We would like to share some information about Yoga4Health - a programme which is being delivered throughout the UK. It is a 10-week evidence based programme created by The Yoga in Healthcare Alliance. It was orginally commissioned as a Social Prescribing intervention for 300 patients by West London CCG. It is supported by the College of Medicine and Public Health England and has been evaluated by University of Westminster Researchers. Please see below for full details. If you would like to know more about this programme, please contact Alison Mann on 07900335968.
The Yoga4Health was specifically designed to meet the needs of NHS patients with the following referral criteria:-
· Social isolation
· At risk of cardio-vascular disease
Patients can enter the YIHA 10-week programme via GP referral or self-referral.
The cost per patients is around £100 per 10-week course. On each course, 10 patients make a financial contribution, and there are also 5 free places for those on low incomes or under financial stress. For those paying, their funds cover:-
· 10 x two-hour yoga sessions in a small group not exceeding 15 people, in person or on Zoom
· Venue hire (if not on Zoom)
· A 108 page patient manual with home practice sequences and other information
· Ongoing support throughout the 10 weeks via telephone, text, email and the YIHA website which has 50 practice videos for patients
· Tuition by experienced yoga teachers with at least three years experience of modifying yoga practice for those with health conditions and who have undergone 5 days of professional development training to learn how to deliver the Yoga4Health standardised protocol.
Each two-hour session includes:-
· Breathing practices
· 75 minutes of yoga practice done in a chair or on a mat
· Group discussion and support
Yoga4Health teachers all over the UK have been successful in securing funding to deliver the 10-week social prescribing programme as part of local authority and community responses to the impact of Covid-19
• The programme reduces health inequalities by being offered at a reduced price via funding support and by Yoga4Health teachers offering up to one third of course places free of charge to those on low incomes.
• Yoga4Health is being delivered over Zoom, providing an opportunity for social connection at a time when such opportunities are limited. Social Prescribing Link Workers tell us that many of the options for their clients have ceased during the pandemic – our programme continues to run.
• Yoga4Health supports improved mental health at a time when the pandemic has created an epidemic of mental health issues. The Westminster University academic evaluation of the effectiveness of the programme for 279 NHS patients found that Patients entering the Yoga4Health programme had above average scores for perceived stress. Their average score of 7.27 (on the PSS-4 scale) fell to 5.25 by the end of the course. Average stress in the UK population is 5.56 for men and 6.38 for women. Anxiety and depression HADs scores showed that 51% of patients experienced a statistically meaningful improvement in their anxiety, and 50% a statistically meaningful improvement in their depression. Overall, 80% of patients reported improvements in their stress levels, mental health and physical health.
• Yoga4Health improvise physical health and resilience. 45% of patients reported that their perceived physical health had improved by at least one level. The number identifying their health as poor fell from 11% to 5%, while those reporting very good health rose from 8% to 17% (18% at 3-month follow-up). This is likely to be particularly important for those who have recovered from Covid-19 but may continue to be affected by the disease (Long Covid).
• Yoga4Health is inclusive, secular and suitable for most people because the practices are gentle and can be done in a chair or on a yoga mat. Yoga4Health teachers are among the most expert yoga teachers in the UK, and work within a policy framework which includes an extended duty of care, adult safeguarding training and DBS enhanced certification, first aid and public liability insurance.
• Yoga4Health was commissioned by the NHS and is currently being practiced by hundreds of doctors, nurses and other healthcare professionals to manage their stress, anxiety and well-being during the pandemic.
• Yoga4Health is sustainable, providing clients with ongoing resources, support and signposting to continue the self-care skills and positive lifestyle changes that flow from a daily yoga practice.
For the full research findings by Westminster University on Yoga4Health follow this link….
Yoga4Health on social prescription: a mixed methods evaluation : WestminsterResearch