Local yoga studio takes unique approach to relieve stress for Suicide Prevention Month


ROCKFORD, Ill. (WTVO) — September is Suicide Prevention Month. Yoga is just another way to release some stress.

Alt Yoga took their lessons outdoors in order to raise awareness for suicide prevention.

“So, what yoga does is you’re using your breath, you’re using the postures of yoga and you’re releasing that stress in your body. You’re essentially releasing the memories you’re holding onto,” said Marissa Ebert, the owner of Alt Yoga.

However, it’s not your average yoga class. It includes music, drinking, and swearing.

“I mean there’s scientific evidence that says [swearing] can release pain it can release stress so we add that into it we like to incorporate some really empowering statements,” said Ebert.

All the proceeds go towards the Tommy Coral Foundation. The organization’s founder says it provides the community with education and resources on mental health.

“This is an opportunity we can come out, we can be outside, we can socially distance and we can feel good about ourselves and connect with other people,” explained Xavier Whitford, the founder of The Tommy Tommy Corral Memorial Foundation.

Whitford also took a part in the class. She says it helps her relieve stress.

“I felt great and it was a fun time and just letting out a lot of emotions, you know. When I came here, I was like ‘oh I don’t know what it’s going to be like,’ but now that I’m leaving I’m like ‘Ok lets go. Today is Sunday. What more are we going to do.’ Lots of energy, you feel good,” Whitford added.

Whitford and Ebert agree that mental health is a topic that should be talked about every day.

“In our county alone, Winnebago County, we’re losing an average of 45 lives a year to suicide,” Whitford added.

“So, just increase your knowledge, build up your awareness, and doing things like yoga. If you don’t want to mental health services, that’s okay. there are alternatives. So music, yoga, exercise, just doing some mindfulness,” Ebert concluded.


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