Yoga in Healthcare


Yoga has been seen as an effective way to combat many health conditions by many for thousands of years.

Science is proving its effectiveness and now more than ever before there is greater acceptance of yoga being a viable and extremely effective healthcare intervention.

Social prescribing is relatively new and its concept is very simple; if people are engaged with others and enjoying a group activity there is a collective response. As a result, there is a feeling of being connected to others and their anxiety and stress is often lowered as they feel safe and supported.

Despite being a new approach, research is already confirming that social prescribing results in individuals attending health services less often due to improved self efficacy. 

As of July 2019, social prescribing is gong to be more common place as the NHS is mandating a significant increase in link workers. A link worker links the patient to the appropriate activity that they have an interest in and that which benefits/improves their condition.

>Read more about social prescribing

Yoga as a social prescribing activity is especially beneficial. This is more than exercise, it's shared learning with the yoga teacher/guide holding the space in which the practitioner feels willing to explore what feels right for them in that moment. Yoga isn't about achieving, it's more about accepting what is and from this place of acceptance, there can be change. Dramatic change potentially which then leads on to other aspects of your life.  

The benefits of yoga in healthcare

  • Yoga research finds it fosters self-resilience, reduces social isolation and improves health behaviours
  • Research confirms yoga practice is correlated with positive health behaviours
  • Committed practice associated with well-being
  • Yoga trials report improved psychological and physiological markers of health
  • Improves vagal tone and autonomic nervous system regulation
  • Improves heart rate variability
  • Improves strength, flexibility, balance and mobility
  • Improvement in secondary issues such as insomnia, palpitations, sweating, headaches, irritable bowel, fertility issues, skeletal issues, elimination, circulation and other issues that usually present along with the chronic condition the patient is presenting with

Research and findings

Research shows that practising yoga encourages the practitioner to make better lifestyle choices and consequently live a happier and healthier life including eating a more healthy diet and better self care. Their relationship with themselves and others improves significantly helping society at large as regular practitioners generally have more empathy, compassion and tolerance. 

Mental health stats

  • 16.4% of the UK population have a mental health condition, 24 percent receive treatment (Kings Fund, 2017)
  • 80 percent of GP visits are stress related
  • Mental health problems have increased 5-fold in the last decade (Institute for Public Policy Research, 2017)

Mental health conditions can seriously affect both mental and physical health. Many functional disorders in the body (no pathological cause) are thought to be attributed to stress and these conditions becoming chronic in many cases. Seriously affecting the individuals mental and physical well-being and their motivation to live healthily.

The economics

  • 80 percent of A&E visits are related to chronic conditions
  • 2/3 of people in A&E are over 65
  • Type 2 diabetes costs the NHS more than other condition
  • Those who are socially isolated and over 65 present to health services much more often and cost the NHS lots of money
  • Those with multiple health conditions (various co-morbidities) cost the most
  • After hospital and drug cost (which include mental health issues) next biggest cost is mental health

The Yoga4Health 10 Week Programme

The ethos of the Yoga4Health 10 week protocol is to provide accessible yoga to all*. A programme that delivers evidence based yoga that works.

This is one approach to providing yoga into healthcare and is specifically designed for those individuals 

  • Suffering from stress or anxiety or mild depression
  • Needing to lose weight
  • Improve heart health
  • Lower your risk of type 2 diabetes
  • Support to feel well and healthy
  • Increase motivation to be more active and less sedentary
  • Often feel alone

Each class is 2 hours enabling sufficient time for sumptuous relaxation and discussion at the end. The discussion is a vital component of the class and you are invited to simply listen if you would prefer or engage in the conversation if you wish to.

Mat or chair based.

To register your interest for the next course get in touch and/or speak to your GP/link worker about your suitability for the course.

*your acceptance onto the programme will be subject to a consultation.


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