Yoga is wonderful at maintaining mental health, according to a Swindon yoga teacher.

Jill Hoon said you can see the effects almost instantly once you begin.

“The first thing is that when clients come into the studio, it’s a calming environment,” she said. “It’s very important there is no hustle and bustle.”

For people doing yoga at home, Jill says even the process of getting out the mat and sitting down can be beneficial.

“It's just that stopping, pausing, and taking a moment to actually see how you feel which can have a positive effect on your mental health. It’s that taking time for yourself, realising that you are really important, because in order to be able to support others you must first look after yourself.”

Jill spoke as part of Mental Health Month, which the Adver is celebrating along with BBC Wiltshire and its Mental Wealth calendar for May. Each day highlights a different activity which benefits mental health, and today highlights yoga.

The key is breathing techniques, which Jill starts every session with.

She said: “Focusing on how you are breathing, and developing each breath, will create a sense of empowerment, of taking control of something.

“Breathing deeper gets more oxygen to the brain, your heart starts to slow down, and things become clearer in your mind.”

From here Jill introduces the different poses, and strength and stretching exercises.

“Some of the positions are challenging. People do find it hard to hold the positions, but if they do for one more breath, they can then apply that to challenging situations in their own life. If they can hold this for one more breath, eventually the storm will clear.”

Jill added: “The different positions bring you to that point of connecting with your body and helping you feel balanced again.”

The yoga teacher says she teaches a lot of people suffering stress and anxiety these days.

“That is big now. But it’s actually amazing. To watch people grow in confidence, like a flower just unravelling week after week," she added.

Jill says she uses yoga daily to help maintain her own mental health.

“It’s like a tool box you can pick out from every now and again. You can decide ‘I need this now’, depending on how you’re feeling and what your day has been like," she said.

Jill teaches yoga in the studio above Miller & Holland Hairdressers, Wood Street, Old Town, SN1 3EP.