Local College Student Puts Yoga & Wellbeing on the Agenda

A STUDENT from South Gloucestershire and Stroud College (SGS) has taken her passion for yoga to new levels, setting up a successful practice and joining a network of world renowned-lecturers and professionals focussing on health and wellbeing.

Robin Watkins-Davis, 18, who studies Art Foundation at the College’s Stroud campus first discovered yoga when she was 13.

“I remember my Dad telling me, ‘change the way you look at things, and the things you look at will change.’

Those words have transformed my life, and although meditation was an alien concept to me at first, I was desperate for change, so gave it a go.”

Although that change was hard to begin with, Robin stuck with it, and soon found she was making progress.

“Small glimpses of positive change kept me motivated and before long I was up early before school having a strong yoga practice which set my day off to a great start.”

After using her yoga skills to help her through her GCSEs, Robin began training to become a yoga teacher, completing her training a year later and becoming one of the world’s youngest qualified yoga teachers.

Aside from working as a youth patron for TeenYoga, the company set up by her former yoga teacher, Robin also dedicates her time to her own company, ‘Bliss by Robin’, a small team of teenagers aged from 13-19 from all over the country with the aim of making yoga more accessible for people from various backgrounds.

“We teach classes all around the local area, from Stroud to Cheltenham and Tetbury, and also run retreats in the Scottish Highlands. We’re raising awareness that yoga is for everyone and can provide that ‘positive internal fix’ people are looking for.”

The benefits of yoga is something Robin is keen to point out: “The ability to de-stress with yoga is an immediate benefit. There’s a re-structuring of the brain that takes place, helping you to sleep better and focus more. The physical as well as mental benefits help in so many ways, especially when studying or dealing with anxiety.”

Robin and her team’s efforts to raise awareness has taken their message up and down the country, most recently to a meeting in Westminster with some of the world’s leading academics, including lecturers and researchers from Harvard and the University of Westminster, as well as several figures in the medical field.

“It was a great opportunity to be asked to meet and speak with people who have a similar mission. I really do believe in collaboration and in team work. With dedication to all young people out there I hope we can make a difference to our mental health and to education.”

To find out more about Robin and her work in yoga and wellbeing, visit her website at blissbyrobin.com or the Facebook page at facebook.com/blissbyrobin