yoga in healthcare conference

bhuti attends the Yoga Healthcare Conference 2019 - Transforming Yoga Through Healthcare

Yoga for so long considered, woo woo, wacky, hippy, only for bendy people, or young skinny blondes, is being taken seriously by royalty, politicians and the medical profession.  Emily Brett, founder of the yoga for refugee charity Ourmala said, “ I don’t think yoga will change the world” but based on the statistics the more people who do the more the world would change.  In all the peer-reviewed research sited at the conference regular yoga practices (including meditation, breathing, and a spiritual world view) have an above 80% effect and often more on all major health conditions including back pain, depression, anxiety, type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular conditions and so on.

An exciting and inspirational three days the Yoga in Healthcare Conference was the first of its kind. A coming together of international yoga teachers, experts, the medical profession and government. 

Prince Charles said in his opening address “For thousands of years, millions of people have experienced yoga’s ability to improve their lives ….The development of therapeutic, evidence-based yoga is, I believe an excellent example of how yoga can contribute to health and healing.  By its very nature, yoga builds discipline, self-reliance and supports self-care – all of which contribute to improved health.  Indeed, when practising within a group, it has tremendous social benefits as well.”

Duncan Selbie, founding CEO of Public Health England said that one of the main causes for ill-health was isolation.  We are social beings and the need for community and social interaction are fundamental to our sense of wellbeing. This was one of the main drivers for creating bhuti as a place to offer space for quiet reflection but also for the community to connect with other like-minded individuals.

Heather Mason one of the Yoga in Healthcare Alliance and conference founders said, “ I would like to see yoga to be available on prescription”.  There is a ‘tsunami of need’ faced by the NHS due to the increase in chronic health conditions. In 20 years over 2 million Britons will be being treated with 4 or more chronic health conditions at a cost of approximately £150k per year per individual.  30% of these will also be presenting with a mental health condition as a result.

A prominent GP Dr Amit Bhargava, said that “Yoga has the potential to help health services to become more sustainable by reducing the burden on disease and improving the wellbeing of communities,…so it is not the ‘why we should have yoga on the NHS it is the how”’

There were some startling statistics such as 80% of Britons suffer from back pain at some point in their lives and 1 in 3 adults this month will be off work due to back pain. A study in 2018 found those following the ‘yoga for back pain’ programme, the largest recorded trial found it to be more effective than visiting a physio or chiropractor with a 70% reduction in the need for time off work.

Yoga works.  It needs to be regular and consistent. And the right type for your condition.  But this conference was the most incredible endorsement into what these ancient practices can deliver in terms of a happy and healthy life, the ultimate wellbeing.

by Sama

bhuti founder, Yoga Teacher 500hr IYA and Yoga Therapist 500hr

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