Recognised Centres

Special Yoga (SY)

Special yoga was founded in 2004 by Jo Manuel to make yoga available to all children and their families with a specific support for children with special needs. Her aim has long been to develop and implement therapeutic Yoga programmes and trainings, supported by scientific research, that allow children to receive its significant benefits and thus assist each child in reaching their fullest potential.
Special Yoga is a centre of excellence for Yoga Teacher Training and specialised training modules. Courses include Integral Hatha Yoga Basic training 200 hours, Gentle Therapeutic Yoga 100 hours, Intermediate Integral Hatha Yoga as well as modules in Special Yoga for Special Children, Special Yoga for adults with special needs, Yoga and Mindfulness for Children and Teens that are open to school teachers, paediatric professionals, parents as well as Yoga teachers and trainee Yoga teachers. One day intensives include Special Yoga for Dyslexia and Dyspraxia, Enchanted Wonders - enhance a child’s self expression, and Teens Yoga.

Contact details for trainings:
Contact details for therapies and general enquiries:
Phone: 0208 968 1900

Yoga for Healthy Lower Backs Institute

yoga for healthy backs
The Yoga for Healthy Lower Backs Institute trains well-qualified, experienced yoga teachers via a 300-hour teacher training course in how to deliver an evidence-based long-term self-management programme.  This high quality, successful ‘Yoga for Healthy Lower Backs’ programme was designed for the York Trials Unit, Department of Health Sciences, University of York randomized controlled trial, which resulted in five published peer-reviewed papers (Annals of Internal Medicine, Spine Journal, Physiotherapy, CTCP; 2011-2012), 100s of citations, and primary mentions in multiple back pain research reviews.  These clinical trials were generously funded by the charity Arthritis Research UK.  The Institute holds the Register of qualified and trainee teachers; CPD is offered. 

The 12-week ‘Yoga for Healthy Lower Backs’ (YHLB) course is considered to be ‘best practice’ specialized yoga for low back pain - it was shown through one of the largest, most significant, rigorous and robust yoga trials to be effective ‘for those with a history of low back pain’.  YHLB represents good entry-point yoga for those with chronic / recurring / episodic low back pain, although those already practising yoga also benefit from returning to basics to learn from this gentle and kind approach to improving posture, breathing, mobility, strengthening, stretching, relaxation / meditation, awareness / mindfulness, and foundational understanding of yoga philosophy and optimum back function.  The course allows for personalized modifications, but is purposefully well-structured and standardized thanks to its comprehensive evidence-based educational resources.

YHLB is appealing to the NHS and Social Care, with its unique specificity, quality assurance and strong evidence-base, as published papers showed it would be cost-effective for the NHS and a dominant treatment for society.  NICE mentions this programme because the H. Tilbrook et al and LH Chuang et al research papers contribute most significantly to the body of evidence supporting the use of yoga as an option for group exercise that ‘should be recommended as a first step to managing low back pain’ (24/3/16 NICE Press Statement).  Workplaces are interested in this back-care yoga programme, as it was found it would save costs by reducing annual work absenteeism by 70%. 

Yoga for Healthy Lower Backs Institute, Member of BCYT

Alison Trewhela, Director and Principle Tutor; Anna Semlyen, Director and BWY IST Tutor

A social enterprise with the aim of educating about the research and promoting the evidence-based yoga.  

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