Tutor: Laura Bissell
Date: 18th September 2020
Time: 09:00 - 17:00
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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 http://rdcu.be/tFln. 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.