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Stretch yourself for charity at yoga fund-raising event

Yoga teacher Trudy Morrison and her dog, Mr Kip, on Berwick pier.
Yoga teacher Trudy Morrison and her dog, Mr Kip, on Berwick pier.

If a charity challenge with a difference is what you are looking for, then an upcoming sponsored yoga mala could be for you.

The event on August 5 at the Lady Waterford Hall in Ford Village is the brainchild of Trudy Morrison of Berwick & Borders Yoga.

“For the past few years I’ve been promising my students a yoga mala to raise funds for charity, and this year it’s finally going to happen,” she said.

“It’s a challenging thing for anyone to undertake but also great fun, making it the perfect vehicle for a fund-raiser. And sponsors like to see people working hard for their money after all – I don’t think it should ever be too easy.”

So what is a yoga mala? In simple terms, it’s a gathering of people performing 108 Sun Salutations – a sequence of 12 flowing poses linked by the breath – with the same goal or intention in mind. The motivation is service in action, one of the most important tenets of yoga.

Traditionally, a mala could involve a combination of different Sun Salutations, but Trudy is keen to make this mala as accessible as possible.

“We’ll be sticking to the shortest version,” she said. “Plus all poses can be further modified whenever necessary. There’s no need to feel competitive or push beyond what your body is happy with. Yes, it’s a physical challenge but actually, with all the repetition, I’d say the mental challenge is trickier.”

Ideally, participants should have a little yoga knowledge but if you’re new to yoga and fancy taking part, don’t worry. Provided you are fairly fit you should still be able to join in.

“I’ll be providing support videos and blogs for training because this isn’t really something you can just turn up for,” said Trudy. “It’s important to practise to build up familiarity, strength and stamina, and to learn the modifications that work for you.”

Trudy explained that 108 holds deep religious and esoteric significance in Hinduism and Buddhism and is believed to be the key to spiritual liberation.

“It’s also found throughout the natural world. For example, the distance from the Earth to the Sun is 108 times the Sun’s diameter. Galileo said the universe is written in mathematical language and it seems the ancient sages were bang on the money.”

“Undertaking a yoga mala is definitely a commitment, but worth it. The buzz in a room full of people breathing and flowing together is a magical and powerful thing.”

The event is raising funds for ActionAid, the Alzheimer’s Society and B.A.R.K. To donate, visit www.mydonate.bt.com/teams/babyyogis