The class will integrate yoga and the power of animal interactions to support those living with mental health challenges.

EDMONTON, AB (October 5, 2018) –The Edmonton Humane Society (EHS) is launching a one-of-a-kind program that integrates yoga and the power of the human-animal bond to support members of the community living with mental health challenges. The announcement comes during Mental Illness Awareness week, which educates people about the realities of living with mental illness.

Yoga for Mental Health & Wellness is a six-week class beginning October 16 at the Edmonton Humane Society. An information session will be held on October 9 for both those signed up for the course and those interested in participating.

“Research has shown that the presence of animals, whether one’s own pet or an unfamiliar pet, helps people to relax,” said Aimee Winegarden, Director of Resource Development at EHS. “Our Humane Education Department set out to create a course to put this knowledge into play and we’re excited to share the course with our community.”

The six-week course has been created in partnership with Lisa Gaglione, a certified yoga instructor and registered nurse, who herself has experienced PTSD, anxiety and depression and used yoga as a tool to help manage the stress. Gaglione will be instructing the classes, which include one hour of yoga designed to help participants turn off the flight-or-fight response and teaches participants how to become aware of their physical self through social engagement and physical attunement. The last half hour of each class will be dedicated to engaging with shelter animals.

For more information or to register for the course, click here, email [email protected] or attend the information session on Tuesday, October 9 from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. at the Edmonton Humane Society, located at 13620 163 Street NW, Edmonton.