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Sunday, 20 April 2014

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I used to think that life wasn’t worth living...

About six years ago Jana Mulholland was in a desperate, dark place. Battling severe depression, she felt there was no hope.

She had escaped a violent childhood with bouts of depression in the Czech Republic and come to Britain, where she met and married her husband Brian.

But after two years, Jana’s marriage broke down and shortly after Brian died.

Jana and her young son, Joseph, now nine, moved from Glasgow and started a new life in Carlisle.

But it hasn’t been easy.

The 35-year-old, who lives in Denton Holme, went through a really bad patch a few years ago battling depression.

She said: “Just because I have a smile on my face doesn’t mean life is easy. Those days were really dark.

“At times I thought there was no point in living but it was a stage and I just had to get through it. I wanted to get through it for myself and because I wanted to be a good mother. It was a difficult period in my life but I’ve got my feet on the ground now.”

Jana, who is originally from Jicin in the Czech Republic,

She turned her life around with positive thinking and help from her very close friends and family.

Jana now oozes positivity and is of the ethos that “life is what you make it”.

She is now thriving and running a series of relaxation and yoga classes called My Choga for children.

She said: “You can’t give up on yourself you have to keep going.

“Always believe that something wonderful is going to happen – you never know when that breakthrough is going to come.

“If you wake up and it’s a grey day and you think it’s going to be horrible then you have already started the day with negative thoughts.

“You don’t know it’s going to be a horrible day – the sun is always shining somewhere.

“There are no mistakes in life, just lessons to be learned. They make you stronger in the end.

“Don’t regret the past.

“People will judge you no matter what you do.

“People should not let their past define them. My past certainly does not define me.

“Everyone has their story, deep pain they may carry, it is who we chose to be now that is important. Suffering happens, but it doesn't last forever, and every pain endured contains a lesson to be learned.”

Through her My Choga classes, Jana helps boost children’s self esteem and she is an inspiration to many people in the little positive messages she posts on Facebook each day.

She said: “I started doing yoga to increase my flexibility and after a while I found it life changing. There are so many benefits from it both physically and spiritually. It became a complete inspiration to me and a way of life.

“A few years ago I was practising yoga at home when Joseph said it looked fun and could he join in.

“It got me thinking and I started researching about how kids could relax.

“The classes include a lot of laughter. It’s about physical posture and we use stories to engage their imagination. The most important thing is self esteem and believing in yourself.

“Every child has tremendous potential if they are given a chance. There is so much peer pressure nowadays – pressure from school and pressure from their friends.

“Being unique is amazing because that’s what the world needs.

“In one of my sessions with three-year-olds I asked them all to say ‘I am special’ and they all started saying it and it was just beautiful. Everyone is special in their own way.”

Parents say Jana’s classes improve the attitudes and confidence of their children.

“Some say they can do things that they couldn’t do before they came to My Choga. Every child has potential it just needs developing. I think every child should be given a chance.

“People often say negative things and don’t believe that their dreams can come true but they can if you believe and make them reality.

“If people hold on to the past so much then there will be no space for anything else. You need to have space for something new.”

Jana is now hoping to run some classes for women.

She said: “I’ve done Choga Chill for men and women as a one-off but I’m looking at doing a course just for women.

“Women lead such busy lives that they need to make time for themselves. They give, give, give. This course is to remind women to believe in themselves and to remind them that they are beautiful and deserve to be loved.

“In the class we will concentrate on breathing and do a little quiz to find out which goddess they are most like. Tuning in helps understand your behaviour and why you feel the way you do.

“Quite often people say they will be happy when they get a better job, when they are thinner, when they move abroad, but how do they know that?

“You don't want to reach the end of your journey and realise you have spent your whole life waiting for that moment.

“Just start living your life now, start being happy now. Don't wait for the perfect moment. Take the moment and make it perfect.”

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