Application Process

‘YOGA for Healthy Lower Backs’ (YHLB)


Our ground-breaking University of York research and past research (K. Williams et al and K. Sherman et al) has shown that specialized group yoga is effective against back pain, disability and depression in low back pain sufferers. Through this course, learn how to safely and effectively teach our specially-designed, 12-class yoga programme designed for newcomers to yoga with non-specific chronic low back pain as used in The University of York’s RCT research. This yoga is the best evidence-based treatment available for this common condition. Our published Economics paper shows it would be likely to be cost-effective within an NHS setting. Everyone has a lower back – learn how to rebuild, strengthen and maintain its health. Please let other teachers know about this training.


Prerequisites: This 4-Day training course with home study requirements is available for sharing, but is only suitable for experienced, fully-qualified and certificated yoga teachers. A minimum of 4 years’ post-qualification yoga teaching experience is required before undertaking this training to teach the full ‘Yoga for Healthy Lower Backs’ programme, as well as an interest in teaching the 12-class courses to newcomers to yoga with generalized low back pain. We especially appreciate the uptake and support of senior teachers and those interested in therapeutic yoga. Iyengar Yoga teachers and British Wheel of Yoga teachers were trained and taught for the trial. Other yoga teacher qualifications will be considered on a case-by-case basis.


Course Accreditation: Only already-qualified/accredited and experienced yoga teachers may attend this training course. The main aim is to remain true to the research by keeping to the evidence-base. The programme designer, original trial teacher trainer and lead yoga consultant, Alison Trewhela, will continue to tutor all of these courses.  This course has already proved its usefulness and quality, and the 12-class YHLB programme has proven its effectiveness and value, by being taught successfully by multiple teachers during the research itself. The use of this yoga programme was approved by The University of York’s York Trials Unit (within The Health Sciences Department) and was initially overseen by experts, including a member of the EU ‘Back Pain Guidelines’ committee. Arthritis Research UK generously funded this research and many senior yoga teachers were consulted during the design phase. The research trial, the yoga programme plus the educational resources – Students’ Manual (now the ‘Yoga for Healthy Lower Backs’ book published by Lotus Publishing), the Teachers’ Manual and the 58-minute ‘Yoga for Healthy Lower Backs – Relaxations’ CD – were supported by both The British Wheel of Yoga and the Iyengar Yoga Association (UK). The 80+-page Teachers’ Manual contains the 12 differing class plans, diagnostic information and more specific teaching points. The training course uses all these resources as support for the hands-on practical learning of how to carefully, safely and effectively introduce the yoga poses and sequences.


The medical profession will want to know that teachers have trained to deliver this programme in the same way as was done for the research trial, including ensuring teachers have a good understanding of back function (and dysfunction) and observational expertise. This is a website dedicated to educating about and promoting the YHLB yoga programme. Your details will be listed under the Trainee Teacher section once you have satisfactorily completed the Level 1 and Level 2 training. To be listed as a qualified YHLB teacher, you will also need to have completed the teaching of your first 12-week, mentor-supported, Trainee YHLB course to a group of students. The general public, yoga teachers, healthcare providers and commissioning bodies and potential students can gain information about the YHLB programme and its development on this website. It has links to videos and gives information about future developments. Please subscribe to our free newsletter via Help to create a buzz about the website by telling others about it.


ICNM (Institute for Complementary and Natural Medicine) are supportive of this teacher training course and its tutor and recognize the value of the 12-week course.


CPD is on offer.


Confirmation of Attendance: Once we have accepted your application and confirmed your place on a specific course, your place will be reserved, but please email if due to unforeseen circumstances you will be unable to attend. Many courses are over-subscribed and places are limited. Please note that you need to make your payment just before commencement of the course at the requested time (see below).


Payment: (includes mentor support) 2014: – £150 for each weekend (£160 for London); payable approx. 1 week before each Level’s weekend (put a note in your diary?)

Either via bank transfer (details later on request)

OR write out two cheques (one dated for first day of training and the other post-dated for the first day of the Level 2 part of the course), payable to ‘Alison Trewhela’ and send them

at least a few weeks before the first day of training to:

Alison Trewhela (YHLB), Gwel Hyr, Tarrandean Lane, Perranwell Station, Truro TR3 7NW.

(Repeat/Refresher Days for those who have already completed the full training days = Half price.)


Application Process:Please send an email subject-headed as follows:

‘Application – Yoga for Healthy Lower Backs (YHLB) Teacher Training – ?Location?’to: Alison Trewhela on [email protected]  Please use the Application Form available for you to send as Word attachment or just simply copy and paste filled out details into the email.

Please aim to complete this application process as soon as possible to ensure you get a place – if possible, a minimum of a month before commencement of the course at the latest, in order to enable readiness of educational materials.


We do understand that some of you may not be as computer-knowledgeable as others, but please forgive us for trying to become more efficient via digital technology. Having personally answered enquiries for over a year, we realize this is not sustainable due to high demand and other project workload, BUT please do email [email protected], if you encounter difficulties and wish to speak to a ‘real’ person. Thank you for your understanding and we look forward to receiving your application form.


Many thanks for your interest and support.