Prince Charles has backed plans for an increase in yoga across the UK to keep the elderly healthy for longer and out of hospital in a bid to save ‘precious and expensive’ NHS resources.
In a written opening address to the delegates at the Yoga in Healthcare Conference, Prince Charles said: “For thousands of years, millions of people have experienced yoga’s ability to improve their lives.
“The development of therapeutic, evidence-based yoga is, I believe, an excellent example of how yoga can contribute to health and healing.
“This not only benefits the individual, but also conserves precious and expensive health resources for others where and when they are most needed.”
The conference was hosted at London’s University of Westminster.
Mr Selbie, chief executive of Public Health England told doctors and yoga practitioners at the conference: “The evidence is clear … yoga is an evidenced intervention and a strengthening activity that we know works.”
Yoga is believed to bring wide-ranging benefits such as increases in strength, flexibility, balance and quality of life and reductions in stress, anxiety and depression.
New research, published in the journal ‘Restorative Neurology and Neuroscience’, found an eight-week regime of intensive yoga eases both the physical symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis and the psychological distress that usually accompanies the condition.
The Yoga and Healthcare Alliance (YIHA), the College of Medicine and the University of Westminster collaborated to bridge the worlds of yoga and healthcare the first Yoga in Healthcare Conference.
The YIHA is working with the NHS to provide yoga to patients.
In a statment, the YIHA said: “There is significant robust evidence for yoga as an effective ‘mind-body’ medicine that can both prevent and manage chronic health issues and it also delivers significant cost savings to healthcare providers.”