YOGA in HEALTHCARE CENTRES
The collaborations with the Healthcare Centres include:
– Hatha yoga lessons for patients and medical/non-medical personnel;
– Informative sessions about the benefits of Yoga and Yoga Therapy for health;
– Monitoring and evaluation.
Collaborations with healthcare centres
How does it work?
At first, the staff of the healthcare centre identifies the potential beneficiaries of Yoga. Then, YIH organises the classes and provides: trained Yoga teacher and pedagogic support.
Moreover, we propose Yoga classes to the healthcare staff according to their availability. In this way, they can better understand the practice and foster well-being at work.
All costs are covered by the NPO for the first year.
So far, we have been collaborating with four healthcare centres:
pilot project results
From September and December 2020, weekly free hatha yoga sessions were organised for the patients of three healthcare centres in Vilvoorde and Brussels. The profile of the population reached were women between 45 and 64 years old with chronic non-communicable diseases, well suited to benefit from the therapeutic approach of the type of yoga offered. Since no men participated to the yoga sessions, scenarios will be considered to foster their inclusion.
The evaluation is based upon a comparaison of the quantitative and qualitative data. Here, some results:
– 79 sessions organised for the patients and 22 for medical/non-medical personnel;
– 44 different patients practiced yoga, of which 37% attended 5 sessions or more.
Two out of three healthcare centres asked us to organise free hatha yoga sessions for medical/non-medical personnel. Although this population was not the original target, giving support in demanding times fitted the purpose of the project and raised awareness about yoga amongst key personnel.
Difficulties arose when lessons shifted online, to comply with governmental rules. The attendance decreased and maintaining the same teaching quality was difficult: the participation rate dropped from an average of 4 patients/session in-presence to 2,5 patients/sessions online.
Among the triggers that discouraged the participation, the followings can be mentioned:
– lack of the energy of the group;
– no physical interaction with the teacher;
– intrusion of the camera in the household;
– digital divide.
Covid-19 restrictions prevented the smooth running of the activities related to research and training. Therefore, a survey and informative sessions to the personnel will be scheduled in 2021.
MEET OUR YOGA TEACHERS
For over 20 years, my personal yoga practice has been what keeps me healthy, energised to move forward and feeling connected to the world. After training as a sociologist interested in non-verbal communication, and a stint in contemporary dance, I trained as a yoga teacher and then in yoga therapy. I am currently training in Somatic Experiencing, an approach based on polyvagal theory for the management of trauma and deep stress.
In my consultations and classes, I see how a regular yoga practice improves the quality of life of each individual, bringing both peace and energy. Unfortunately, this is not yet affordable for everyone. Integrating yoga and yogatherapy into the health care system and working with the medical community will make these practices more accessible and contribute to a more holistic approach to health, focused on the individual.
Since September 2021, I have been teaching Yoga at ATLAS healthcare centre, twice a week. I believe that Yoga should be a practice that is accessible to everyone regardless of their social or cultural background. I propose a Yoga centred on the osseous conscience and the spiral dimension of our skeleton, on the opening and liberation of our interior and exterior spaces, on the respect of our own limits. A practice in the subtle and energetic feeling of our body and organic structure.
I believe more and more in the therapeutic virtues of yoga and the important place it can have in medical centres to help people feel better in their body and mind. In my opinion, Yoga is a powerful tool that helps us to better manage certain sufferings, both physical and psychological. A regular yoga practice helps one’s immune system to become deeply strengthened. The entry of yoga into medical facilities is a real challenge and that is why I am very excited to be involved in the Yoga In Healthcare project.
My name is Liên and I work in a small organic flour cooperative, following my interest in healthy eating and new sustainable farming systems. I trained in Hatha Yoga and teach this style, integrated with many somatic movements. These are very slow and gentle movements that allow one to explore the body’s potential without pushing it into pain or discomfort. Somatic movement allows one to release tension in the muscles and fascia, held by chronic stress and unconscious postural habits, in a gentle way, respecting one’s own body limits. The somatic approach integrated with hatha yoga postures is a great practice for managing chronic pain, improving sleep and stress.
Offering the possibility of practicing yoga in health care centers is a wonderful initiative for me. I believe that patients with chronic illnesses often feel betrayed by their bodies and that yoga can help them feel more connected to their bodies, accept themselves as they are and help them live with their illness. Yoga also helps them manage the stress and pain associated with their illness. I am always moved after my classes by the gratitude of the students and their curiosity to discover more.
My name is Walenka and I am a social worker with a therapeutic background. In almost everything I do, there is a connection between empowering people, reconnecting and discovering one’ s own strength. I am trained in Hatha yoga and I really enjoy Yoga Nidra. In the past I have also done vinyasa yoga, but two years ago I felt I wanted to deepen my yoga experience and that is how I discovered hatha yoga. I focus on the personal process, teach with kindness and try to give time to be there and experience. In general, my classes are slow – so that one can take the time to feel each pose – but they are also active, without any rush.
Yoga provides so many benefits to the person, both physically and mentally, that I am thrilled to see progress in integrating yoga healthcare centres. Yoga allows us to connect in a different way to ourselves, to others and to the center itself. In this way, we can make huge positive changes in people.