The Arsenal Foundation has helped Islington’s MahaDevi Yoga Centre create a fund for families in need to either subsidise their sessions or to offer the first three classes for free. Emma, from Camden, tells us how it has helped her daughter Tyler, aged 22.
“My daughter Tyler has dystonia, and due to her lack of mobility she is in a specialised wheelchair that requires her to stretch to prevent her muscles from aching or locking. Yoga therapy is the most affordable and effective option for this, but I looked for over a year and a half for a way to help Tyler because her condition was deteriorating and everything was either out of my price range or too far away.
“I found out about the MahaDevi Centre through another parent, and we have always been given a warm welcome every time we go. Tyler is hoisted onto the mat and I leave them for the session and go and talk with the other parents. Denisa, the founder and lead therapist, has an hour with Tyler doing a full yoga programme that has been tailor-made to suit Tyler’s condition, including stretching, teaching her new positions and keeping her peaceful and calm. There have often been times when Tyler has been stressed before a session, but she always comes out happy. I’ve watched many others come in very shy and make amazing progress as the months have gone by.
“Denisa has shown me that Tyler is able to achieve much more than I believed she was capable of. Tyler can sit independently and she shows amazing determination. Denisa goes above and beyond for Tyler and everyone else, and I honestly couldn’t ask for better people to look after her. They are very pure people and I don’t know what I would do without them. In many places I’ve been to I can see the staff are just there to do the job, but I truly feel like it’s more than a job to the staff at MahaDevi.
“I started going nearly eight years ago now. Tyler goes at least once a week, most recently it has been twice a week and if there is ever any further availability then they will let me know, so on occasion Tyler is able to go three or four times a week.
“Yoga helps Tyler both mentally and physically. Not only has it allowed her to become more flexible, it has also helped her mentally and allows her to release stress. I also love the relationship Tyler has with Denisa – it’s heart-warming to know they have a great bond and Tyler is able to be herself, laughing throughout the session as well as benefiting from it hugely.
“I support Arsenal, and before becoming a parent I was able to watch all the matches and support the club fully, but unfortunately I don’t have the time anymore. I do think it’s amazing that the club is able to help local organisations in this way. Since the pandemic it has been so hard for many people to find any type of help, so having Arsenal on board to support local communities and charities is an absolute blessing for me and many of the families I know.”
For more info visit mahadevicentre.com
Copyright 2023 The Arsenal Football Club Limited. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit being given to www.arsenal.com as the source.