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BWYQ L4 Gentle Years Teacher Training with Laura Bissell & Sue Northrop

18th September 2020
at Gullane Village Hall

BWYQ L4 Gentle Years Teacher Training with Laura Bissell & Sue Northrop

Tutor: Laura Bissell

Date: 18th September 2020

Time: 09:00 - 17:00

Location: Gullane Village Hall

Type of Event: BWYQ L4 Gentle Years Yoga

Places Available: 16

BWYQ L4 Gentle Years Teacher Training with Laura Bissell & Sue Northrop
Tutors: Laura Bissell & Sue Northrop
Dates: June 2020 to October 2021 with Face to Face Training 18th - 20th September 2020
Venue: Gullane Village Hall, East Lothian, EH31 2HA
About the Course:
There are two units on the blended-learning course which is designed to meet the National Occupational Standards for Adapting Exercise for Older People at the same time that it trains teachers in the chair-based yoga modifications required for older adults with multiple long-term health conditions.
Unit 1 is the knowledge or theory part of the course which will be completed by assessed distance learning with work to be submitted via electronic mail. The training material will be made available at the end of June and this should take around 2 hours a week to complete prior to the face-to-face training days in September. It covers the Physiology of Older Adults and Age-Related Conditions, Safeguarding Adults and the Barriers to Exercise that older adults face.
Unit 2 is the skills or practical part of the course with 3 tutor-led contact days, including a short informal assessment of trainees instructing each other in the chair yoga practices and dharana activites on Day 3. The face-to-face days are followed by the planning and delivery of a 6-week scheme of work, case studies and a formal Assessed Class Teaching which will be observed by a Peripatetic Assessor from the Gentle Years Yoga PACTs list.
The programme helps older adults to stay physically active and build skills which help to prevent falls. It also teaches yoga techniques to assist in the managemnet of long-term conditions. The dharana activities can be invigorating and fun and the after-class social time with refreshments helps to reduce social isolation.
The work and the assessments are quality assured to ensure that the standards are being consistently met across the nation. With publicaion of the large National Trial results in 2022, we are anticipating that health commissioners will want to replicate the Gentle Years Yoga classes througout Scotland, England and Wales, but evidence of a consistent standard will be essential.
You will be able to join the Gentle Years Yoga© Register upon completion of the course.
For an application form and to receive further information, please contact


Gullane Village Hall
Hall Crescent
East Lothian
EH31 2HA


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About Laura Bissell

Laura Bissell has been practicing yoga for almost 50 years and teaching yoga for the last 25 years. She founded the charity yoga centre Yorkshire Yoga in 2004 which became a BWY-Approved Centre in 2005, the same year she became a Foundation Course Tutor. She has been a BWY Diploma Course Tutor for the last 12 years. She has post- diploma qualifications in Baby Yoga, Childrens Yoga, Pranayama, GP Exercise Referral, YfH Remedial Yoga (specialising in M.S.), Obesity & Diabetes and Internal and External Quality Assurance. She is currently a volunteer Trustee/Director of British Wheel of Yoga Qualifications (BWYQ), serving as the EQA Officer. She is also a Dementia Friends Champion. Laura created the Gentle Years Yoga programme in 2010 at Yorkshire Yoga and it quickly became one of the most popular classes at the centre. In 2015 the BWY Chair asked Laura to be on the BWY’s Focus Group on Older People which set two initiatives for BWY: 1) to become a Dementia Friends Organisation helping the Alzheimers Society to recruit 4 million Dementia Friends by 2020 and 2) to start a BWY teacher training programme based on the Gentle Years Yoga programme. Meanwhile, the charity Yorkshire Yoga received grant funding from BWY and Awards for All to run a pilot research study of the Gentle Years Yoga programme. The teacher training course was developed so that other teachers could be involved in delivery of the research classes. Laura and co-author/co-tutor Jenny Howsam then went on to launch the first official BWY Gentle Years Yoga© teacher training course in July 2017 at BWY Training Week which took place at the University of Leicester The pilot research report written by Dr Garry Tew, Matthew Hardy, Jenny Howsam and Laura Bissell was published in BMC Geriatrics – see The published report paved the way to getting the NIHR Health Technology Assessment grant to conduct a large national trial on Gentle Years Yoga with 586 participants in 2019-2022. Laura is a co-applicant and consultant on the Trial Management Group and does fidelity/quality assurance checks at the research sites.