A Wigan woman is changing the borough’s approach to yoga encouraging people of all ages to take to their mats.
Tiffany Whitter, a qualified yoga instructor from Standish, is hoping to get more Wiganers interested in the lifestyle, teaching children as young as pre-school to make space for “peace and quiet” in their day.
The mum-of-two initially adopted the practice four years ago following advice from her GP after she began suffering from stress-related health problems.
“It has made a huge difference to the quality of my life and to my health,” said Tiffany, 44. “Life has a way of pointing you in a certain direction, which is how I came to teaching it.
“My children are getting ready to leave home and I wasn’t enjoying my job as an accountant so it was the perfect time.
“What I have really found is that yoga is for everyone. I’m not a fitness freak or a gymster.
“If you are breathing, you can do it - whether you are three or 83, male or female, sporty or not. I work with people who have physical disabilities and mobility issues - there is something for everyone.”
Since achieving her yoga qualifications, Tiffany has introduced people from all walks of life to the practice.
“I’m passionate about bringing it to everyone.
“I work with some really disaffected teenage girls at a high school,” she said. “Some of whom might not get their GCSEs.
“Some of the classes are a real challenge, but every so often you get that break-through.
“Anyone and everyone can find some kind of movement and breathing, they can find that peace and calm in their day.”
Tiffany, who runs classes for children as young as three, believes that it is important in the modern day to encourage youngsters to make time for themselves. I have just done my third session at a preschool,” she said. “You have to adapt the teaching slightly and the sessions are short and very playful.
“One of the things I have done is getting them to think about their hands and feet, they have done little activities like picking up pom poms with their toes.
“They are learning how to be still, which at three is very very difficult. If they just take little bits of it through their life I hope it will help them to be peaceful and reduce anxiety levels.
“Primary school kids now are suffering from anxiety so it is very important we address it.”
Tiffany is also hoping to use some more unique community spaces such as libraries and pubs, to bring people in and get them using them.
Tiffany hosts sessions every Saturday morning at St Matthew’s Parish rooms in Highfield, Wigan from 9.30am until 10.30am. These classes are suitable for people of all abilities and ages.
She also holds a weekly session at Standish Library on Tuesday from 2pm and will be launching a new class in Standish from October 29. Venue details have not yet been announced.
To book contact the library on 01257 400496.
For more information visit www.facebook.com/yogabytiffany