Speech by Sabina Higgins to Yoga Therapy Ireland at their Graduation Ceremony
Marine Hotel, Sutton, 3rd October, 2021
Good afternoon everyone!
It is so good to be here with you at this graduation ceremony. I would like to congratulate you all on your achievement and resilience in continuing with your practice of yoga and your specialist training in yoga therapy during the so difficult time we have come through.
I want to congratulate Maureen Nightingale in particular who carried the brunt of dealing with the disruption to the work of the school and Yoga Therapy Ireland.
I was deeply disappointed that her efforts to have yoga therapist practitioners treated and able to work as other medical professionals like physiotherapists, chiropodists and such like.
It would have been of invaluable assistance to many institutions and to many people suffering during the lockdown. I hope that the references to the benefits of yoga, which featured so often in all kinds of media outlets, will have the result of many more people knowing about yoga and wishing to attend yoga classes and having it more widely taught.
I am particularly hoping that the education system in general will want to include it in its curriculum and that many professions like the Defence Forces, An Garda Siochana, nurses, the sports organisations would include it in their training. It would be such an invaluable tool for keeping the body and breathing fit, and be able to deal with all the stress that people work under.
My biggest hope is for it being included in the educational system so that children experience the benefit and joy of doing yoga and that they will keep it up afterwards, right through their lives like having a constant helping tool as an assistant and a relaxation technique.
I am particularly keen on it as I, and we all, become full of grief and even despair when we hear of the prevalence of gender violence and domestic violence. It was so sad that the incidence of domestic violence increased so radically during the lockdown as families tried to cope with the challenges, frustration and stress of the lockdown. In a recent press article, it reported the number of domestic violence calls for help in one week alone, was 699.
My belief is that if people had the practice in yoga, their bodies and their breathing system would be able to relax enough to be able to take the strain, so that tension and frustration could be dealt with, and would not build up to a point where relief is sought in violence, by striking out at those who are often those nearest and dearest.
You can be so proud of your achievement in pursuing your training right through the pandemic. Congratulations to you all on qualifying and receiving your award today.
Therefore, 2021 will be a happy 21st Anniversary for Yoga Therapy Ireland after all!
I am very happy for the country having so many newly qualified yoga teachers and therapists and wish Yoga Therapy Ireland great success into the future.
Well done to Maureen Nightingale and all her team!
Thank you and take care.