THE OWNERS of The Yoga Social has applied for retrospective planning permission for their Yoga yurt.

Located on The Foundry in Charlestown, the applicant, Lisa Mulube, was unaware that she needed permission to build the yurt as it was on her own land.

She is now hoping to get retrospective permission for the structure and a part change of use so she can hold her yoga classes and future therapy sessions in the tent.

In a statement submitted to Fife Council with her application, she wrote: "The Yurt is located on private land next to the Lynne Burn and the River Forth. It is situated next to a pond and surrounded by a wildflower meadow. This creates a space deeply connected to earth and water.

"The canvas outer creates an immediate connection to the wind and sky and the woodburning stove provides a source of fire and warmth. As soon as you enter the space, a feeling of peace descends.

"Currently 4-5 classes a week are held at the yurt. Classes are small with a maximum of eight participants. This enables a more richly nurturing and healing environment. The space is also used for workshops and day retreats which happen once or twice a month.

"Yoga and Yoga Therapy is the main service provided at the yurt working on the principle of Community, Connection & Calm. Classes are funded by individuals and where possible funding is channelled into community class settings including local Guiding and Scout Groups, school groups and community support groups on an outreach basis."

Planning permission has already been granted to turn the cottage ruins on the site into a workshop and studio space where toilet facilities will be located. This space will, hopefully, be used for talking therapy, art therapy, sound therapy and other holistic practices.

The rest of the field between the yurt and the boundary fence will be utilised as a Mindfulness Labyrinth and herbal edible garden.

Ms Mulube's statement continued: "We are in a mental health crisis. The effects of the pandemic have only made things worse. Anxiety, depression and loneliness are key factors.

"WHO estimates that already-common conditions such as depression and anxiety have increased by more than 25 per cent since the pandemic began, adding to the nearly one billion people who were already living with a mental disorder.

"One particularly alarming finding of our survey is that mental health services for the most vulnerable groups, such as older adults and children, were among the most affected by disruptions. Yoga and Mindfulness offer a biopsychosocial modality that have proven to have significant results on a wide range of health populations.

"There is also significant research of the benefits of being in nature and connection to our natural surroundings. It is our intention to harness these benefits and offer something that not only connects our community to the beauty of the natural world but also to their own beautiful internal landscape, through not just yoga and mindfulness but other body-mind practices."