Seattle Yoga Event Led by Paisley Noelle Raises over $1,000 for Mental Illness!

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This past weekend I had the honor of hosting my very first yoga event - Yoga for Our Mental Health to Benefit Those With Mental Illness. I had the idea of hosting a donation-based yoga class in the hopes of raising money and awareness for The Christopher House, a group home in Wenatchee for adults living with mental illness. My original goal of $300 was far surpassed, and together we raised just around $1,200! I am beyond humbled and grateful for the generosity from everyone who supported. Thank you to everyone who made this event what it was!

The event was held in Queen Anne in the most gorgeous naturally lit studio space, Larimar Studios owned by Michelle Moore.  I led an hour-long power vinyasa class followed by refreshments from Pressed Juicery and photos by Breanna Marie. I chose a yoga event because I thought what better way to shed light on mental illness than with bringing attention to our own mental health. After completing my yoga teacher certification, I gained a new understanding for mental health and its evident connection to our overall physical health and the health of our society. 

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My older brother, Sawyer, battles with severe schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. He has been living in and out of the Christopher House for several years now. Of the 72 residents living there currently, I'm pretty sure my brother is the only one to be visited by family.

The Christoper House isn't exactly the first place many people would want to hang out. The run-down infrastructure was once a hospital in the 1920's and its cold walls are now home to those with developmental disabilities and/or mental illness. It is also an office to the wonderful woman who work everyday with the residents here, ensuring they are fed and provided with basic medical needs.

While at first glance, these people may look "crazy" and unstable, or even a little scary, they are some of the sweetest and most misunderstood people. I am convinced if my brother had cancer, or another more socially acceptable illness, more people would care. Unfortunately, there is still a stigma around mental health issues and those who have fallen victim not only have to fight for their health, but also fight to belong in society. 

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Many people don't know how to deal with mental health issues, whether it be their own or someone else's - and that's due to lack of education. At some point while dissecting the human body, our society forgot all parts worked together as one. And while you may be advised to see a chiropractor for temporary back pain relief, the root of the issue may actually be found in your brain. Our mental state has a far greater impact on our physical health than typical western medicine leads us to believe. 

Focusing on your own mental health is the greatest thing you can do for yourself. It is also one of the best ways to make a difference in this world. The more in tune we are with our own mental and physical bodies, the more compassion, help, and understanding we can offer those around us. 

For me, yoga and dance are what feed my soul and improve my mental state. And there are so many other ways to practice mental health! So whether you like to write it out, or talk to someone - listen to music, or meditate in silence - I encourage you to spend some time everyday listening to what your body and mind need from you.

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This event wouldn't have been possible without the amazing sponsors! Michelle is a photographer based in Seattle, focusing on commercial and portrait work. She is absolutely amazing! She also rents out Larimar Studios to anyone interested in shooting in the space or hosting an event of their own. I can't even begin to describe how beautiful and perfect this space is! I didn't want to leave and am already looking forward to working in this space again!

Breanna has been a great friend of mine since high school. She is also a Seattle based photographer, focusing on weddings and couple shoots. I just adore this woman. She has the sweetest soul and I know I can always reach out to her to capture some of my most meaningful and passionate ideas - like this event. 

And of course, the event wouldn't have been nearly as yummy if it weren't for the generous donation of juices from Pressed Juicery! This is one of my favorite healthy spots to grab a snack or refreshment. They were thrilled to be apart of this cause which speaks volumes about what a great company they are. 

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Despite having the obvious nerves from hosting my first yoga class, I had an absolute blast at the event and was overjoyed to see so many family friends show up to support. I was even more blown away by how many people donated through social media - it's amazing the kind of community you can create when you share something genuine and close to your heart!

My family and I will be working very closely with the Christopher House to ensure these donations benefit the residents in the best way possible! If you would still like to donate, please don't hesitate to reach out.  

I look forward to flowing for a cause with you next time! 

Xx,

Paisley Noelle