Levelling Up Health and Wellbeing

Yoga for Health Equality

Weekly yoga sessions to inpatients services

St. Andrews Healthcare Essex worked alongside Nexus Wellbeing CIC, to support inpatients who have complex mental health needs by offering a 45-week yoga programme, aiming to overcome the significant health inequalities and restrictions associated with Covid-19 and lockdown.

Inpatients tried controlled movements, stretching and relaxation techniques, as well as listened to live classical guitar, providing immediate health benefits associated with gross motor, physical activity, as well as mindfulness that support mental well-being and positive coping strategies.

AE Whos it for
Who is it for?
Service users of acute and complex mental health services
AE Prime
Prime Objective:
to increase participation and challenge poor physical health inequality
AE Second
Second Objective:
to improve self-esteem and sense of connection with wider society

Inpatients aged from 18-65 exacerbated existing sedentary lifestyle habits which contributed to further social isolation among their population group. Classes were tailored to be inclusive of all participants no matter their ability/disability and also encouraged staff to participate, addressing health and well-being among frontline staff.

The incentive helped participants with their flexibility and range of movement, concentration and focus, strengthening of the body and mind, and assist with balance and coordination. They also served as a space where service users can practice healthy, self-soothing coping strategies to support on-going self-management of mental wellbeing outside the hospital environment.

I feel better coming here and more relaxed. My shoulder doesn’t hurt as much, and I am in a better mood.

The aim is to inspire and encourage participants to get moving in a fun and safe environment, as well as demonstrating how they can integrate healthy techniques and habits into their daily lives.

In partnership with Basildon Mind and Nexus Wellness CIC, a community yoga programme will incorporate St Andrews patients that have completed the course to continue these yoga wellness sessions in the community once discharged. This will be beneficial in breaking down mental health barriers that inpatients may find difficult when they re-integrate within the community.

Funding was provided by Active Essex to deliver the 45-week programme, and Active Basildon’s community connector continuously supported inpatients and the incentive, also advising throughout the process.

attendees per session
of hospital users attended the most recent session
of participants are living with Schizophrenia