This contact page directs messages to Alison Trewhela and Anna Semlyen, the yoga consultants on the University of York yoga research team.
Please note that we are not able to answer specific individual questions about your back pain condition via this Contact Page. Thank you for understanding that this is not possible by email.
ALISON TREWHELA AND ANNA SEMLYEN
BIOGRAPHIES BELOW (ALSO CREDITS)
The authors have a vision that in the future these scientifically proven Yoga for Healthy Lower Backs courses will be offered under the UK NHS, councils and private health insurance schemes. Maybe similarly in other countries too.
We would be grateful if you feel you could help us with that aim by informing GPs, PCTs (Primary Health Care Trusts), health promotion departments, large employers, hospitals, health insurance providers, yoga teachers, yoga students and the general public with chronic low back pain about this research, these courses and this manual.
Alison Trewhela (Iyengar Yoga certificated, SBRCP-Yoga (British Register of Complementary Practitioners), Senior Practitioner at Institute of Complementary and Natural Medicine) began teaching yoga in The Bahamas in 1983. On return to her home county of Cornwall, she taught for Adult Education Centres. She has taught yoga workshops throughout the UK, as well as small group and individual therapeutic yoga sessions. Since the inception of the Peninsula Medical School, she has led medical students in special studies in yoga’s therapeutic physical, mental and spiritual benefits.
In 1992-1993, Alison qualified in The Yoga Biomedical Trust’s specialist yoga teachers’ course in Lower Back Pain. She learnt to diagnose low back pain conditions via individual consultations (at Walsingham Clinic in Truro). With this interest in low back pain diagnostics and treatment, she soon designed and set up 7-week ‘Better Back Courses’ for newcomers to yoga with low back pain and, whilst continually updating and improving them, received referrals from GPs, hospital pain clinics, physiotherapists, acupuncturists, osteopaths and others.
Over the years, Alison has contributed to the Iyengar Yoga community by acting as Chair of the South West Iyengar Yoga Institute, Secretary for LOYA as it merged with the BKSIYTA to become IYA (UK), and has played major parts in helping to run national yoga conventions. Alison is indebted to all her teachers and students and eternally grateful for all the knowledge and wisdom that has been graciously passed down from the Iyengar family in Pune. She has gained immense inspiration by completing all 6 Levels of the Iyengar Yoga Therapy workshops with Stephanie Quirk from Pune,India, and from Ali Dashti and Richard Agar Ward.
For The University of York’s yoga research trial, Alison designed the yoga programme, trained the trial’s 20 yoga teachers and enjoyed working with Anna Semlyen on the University of York’s yoga trial 2005-2011. This work has included manual-writing (the Students’ Manual – given to trial participants and the Teachers’ Manual – for trained teachers), taking all the photos for the book, and recording the Relaxations CD. Alison looks forward to contributing to more yoga research.
She advises NICE with regard to healthcare guidelines and yoga, and represents yoga at conventions and conferences. She works effortfully to champion yoga, via this evidence-based yoga programme in order to benefit others through its holistic health potential and regularly speaks to academics about yoga research.
She teaches yoga classes, holidays and workshops in Cornwall, Switzerland and elsewhere. She trains yoga teachers in the full evidence-based ‘Yoga for Healthy Lower Backs’ programme (via a 2 weekend intensive course with Home Study over six-months).
She is co-author of 6 published research papers relating to this specialised yoga programme and was also a contributor to a New Zealand Delphi project paper analysing and detailing how best to conduct future yoga research.
Alison was awarded Winner of the ICNM’s (Institute for Complementary and Natural Medicine) ‘Most Outstanding Contribution to Complementary Medicine’ Award in September 2013 because ‘she (and the research) stand out from the crowd….. and for her efforts to champion yoga as a therapeutic modality’.
Lead Yoga Consultant on The University of York yoga trial management team (2006-Present), Designer of the YHLB programme, YHLB teacher trainer, YHLB teacher.
Specialist Tutor in Yoga for medical students (since 2004), University of Exeter Medical School.
Specialist Advisor in Yoga for Institute of Complementary and Natural Medicine.
Senior Practitioner in Yoga on British Register for Complementary Practitioners.
Director and Principle Tutor of ‘The Yoga for Healthy Lower Backs Institute’.
BackCare UK Professional Associate Member
British Wheel of Yoga Member
Iyengar Yoga Association UK Certificated Teacher with Therapy status
Ramanani Iyengar Memorial Yoga Institute teacher, Pune
|Anna Semlyen, (BA MA Philosophy, Politics, Economics (Oxon), MSc Health Economics (York), British Wheel of Yoga (BWY) Dip, Ayurveda Foundations, Reiki 2) has taught yoga since 1996. She runs Yoga inYork. Anna learnt back care yoga with Alison Trewhela and at BWY In Service Training courses, plus experience of her own back care classes. Anna is Specialist Advisor to the BWY on Yoga and Healthy Backs and Therapeutic Yoga Research. She worked for the NHS 1992-3 and as a Health Economics Research Fellow at The University of York 1993-1998 before becoming a full-time yoga teacher. She is a Tutor for Taster days for the YHLB Institute.|
She has been doing yoga research since 2005. From 2007 she co-authored the Yoga for Healthy Lower Backs manuals for students and teachers and a Relaxation CD with Alison Trewhela. These are products of theUniversityofYork’s trial, funded by Arthritis ResearchUK.
Anna teaches general and therapeutic classes, private lessons and offers training to yoga teachers. She has taught at BWY National Congress and is a BWY In Service Training Tutor on Yoga for Healthy Lower Backs, Yoga and Ayurvedic Dosha (constitutions), Mental Health and Concentration.
This is her sixth book. She has published research papers and many articles in yoga magazines, plus recorded two relaxation CDs.
Anna was elected City of York Councillor in 2011 and also works for ‘20’s Plenty for Us’, campaigning for 20 mph residential speed limits.
Anna is grateful for opportunities to learn, teach and research yoga and for everyone who has made this possible.
Regular IST days throughout theUKintroducing the ‘Yoga for Healthy Lower Backs’ programme are offered. A list is on the National Training Workshops pages of Anna’s site:
Thank you to Perran Trewhela (www.perrantrewhela.com) and Esme Lyall for some of the artwork and colours on this website.
Esme Lyall designed the CD covers and Teachers’ Manual cover.
Thank you to Simon Reid and Callum Shone from Smart Exposure for some of the photographs on this website.
Thanks to Mark Richards for building this website.
Disclaimer. We offer this informative website in all good faith and for the benefit of those interested in knowing more about our yoga programme used in research. Any advice is general and does not substitute medical advice, which you are advised to seek before beginning any new exercise programme. The full yoga programme is designed to be learnt by a specially-trained yoga teacher using the book and the Relaxations CD and is for non-specific general low back pain conditions and not those with serious pathology. We accept no responsibility or liability for incorrect use of this yoga.
Yoga for Healthy Lower Backs Ltd. 08169257 Registered Company England & Wales. Gwel Hyr TR3 7NW.