Many people are supporting ‘peaceful warrior’ Madeline Diaz, a mum and owner of three top Lancashire yoga studios from Preston, who has launched a petition to get the Government to reconsider the ban on indoor yoga in Tier-3.Advertisement
Madeline, a mum of one from Preston who runs The Mill studio in Bolton, Trybe in Penwortham and Hot Yoga Adlington, kick-started the campaign when Lancashire went into Tier 3.
Following the news that the region is now staying in the highest category, it has had a huge response from supporters all over the UK.
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So far 8,000 people have signed including Dr Who and Peaky Blinders actor Sam Benjamin, as well gaining media attention in health titles too.
Madeline is campaigning with a group of fellow yoga studio owners, teachers and students from across the UK who have formed the UK Yoga Collective, and who stand in solidarity at the ‘vague and confusing’ classification of yoga as indoor sport and exercise, rather than a therapeutic practice for mind, body and soul.
While gyms and health clubs across all Tiers can operate with Covid compliance precautions in place, yoga studio owners like Madeline are playing an ‘endless and stressful’ game of closures, Tier changes and devastating financial strain, with little hope of studios reopening until February 2021 if Tier 3 restrictions stay in place in January or there is a third lockdown.
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Half a million Brits practice yoga weekly in the UK and the industry is worth £926million.
Madeline, who employs 17 people, stresses that yoga is a lifeline to thousands across Lancashire and a therapeutic practice, essential for mental health and wellbeing – offering a mental health lifeline to many since March.
Following guidance from the Government, UK yoga studios are already instructed to follow a very strict Covid compliance with a 2-metre distance rule, masks worn in communal areas, reduced class size, no gathering, temperature checks, surface sanitation, deep cleans and much more.
Madeline said: “I feel at this moment in time our industry really needs to pull together – as the gyms did initially when faced with similar restrictions.
“We need to stand our ground. As a studio owner, there are the obvious financial implications, but my reason for putting the petition together goes way beyond that.
“For most of our clients, their yoga practice is a life-line that goes way beyond the physical realms of merely fitness.
“To not be able to offer this support to my students at a time when it is needed most, in times when people’s mental health is at its lowest ebb in recent memory, is simply heart-breaking.”
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The British Wheel of Yoga, the UK’s National Governing Body under Sport England, supports the campaign’s call for a review.
Vice Chair Gillian Osborne, said: “Yoga has therapeutic benefits physically and mentally that go beyond those that are offered by regular exercise activities. We do think this decision warrants a review.”
To support the campaign, please sign the Yoga Petition.
Do you think that indoor yoga should be able to go ahead under Tier 3 restrictions? Let us know in the comments below.
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