What is the Yoga4Health Programme?
The programme was originally commissioned as a Social Prescribing intervention by the NHS in West London. Social Prescribing is an initiative of NHS for a holistic approach to people’s health and wellbeing. Rather than prescribing medication, people are signposted to community groups and services for practical and emotional support. Yoga4Health is an evidence-based 10 week programme of 2 hour sessions that includes gentle yoga, breathing, mindfulness, relaxation and group discussion. You can join the programme yourself or via referral from a GP or NHS Health Professional. Individuals can pay for the programme or I can work with organisations to gain funding for free places. I have successfully applied for funding to cover the costs of running the programme for a local charity. One of the aims is to empower individuals with their own health. We encourage home practice and, halfway through, we encourage participants to join a local class so they continue to reap the rewards after the programme is complete. The programme works really well on Zoom, see participants comments on the Feedback page.
Who is it for?
The programme was originally designed to help improve physical and psychological wellbeing and for anyone at risk of non-communicable diseases such as diabetes, obesity, cardiovascular conditions, stress, anxiety, depression or social isolation.
The self care skills the programme teaches are for anyone wanting to lose weight, or who just need to feel well, healthy and supported.
The programme can also support mental health issues caused by Covid and support patients recovering from being hospitalised by Covid as they build resilience by learning mindful breathing practices and gentle movement.
Prince Charles "The development of therapeutic, evidence-based yoga is, I believe, an excellent example of how yoga can contribute to health and healing”.
How much is it and what do I get?
The cost is £10 for each 2 hour session. I will be available half an hour before the session starts for any questions or a chat. The sessions start in the chair with breathing, then yoga in the chair, then there is the option to stay in the chair, or if able, move to the floor, or standing with the option of support from the chair.
As well as the sessions, you will receive a manual including all of the practices, ongoing access to videos of the practices online and two hours per week access to the tutor outside of sessions for any questions or support.
Duncan Selbie, Chief Executive of Public Health England “The evidence is clear….yoga is an evidenced intervention and a strengthening activity that we know works. Now is your time”.
Evidence to Support the Programme
The programme originally ran for nearly 300 patients in West London, supported by the College of Medicine and evaluated by University of Westminster Researchers. There is a full report available but below are just some of the findings from the initial trial. The results were very positive so now it's being rolled out all over the UK by over 200 teachers. You can also see the comments from participants about the benefits, changes to lifestyle and overall experience on the Feedback page.