Yoga Rise have studios across London but also offer remote classes to follow on-demand in the comfort of your own home or, as in Franky’s case, if you’re feeling inspired to really utilise that break in the workplace. Yoga is all about bringing together the mind, body and spirit. The long list of mental and physical benefits include increased flexibility, strength and balance. It can also help with poor digestion, insomnia and anxiety. Yoga Rise do great community work as part of their mission to make yoga as accessible as possible to as many people as possible and while physically testing, it’s also - as you will see channeled through Franky’s first ever experience - an awful lot of fun.
What does ‘More Than A Barber’ mean to you?
‘More Than A Barber’ for me is being someone that can not only provide a haircut or beard trim, but also someone who can be there to just listen. Sometimes not being a close family member or friend to someone can help them relax and open up and I feel a great sense of pride when a client feels comfortable enough to talk to me about their mental health.
How has your Mental Health First Aid training impacted your work?
My mental health training was a real eye opener. One of the things it taught me was that when someone is suffering with their mental health and feels comfortable enough to speak out to you about it because of your bond, you shouldn’t necessarily jump to give them advice and can just listen instead. It has also taught me that you often have no idea what is going on in someone’s personal life until you have built a relationship, so you shouldn’t ever rush to judge.
How important do you consider self-care to be?
I consider self-care to be extremely important and I don’t think enough people (including myself) make enough time to treat themselves to it. With mental health being talked about much more openly now, I think self-care is just as necessary. It gives you proper time to relax the body and mind.
Do you currently factor self-care actives into your own life?
I don’t really at the moment. I have never really done any sort of wellness activity before, but after being involved in this campaign I will certainly be doing so. After doing the yoga (although poorly) I’m very keen to try this on a more regular basis and can clearly see why this would be perfect for helping anyone suffering with their mental health.
How did you feel about your session? Did it affect you positively?
I felt apprehensive beforehand as this was something I had never done before. It was a real eye opener though and even though it was tough I felt so much better afterwards for doing it. I also watched Joe and Miles having their stretches done and (although it looked slightly painful!) they both said they felt amazing after, so I will for sure be giving that a go too at some point.
Would you recommend yoga to your clients, friends and family?
I have family and friends who suffer heavily with their mental health. They have been following our ‘More Than A Barber’ campaign and I’ve spoken to a few of them about Yoga Rise and Stretch Inc. and a few of them have actually already booked in for a yoga class, which is brilliant.
Has this activity changed your outlook on self-care and wellness?
Yes it has. It’s just something I never really considered much, but after doing this, it’s really opened my eyes. I couldn’t recommend giving something like this a go highly enough to anyone suffering with their mental health.
Is there anything else that you are now keen to try following on from this activity?
I will be giving yoga a real go now. I also want to make general fitness a key part of my day-to-day lifestyle going forward. Just staying healthy mentally and physically is so important for anyone that is struggling