About Us

Umbrella Yoga is a not-for-profit organisation that brings communities together through yoga.

We use evidence based practices to improve the physical and emotional wellbeing of the people we connect with.

Our mission is to provide yoga sessions to people with additional mental and physical needs in Kirklees, West Yorkshire.

About Us

Umbrella Yoga is a not-for-profit organisation that brings communities together through yoga.

We use evidence based practices to improve the physical and emotional wellbeing of the people we connect with.

Our mission is to provide yoga sessions to people with additional mental and physical needs in Kirklees, West Yorkshire.

Our Values

We aim to make sure all sessions and services meet our core values

We aim to reduce the barriers that may prevent people from practising and benefiting from yoga

Our participants, partners, staff members and volunteers are at the heart of what we do. We foster open, honest and respectful communications with our partners and service users and operate an ‘open door policy’ encouraging continual feedback.

We work in partnership with other organisations, developing proactive referral pathways, to help connect and support communities across Kirklees

We want people to enjoy our sessions! We hope they always feel better when they leave the session than they did when they arrived.

We support our community members to practise yoga outside of our time-limited yoga sessions. We invest our resources into research to promote understanding of yoga and enhance the impact of these practices.

Can anyone practise Yoga?

Yes! One of the most influential yoga teachers of the 20th century, Tirumalai Krishnamacharya, famously said ‘if you can breathe, you can do yoga’. We wholeheartedly agree.

There are multiple styles of yoga, and many teachers integrate and adapt various styles to create their own practice. There is no ‘right’ and ‘wrong’ – that’s why it’s called ‘practicing’ yoga – because we are always developing, evolving, changing. It is never perfect or complete. There is no judgement, no expectations, and certainly no ‘failure’.

So, the practice can be varied to meet any person’s needs – whether they have suffered injuries or trauma, have physical or mental challenges, or are simply feeling down or unmotivated on a particular day. The session can be adapted, developed – and used – to bring about positive change in the mind and body.

What does the science say?

Good question. At Umbrella Yoga, one of our key principals is to be driven by scientific evidence and understanding. Whilst research that aims to understand the impacts of yoga is relatively scarce, the results are certainly positive. Studies have indicated benefits for people suffering from depression and anxiety, trauma, physical pain or injury, as well as people living with genetic conditions such as Downs Syndrome and cerebral palsy, and neurodevelopmental conditions such as autism. We encourage you to keep an eye on our website for updates on research targeting each of these conditions.

But, one thing is clear. People who suffer from any kind of anxiety (which is very common in the context of genetic and neurodevelopmental conditions), often struggle to activate the parasympathetic nervous system – the body’s brake, or ‘rest and digest’ function. This means they are in a constant state of hyper-arousal and rarely able to rest their bodies or relax their minds. Breath regulation, a key part of yoga, is the most effective way to modulate the parasympathetic nervous system (Khalsa et al., 2016). Most yoga practices start with some form of breathing exercise (or ‘pranayama’), and throughout the practice yogis have the chance to develop breath control by using physical movements and concentration. As a result, stress and anxiety is reduced.

There are so many potential benefits, and these are likely to be experienced to varying degrees, by different groups and individuals. Watch this space for updates on our understanding of yoga from a clinical and research perspective.

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Total Sessions Delivered
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Total Unique Participants Feb 2024
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Sessions Delivered Feb 2024
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We asked Community Yoga participants if the yoga helped with low mood or depression. 89% scored at least 8/10.

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