I am passionate about the power of exercise and yoga to improve health, well-being and quality of life. It became clear to me, through requests and research, that there is no national yoga program for people with disabilities, the very people who need it most.
There are 13.9 million disabled people in the UK. More than 1.2 million children have special needs. In 2017, 30% of children aged 2 to 15 in England were overweight or obese - & 67% of men and 62% of women. Obesity and inactivity are on the rise – Many children and adults are not getting their one hour of activity a day. We need change. Mental health issues are also on the rise for both adults and children. The last survey, conducted in 2017, found that 1 in 9 children aged 5-15 had a mental health disorder and is on the rise.
My vision is to create a National program called ParaYoga Fit™, to deliver seated & inclusive yoga & well-being classes for the disability and senior community.
Benefits include: improved posture, fitness, physical & motor skills, spatial awareness, balance & co-ordination, flexibility, stress relief, increased confidence and self-esteem, improved well being & simply having the same opportunities as mainstream society.
Why do we need ParaYoga Fit?
There are 13.9 million disabled people in the UK. More than 1.2 million children have special needs. PARA YOGA Fit™ is an inclusive yoga & well-being program for leisure centres, schools, Care Homes, Day centres & Outreach centres, targeting children and adults with a disability, visually impairment or special needs.
With adequate funding, we will also launch Yoga In Nature – YIN – exercising outdoors in parks, beaches, fields, mountains and lakes, all tapping in to a mobile app to "connect all who love & celebrate yoga". Benefits of exercising outside include improved posture, fitness, physical & motor skills, spatial awareness, balance & co-ordination, flexibility, stress buster, increased confidence and self-esteem, well being, independence & quality of life.
Climate Crisis: We want all our followers to plant a small tree or seed to support the climate emergency as part of the YIN program – to be connected via our mobile app.
The programme modules are:
ParaYoga Fit™ (juniors)
ParaYoga Fit™ (teens)
ParaYoga Fit™ (adults)
Gold ParaYoga™ Fit (60+ years)
Seated & inclusive yoga and well being classes for the disability community, seniors and SEN.
Our classes will provide:
*Opportunity to build new friendships
*Less social isolation through participation
*Opportunity to have a fun and happy place to look forward to and structured routine
*Opportunity to improve fitness, physical and motor skills across a range of SEN conditions
*Opportunity to improve spatial awareness, balance and co-ordination
*Opportunity to improve posture (poor posture a common problem for those who have a disability)
*Opportunity to improve well being and quality of life
*Opportunity to learn new skills such as yoga and mindfulness which can be practiced daily once learned
*Opportunity to improve confidence of family members and carers in visually impaired people’s life skills and ability to do things independently.
*Opportunity to offer jobs and training to future ParaYoga Fit™ teachers, internships, apprenticeships and shadows.
*Opportunity to offer work experience to graduates and school leavers.
We aim to promotes physical and mental health and well being through lifelong participation in ParaYoga Fit™ where neither finance, fitness, ability, disability or family circumstance are barriers to participation.
We aim to remove barriers by providing accessible and innovative yoga activities for children and young people, older people, those people experiencing disadvantage and those affected by SEND (Special Educational Needs and Disabilities).
We will encourage inactive people to become active, bring people together to regularly participate in yoga, improving their well being and aim to help combat obesity and isolation.
ParaYoga Fit™ classes will provide structure in participant’s weekly routines and something they can look forward to, providing activities which meet local need and help to reduce health inequalities.
In order to achieve our aims, we will actively listen to the communities we serve to ensure we deliver what they want and need and regularly consult with, and involve users, in connection with the design, themes, content and delivery of services.
Our activities are designed to:
- Support disadvantaged people working with children’s care homes, drop-in centres and residential care facilities for older people providing fun, accessible and inclusive exercise.
We will also work directly with other charities that support people with disabilities:
- To aid the advancement of health and to promote healthy living through physical activity and improvement of mental well being.
- To support the advancement of citizenship or community development activities, including the creation of volunteering opportunities, and coaching and training volunteers, connecting and collaborating with charities. Internships and apprenticeships are also available for graduates.
Our program will:
• Increase access to education, qualifications and skills/ increase employability – we will recruit a highly trained inclusive yoga instructor team.
• Improve Health and well being (physical/mental/emotional): This is the number one priority and it is in in line with Health Surrey’s Health and Well-Being Strategy.
• Improve/increase access to Sport exercise and leisure activities and the Arts/culture/heritage:
• Improve community cohesion and reduce isolation: Our projects will provide access to recreational opportunities that might otherwise be closed to communities – providing a scope for learning, personal development and friendship-making that will supporting the public by building confidence and group work skills.
• The YIN phone app will connect our community and our plant a tree (PAT) initiative will connect and share our communal need to respond to the environmental crisis.
• Our pilot study helped more than 120 children and young people aged 10-16 from across the social spectrum in Surrey, by providing recreational opportunities, improving physical activity that will reduce obesity and the emotional and behavioural issues associated with the problem.
How will we spend the money raised?
We have a dedicated team but we need to expand - will use the funds raised to facilitate participation ParaYoga Fit™ classes and for operational costs such as website, booking systems, training, project management. Priority costs are coaching fees and training up more instructors.
The Para Yoga activities are fun, social and non-competitive. We would enhance sporting and cultural facilities with our provision. See a Pilot class in action below:
We will deliver:
ParaYoga fit™ – Sit and Be Fit Yoga and Well being classes for children, teens & adults for the disability community, starting in the Surrey, with plans to expand beyond.
1. ParaYoga Fit™ – Sit and Be Fit classes for children
A para yoga class for children with physical disabilities – leading to a pain-free body or a stress-free mind. We encourage being able to sit quietly in meditation as well as learning postures, stretches, breathing techniques and exercise. The Para Yoga Fit™ classes will address participant’s specific needs – leading to greater fulfilment and freedom, or increased creative capacity, or joy, or experimentation. The classes will help to improve health and happiness and will deliver health and well being improvements. Parents/carers may also join in or support these sessions. Scarves, teddy bears and PECS cards will enhance sessions.
2. Family ParaYoga Fit™ – Sit and Be Fit classes for teens and adults
A para yoga class for teens and their relations with physical disabilities – leading to a pain-free body or a stress-free mind. We encourage being able to sit quietly in meditation as well as learning postures, stretches, breathing techniques and exercise. The Para Yoga Fit™ classes will address participant’s specific needs – leading to greater fulfilment and freedom, or increased creative capacity, or joy, or even fearlessness to explore new boundaries. The classes will help to improve health and happiness and will deliver health and well being improvements for our residents. Parents/carers may also join in or support these sessions.
3. ParaYoga Fit™ – Sit and Be Fit classes for adults and Gold ParaYoga Fit™ for 60+ years
A para yoga class for adults – leading to a pain-free body or a stress-free mind. We encourage being able to sit quietly in meditation as well as learning postures, stretches, breathing techniques and exercise. The Para Yoga Fit™ classes will address participant’s specific needs – leading to greater fulfilment and freedom, or increased creative capacity, or joy, or experimentation. The classes will help to improve health and happiness and will deliver health and well being improvements. Parents/carers may also join in or support these sessions.
Funds raised will be spent primarily on delivery costs including yoga teachers’ fees, inclusive teacher training, project management and co-ordination, including monitoring and evaluation, venue hire fees, yoga and equipment where applicable, (though we have some stock already), advertising, and local volunteer expenses, including enhanced DBS clearance and online Safeguarding training. A small portion will also contribute to operational overheads.
Teen yoga testimonial:
Rona - came to us desperate for a yoga class - she has entered her teens and was feeling lonely and isolated - she is partially sighted so has visual impairment. Our yoga class is a lifeline for her - and lovely that her mum Bev attends too. It improves her posture, confidence and gives her a rewarding activity to look forward to and share with her mum.
Teacher testimonial - Becky:
"Working with this company has been a wonderful experience for me. I have been able to expand my experience and geographic boundaries with my yoga teaching...Both SEN and regular children teenager and adult classes giving me more confidence in my ability".
***We are keen to partner and collaborate with any organisations, trusts or charities who support our mission and vision, and can help us to scale this up***
#Join us #Yoga4All #ParaYoga Fit™