can help us to pause and reflect in order to prevent the same reaction again.

Diane Marr, from the SCCR, said: “Very often when we find ourselves in an argument we return to pre-programmed fight or flight modes without thinking about it.

“By taking a few moments, breathing and stepping back from the situation, we can ease the tension.”