Students from Stratford-upon-Avon College have received training from a complementary therapies specialist to learn about the benefits of yoga and mindfulness.
John Earls, an alternative therapy lecturer, and yoga and Pilates teacher, volunteered to visit the college as a guest lecturer and spoke to Health & Social Care learners about the range of alternative holistic therapies available to patients, before leading an interactive yoga workshop.
Such therapies can be used alongside conventional medical treatments prescribed by a doctor, and can help people with illnesses to feel better and improve their quality of life. John is a particular admirer of mindfulness techniques – focusing on the awareness and acceptance of one’s thoughts and feelings at that very moment.
Passionate about the numerous benefits of these complementary therapies, he explained “I wanted the students to learn about the different routes in to the sector, and why I feel mindfulness is something they should consider either working in or exploring further with their college assignments.
“Mindfulness helps to reduce anxiety, depression and eating disorders. It’s also very good for students to help them prepare for exams because it lowers stress hormones and allows you to be calmer.”
John, from Stratford, initially worked in the legal profession before deciding on a significant career change.
“Law was something that I did because I thought I should. I’d achieved everything that I wanted to financially and in terms of all the markers of success that people usually look to, but I realised that I still wasn’t happy; there was something more that I wanted.
“I needed to go on a journey of self-discovery and working in mental health was something I was very interested in. Over time I realised that it was mindfulness that I wanted to focus on.”