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Twenty-seven-year-old Ashley Duncan has coped with mental health challenges most of her life. And she will proudly share both her struggles, and how she copes.
“I have a mental illness, and that’s ok! One in five Canadians will suffer from a mental illness in their lifetime, yet we’re so scared to talk about it, about the stigma around it,” Duncan said.
“I have experienced childhood depression, and I developed anxiety in my early 20’s – a lot of this being after a major car accident that I had.”
Duncan credits yoga with bringing her back from a dark place.
“Rock bottom for me was losing my relationship, my job, my car, my house, and just feeling as though there was nothing left. I was completely empty, and there was no part of my soul that was truly happy anymore,” Duncan said.
“The following weekend I started my yoga teacher training, and I can just remember my first meditation, and tears streaming down my face, as all of these emotions released.”
Now a yoga teacher, she talks openly about her mental health struggles in her classes to let others know, if they are struggling, they are not alone.
Ranj Bains, the owner of Oxygen Yoga and Fitness Saanich, where Duncan teaches, says that “she shares her journey, her story, and just from testimonials that other members have written, she has this one-on-one connection with them. It’s been amazing.”
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