Social connection for rural and remote communities through online yoga

Bringing happiness and health to rural communities

With a grant from Rural Doctors Foundation, The Yoga Partnership provides free online yoga classes to those living in rural and remote communities.  The Yoga Partnership hold two live Zoom classes per week  across rural Queensland.  Teachers are online to guide, support and encourage students.  

The Yoga Partnership aims to bring yoga to those that need it most. They create greater access to the physical and mental benefits of yoga and mindfulness. 

Rural Doctors Foundation was most excited about the potential for building social connection and alleviating physical and mental health  issues often faced by those  living in such isolated conditions. 

The feedback from class attendees has been overwhelmingly positive. They now recognise the importance of proactively caring for their health, and taking time out of their day to  participate in yoga and mindfulness.   

The Yoga Partnership also offer specialist workshops for seniors, pregnancy, beginners and men to the growing timetable of opportunities.    

Beth Burgess from The Yoga Partnership with Dan Halliday, Chair and Fran Avon, General Manager of Rural Doctors Foundation

The results speak for themselves

The classes allow participants to proactively care for their health and wellbeing.  And while each have their reasons for joining the online classes, hearing the success stories about improvements in mental and physical health is why we do what we do. The classes have connected communities, challenged people to try something new, taught lifelong mindfulness skills and built confidence.     

It is so lovely to receive emails every week from participants sharing how much they loved the class or how sad they are to miss a class. It makes us realise that receiving emails and having someone to talk to can be just as beneficial when people are feeling isolated.

Rural Doctors Foundation  values proactively supporting health outcomes. By providing long term mental health programs like yoga and mindfulness we are helping to overcome health challenges of rural living and social isolation.

"My body feels lighter and my head space is clear".

Melissa* is a 50 year old single mum who lives in Dalby Queensland.  She decided to join the online yoga sessions after a friend shared a Facebook link.  

Melissa struggled during her  marriage breakdown that happened about 8 years ago.  She had been with her ex-husband since she was 17 years old. They had three wonderful children together. 

Looking back, Melissa realised she really was not coping and today is not really sure how she managed to do what she did.

“Anyhow, somehow you just learn to. I can’t believe I moved my family to a new town, gained employment and was able to buy a small house to call home”.

Reflecting on the Yoga sessions, Melissa realises they have helped her  mentally.  She finds after each session her body feels lighter and her head space is clear.  She enjoys being a bit sore the next day as she knows she has stretched her body out of its comfort zone.  Melissa works in a job where in her own words – she sits on her bottom from 8-5 Monday to Friday.  Melissa  realises she needs to keep herself active  but it’s tough as sometimes you just run out of hours in the day.

Melissa decided it is time to focus on herself and be working towards getting fit. She loves this is free service and at a time that suits her.  Being online she doesn’t have to look the part or worry about being judged by others. 

She is very grateful to The Yoga Partnership and Rural Doctors Foundation for giving her the opportunity to do this wonderful program.  She encourages other to join – the benefits are amazing. 

* Name has been changed