About Us


Yoga For Homeless Young People

We are looking to raise enough money to fund hosting weekly yoga classes for homeless young people in Brighton.  

After a well received trial class on 29th April, Nine Lives Yoga & The Clocktower Sanctuary would like to roll out regular ongoing Yoga classes for Homeless Young People aged 16-25 in Brighton. We will be able to offer vulnerable young people their own yoga clothes and mat so they can make a nourishing ritual out of showering before the class, dressing in their comfy yoga outfit and having their own mat for the class.

We are looking for donations to help fund the overall cost of this project - the money will go towards keeping the premises open, employing an on site youth worker and the yoga teachers and coaches to come and deliver yoga and mindfulness sessions for the young people.  The sessions will focus on tools to help young people take time to connect to themselves, their bodies and develop practices to overcome depression, anxiety, low body confidence and negative self talk, as well as providing a positive distraction from other challenges they face.  

The monies raised will fund a programme of yoga every week and include providing an appropriate space, having professional support on site throughout, admin and coaching in yoga and mindfulness techniques.  We are looking to raise this over the course of the next 6 months and releasing the funds to pay for the project week to week.  We need £105 per week minimum to run it.  

Donate Now: http://www.gofundme.com/yogaforhomelessyps

The project is for all genders and targeted to young people aged 16-25 years. The Clocktower Sanctuary work specifically with young homeless people.

We are looking for donations towards funding the project and have already been receiving donations of equipment and clothes - mainly women's clothes, so men's clothes and other yoga kit are welcome, such as bolsters, straps and mats, yoga/gym clothes for men and women, including tracksuit bottoms, t-shirts, yoga tops and leggings! Please only send clothes that are still in good condition that can be worn with pride! 

There will be 20 users of this service but if we get a good response with donations we want to roll this out in shelters across the city.

This project is self-initiated by Nine Lives Yoga and the Clocktower Sanctuary, but we are looking to expand it and access enough funding to make it available to a wider audience in the future. 

We had a collection Zone at recent events we attended - the Nine Lives Yoga Rave and Mind Body Spirit Festival in London. If you want to send items please email cat@ninelivesyoga.co.uk  and we can organise this.  

Here is a bit of info about the partners:  

About the Clocktower Sanctuary

The Clocktower Sanctuary is a day centre which provides information, advice and support to 16 - 25 year olds who are homeless or insecurely housed. Since we began in 1998, we have helped thousands of vulnerable young people with support and advice - offering a friendly safe space, meals, showers, access to computers/internet and laundry facilities, information about housing, health, education, employment and social services - as well as practical and emotional support to help young people get their lives back on track.

About Nine Lives Yoga

I am a trained youth worker with a background in working with young people in challenging circumstances.  I now teach yoga full time and am trained in Unity Partner Yoga, Sun Moon Acro-Partner Yoga and Community Yoga, Hatha and Vinyasa Flow and completed my training to become an AcroYoga Teacher in May. I am also a trained NLP Practitioner and use positive visualisation techniques in leading meditation.  I run Nine Lives Yoga which is about making yoga accessible for all.  It is yoga for every body with every body type. And that includes the types that don't consider themselves yogis.  Yoga has numerous profound benefits for health, not least the capacity to take control of negative self talk, improve body confidence, clear the mind and develop strategies to overcome mental health issues such as depression and anxiety that are prevalent in our society.  Developing a yoga practice helps us to overcome challenges within ourselves and take control of our lives. I am really looking forward to working with the Clocktower Sanctuary and all those involved!

The inspiration

I grew up in Hackney and saw people sleeping rough whatever the weather. Brighton attracts people who need to sleep rough because our nights are the warmest in the UK and with rising housing prices and the closure of youth and community centres in recent years, the financial pressure on young people to fend for themselves is huge. On top of this, state support is diminishing so charities like the Clocktower Sanctuary are vital in offering support to help young people get back on their feet.

This age group is a pivotal stage in our lives where we gain faith in humanity, or lose it, and all we truly need to succeed in this life is people around us to believe in us, and to help us believe in ourselves. We are so much in our heads when things go wrong, and the opportunity to be in our bodies offers the chance to be in the present moment. That is the beauty of the practice: it distracts us from our chattering minds and gives us tool to create our own happiness.  It puts us in charge.

These classes will offer a chance to stretch, collaborate, learn breathing exercises and improved body awareness that can help us to let go and take time out from the stresses of life. It is so important for young people to feel supported in order to flourish. If they simply get a chance to breathe, find some time to relax, connect to themselves, stretch together and take away something useful, then I will be happy.


Changing Behaviour

One of the young people who did a 'Dealing with Anger' workshop the following week after the first yoga session with Cat, was going to use smoking a spliff as a technique to address anger when the youth worker, Kirstie, reminded him that controlling his breath and busying his hands in a stretch could be a possible alternative he leapt on it. The Youth worker reminded him of some of the techniques that were covered in the yoga session Cat did with them and he remembered and was open to using that instead.

This goes to show how important it is not only to have yoga accessible but also to have a supportive team on site who can reinforce the techniques that are covered in the sessions. Which is why we need to fund the youth worker being present during the sessions, so new habits can be reinforced in between sessions and help reinforce a new choice in the face of habitual negative patterns of behaviour.