Yoga, which originated in India more than 5,000 years ago, is a Hindu system of philosophy that encompasses the body, mind and spirit. Its aim is ultimate physical health and happiness, together with mental peace and tranquillity.

What is yoga?

The Sanskrit word Yoga is translated as ‘union’ between mind, body and spirit. Please note that the form of yoga that we teach is secular/ non religious and is taught as a form of exercise. It will not conflict with any of your own spiritual beliefs. Many people’s perception of Yoga is that it is just stretching but it is also about creating a harmony and balance within the body through the development of strength and flexibility. This is achieved through controlled poses or postures alongside efficient and relaxed breathing. Each pose is claimed to have a specific physical and emotional health benefit to help promote an overall sense of wellbeing. In the West, the most widely taught forms are adaptations of Hatha Yoga. Some forms such as Ashtanga are more energetic.

Breath work

Breathing techniques are taught to develop awareness and relaxation. Begin by “tuning in” to your breath and any sensations that you feel in your body. This is a very practical way to work at ‘being in your body’ which can help you to be more aware of areas of tension or altered posture. Combining these body awareness skills with breathing techniques is a good way to improve relaxation and to ease into each movement.

Yoga can help with

Research suggests that yoga can help to manage or control many conditions including:

  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Back pain
  • Blood pressure
  • Chronic fatigue

Yoga can also help with:

  • Improving muscle tone, flexibility, strength and stamina
  • Improving circulation
  • Reducing stress and tension
  • Creating a sense of well being and calm

Some things to think about

  • Breathe slowly and deeply
  • Reflect on how you feel
  • What sensations do you notice?
  • Take the time to explore the space between poses
  • Yoga is not a competition
  • Listen to your body and respond to it

It is important to have a go at these poses without striving and without forcing. While stretching or balancing we learn to accept our body as we find it. Do not feel the need to push yourselves, but be patient with your current physical capabilities. This may involve learning to work in a different way! Rather than focusing on the movement or what the body is doing, allow yourself to just be…

”paying attention to dwelling in the creative space between not challenging the body at all and pushing it too far”
Jon Kabat-Zinn, 2008

PhysiYo Reconnect2Life therapies Yoga based 6 week short course

The Reconnect2Life therapies team offer a yoga based 6 week mindful movement exercise group called PhysiYo.

This is a short course designed by a specialist pain physiotherapist to introduce or reintroduce you to yoga style movement

Exercises can be carried out on a yoga mat, on a chair, standing or a combination. All exercises can be adapted to your needs.

Please ask your therapist for further details if you would like to know more about joining us.

Yoga in the community

Yoga exercises

Disclaimer: The photographs and descriptions of PhysiYo exercises below are a guide. They are to be used in conjunction with support from our team. They are not necessarily a suitable program for everyone but with guidance can be adapted to suit your own personal needs.

PhysiYo - Standing mountain side view

Mountain Pose

Sit or stand with your feet hip width apart and arms relaxed by your side.

PhysiYo - Sitting mountain side
PhysiYo - Standing salute front


From Mountain pose float the arms up and over your head as far as is comfortable for you.

PhysiYo - Sitting salute side
PhysiYo - Standing crescent front

Half Moon or Crescent Pose

From Volcano use one hand to hold your other wrist. Bend towards the hand holding side.

PhysiYo - Sitting crescent front
PhysiYo - Standing forward bend

Forward Bend

From standing mountain pose; keep your knees slightly bent, roll down as far as is comfortable for you.

PhysiYo - Sitting forward bend
PhysiYo - Cat side


Start in four point kneeling, arch your lower back up like a cat.

PhysiYo - Sitting cat
PhysiYo - Reverse cat side

Reverse Cat

Start in four point kneeling, drop your belly down to hollow your lower back.

PhysiYo - Sitting reverse cat
PhysiYo - Childs pose

Childs Pose

From all fours ease your bottom back towards your heels.

PhysiYo - Sitting childs pose side
PhysiYo - Standing chair side


From standing lower your bottom back as if you were going to sit on a chair.

Arms reaching up at a height that is comfortable for you.

PhysiYo - Sitting chair side
PhysiYo - Standing warrior 1 side

Warrior 1

From standing step forwards with one foot, knee bent over ankle.

Back leg straight with foot turned out in a comfortable position.

Float arms forward to a height that is comfortable for you.

PhysiYo - Sitting warrior 1 side
PhysiYo - Standing warrior 2 side

Warrior 2

From standing step forwards with one foot, knee bent over ankle.

Back leg straight with foot turned out in a comfortable position.

Arms held out to the sides, looking over front arm.

PhysiYo - Sitting warrior 2 side
PhysiYo - Standing tree front


Weight on one leg, rest other heel on ankle.

Float arms up to a height that is comfortable for you.

PhysiYo - Standing tree with chair side
PhysiYo - Lying single knee hug

Single Knee Hug

Lying on your back, bring one knee up towards your chest.

Repeat on both sides.

PhysiYo - Sitting hip and knee flexion side
PhysiYo - Double lying knee hug

Double Knee Hug

Lying on your back; Bring both knees up towards your chest.

PhysiYo - Reclined twist

Reclined Twist

Lying on your back with knees bent and arms out to the side.

Roll your knees to one side.

Repeat in the opposite direction.

PhysiYo - Sitting twist
PhysiYo - Shavasana


Lying on your back.

PhysiYo - Sitting Shavasana
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