A new wellness festival is set to take place in Glasgow next month featuring coldwater therapy, breathwork and yoga. 

The event, called EQUALS, is in aid of Scotland’s national mental health charity, SAMH, which is dedicated to helping people with their mental wellbeing. 

It will take a look at holistic approaches to mental health which could help people currently waiting to be seen by more conventional services. 

Glasgow-based wellness company Two Birds is behind the inaugural event - a drinks company which creates functional tea and coffee drinks for busy lifestyles.  

The event has a line up of guest speakers including Ross Anderson, an expert on wellbeing sciences and psychologist. In a previous life Anderson suffered addiction, overdoses and mental health issues, facing two years in prison - now he helps people “realise their potential and live happier lives,” and overcome his challenges to go on to deliver motivational speeches at the likes of Nike, TEDx and Lululemon. 

Also on the panel is Steph Wall, owner of The Kali Collective Yoga Studio in Glasgow and Shannon who will discuss the wellness retreats her company CAIM offers around the world

As well as hearing the insight of wellbeing experts, attendees will be able to try out cold water therapy, breathwork, yoga, pilates and massage workshops for themselves. 

The Herald:

EQUALS is dedicated to holistic health and well-being, and aims to provide unconventional support to people struggling with their mental health while they wait for conventional therapy.

Danny Stevenson, founder of Two Birds which is behind the event, said: “EQUALS is a unique and transformative experience dedicated to holistic health and well-being.

“There is no replacement for adequate mental health support, and provisions of that are sorely lacking. We’re so happy to be supporting SAMH and the invaluable work they do to help individuals with their mental wellbeing.

 “I lost my dad just over two years ago, and it completely altered my life. Holistic methods helped me get through that extremely tough time, and it’s important to me that the benefits of them are shared far and wide. “

“We believe utilising unconventional tools, holistic methods and techniques can foster positive mental well-being. That’s what this event is all about.

“Whether it’s cold-water therapy, breath work, yoga, or listening to some inspirational chat, our goal is to equip individuals with effective coping strategies, stress management techniques, and self-care practices.”

The Herald:

Ross Anderson, a speaker, consultant and psychologist who specialises in human optimisation, said: “Holistic mental wellbeing techniques have become a trend in recent years, but it’s so much more than that. Many of the techniques have been around for thousands of years - they’ve just been forgotten or deprioritised by our society.  It’s important that we continue that work and highlight what’s available. 

“The first step to improving your mental wellbeing is often checking in with your body and making sure it’s benefiting from movement, enough sleep, and even just breathing properly; and that’s where alternative therapies come in.

“It’s not about finding a ‘cure’ on your own, but it is about having the tools to cope with the stress of everyday life, and events like this are an important part of making holistic health offerings more accessible.”

Marilyn Boyd, Community and Events Fundraiser at SAMH, said: “We are thrilled that Two Birds has chosen to raise funds and awareness for SAMH, a heartfelt thank you. 

“We know that looking after your mental health is just as important as looking after your physical health, and therefore we are delighted to be part of such an amazing event that is helping promote this. 

“It is great to see the benefits of wellness activities promoted, whilst raising funds for Scotland’s mental health.”

The event will take place on Saturday 16 September from 9am to 1pm in Boxhub Warehouse in the Glasgow's West End.