A non-profit based in Toronto, Canada is providing training and liaison work with yoga studios to support people diagnosed with bipolar or depression in learning yoga and meditation, reports CTV News. The group, called Blu Matter, is also working with University of Toronto researchers in a randomized controlled trial surrounding the effectiveness of the project.
Blu Matter has been providing specialized training to yoga teachers to work with people undergoing psychological challenges, and also arranges for participants to get yoga classes for free for a year. “We sponsor people, so people who otherwise can’t afford it who are seeking treatment who are diagnosed with any form of depression — including mood disorders, anxiety or trauma — we connect them to the practice of yoga,” the director of Blu Matter told CTV News.
“Blu Matter Project wants to lift people out of depression… one sweaty yoga mat at a time,” states the organization’s website. “We are a not-for-profit organization whose mission is to offer a new and holistic approach to support people living with Depression and/or Bipolar Disorder that is rooted in the practice of yoga. We exist because we believe it is possible to find a sense of peace inside the struggle of mental illness. Our goal is to help as many people as we can discover the power of yoga by connecting them to some of the most amazing studios Toronto has to offer.”
While currently active only in Toronto, the website indicates that the goal is for their work to become global in reach.
Yoga program dedicated to supporting people living with mental illness (CTV News, December 29, 2014)