Our research focuses on yoga’s effectiveness in the health and social care sector, in particular:

  • Delivering regular chair yoga sessions to residents in UK care homes
  • Introducing yoga therapy into care homes
  • Offering those with Parkinson’s disease training in mindfulness practices

We recently presented our work on Yoga in Care Homes – both the benefits and challenges – at a conference in Preston, UK – the 1st International Yoga and Mind-body Conference at the University of Central Lancashire. The abstract from the conference is available here. Please feel free to get in touch If you would like more information about the conference presentation.

If you are interested in the practicalities of delivering yoga into care homes, please see our Support for Yoga in Care Homes.

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A 6-month feasibility study in five Hertfordshire care homes revealed:

Mental health benefits

Including decreases in stress and anxiety, alleviation from depression and improvements in overall sense of wellbeing – feeling more relaxed and positive.

“Gets your mind working on positive things …”

Michael, Care Home Resident

Physical health benefits

Including improvements in strength and balance – better able to perform activities of daily living.

“I have found it has … strengthened my stomach muscles … I have been able to control my movements better.”

Eileen, Care Home Resident

Social benefits

With increases in social contact – doing yoga in a group reduces social isolation.

“[We’re] all together, and it’s friendly.”

Peggy, 96 years old
Research Results


Working in partnership with the University of Hertfordshire, we completed a controlled study delivering chair yoga to care home residents with and without dementia. The findings support the above results from our feasibility study on the mental and social benefits of yoga.

A number of key themes emerged from this study, including increases in: physical and mental stimulation, a sense of purpose, enjoyment, relaxation, and social inclusion. The data show that care home residents experienced improvements in mood and lower levels of anxiety and depression after just twice weekly sessions of Lakshmi Voelker Chair YogaTM delivered over eight weeks.

“I always enjoy it.”

“I do like group exercise. I think you put something of yourself into the next person.”

“I am more aware of my surroundings and people.”

“… instead of being on your own, I feel more included in the group.”

What residents say...

“They [the residents] really enjoy it.”

“[They get] every part of the body moving.”

“When they are in the yoga, their spirits are quite lifted and they are actually in very good moods.”

What care home staff say...
Research Results


Our new research project focuses on introducing yoga therapy into care homes and how to effectively deliver one-to-one sessions to residents, with particular attention on those unable to join group yoga sessions. For more information, just get in touch.

Find out more

“[The chair yoga activity] has reduced the number of falls and it has improved their mobility … The complaints have reduced … [the residents] are so much happier with the little things.’

Care Home Manager

“I would recommend it to anyone in any home and I’m sure they would all benefit by it.”

Janet, 94 years old


Working in partnership with the University of Hertfordshire, we ran a 4-week course examining the feasibility and acceptability of an online group mindfulness programme for people with Parkinson’s. The course offered a range of mindful breathing exercises, mindful movement exercises and mindfulness meditation.

The findings showed that remote solutions are acceptable and feasible, with specific mindfulness techniques perceived as beneficial for providing relief from tremor and facilitating sleep.

“I have done more looking at things … when the sun’s been out, I’ve been watching clouds, sitting in the garden … I just watch clouds make shapes and join together and things and I probably would never have done that before.”

“[I]t makes you much more relaxed and problems aren’t as big as you thought they were and everything happens for a reason and you have to get over that and carry on.”

 “[W]hat I found helpful about the course was to think of the now and not too much about the future.”

What participants say about mindfulness...

“And with the calm, the physical symptoms – so I have a tremor in my right forearm and fingers – that would stop. … I found that really beneficial.”

“I can get so relaxed and so focused on meditation that the tremor is no longer there.”

“It seems to slow it down a bit, and it helps me to not tremor so much. Sometimes my hand actually stops.”

“It helps me to control my tremor a bit.”

“[I]it helps slow the tremor as well. So, if I found myself really in motion …I will do some of that as well because whilst it won’t stop it, it will give me small breaks from it and it will slow it.“

What participants say about the effects on tremor...
Research Results

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Love all the yoga movements

Care Home Resident

My body felt so good moving, stretching, breathing.

Chair Yoga Student

Gets your mind working on positive things

Care Home Resident