What YHLB Offers You?

What YHLB Offers You?


Download our YHLB Trifold Leaflet v2018


Course Attendee Sheet (compiled with the help of GPs on one of our regional Steering Groups)
YOGA for Healthy Lower Backs –

12-Week Long-Term Self-Management Course



  • 12 weekly, gentle yoga classes lasting 1¼ hours taught over 3-4 months.
  • An evidence-based, specific and specialised programme targeting lower back problems, approved by Arthritis Research UK, yoga associations and listed by Public Health England.
  • Initial telephone consultation with teacher to talk about your back and answer your questions. Registration Form completion. (These help the teacher to help you more.)
  • Weekly sessions – initially teaching simple pain-relieving positions and strategies; progressing gradually with strengthening and stretching poses and movements, designed to improve flexibility, mobility and posture; breathing, mindfulness and relaxation techniques.
  • Accompanied by comprehensive evidence-based book (student manual), 4-track Relaxation Album / CD (Track 1 also available in App format), practice sheets to enable simple home practice, hand-outs.
  • Learn life-long skills to help yourself to improved health and well-being.


  • “ONCE OFF” course teaches you to look after your back condition for now and for the future.
  • 15 hrs of supervised exercise, plus a book and yoga practice sheets, aims to teach you to help yourself forever (compare this to an average of just 4 individual sessions of 15-30 minutes of other treatments that typically address just the acute/ immediate problem)
  • Encourages positive long-term lifestyle and behavioural changes
  • Addresses other ‘bio-psycho-social’ aspects that may be affecting your back problems e.g. joint and muscle pains, arthritis, stress, mood, anxiety, tension, return to work strategies.
  • Taught in small groups (e.g. 6-12) by experienced, highly-trained, nationally-accredited yoga teachers.
  • The latest evidence shows that you should exercise for improved physical and mental health.
  • YHLB is recommended by GPs; features on Public Health England’s online MSK ROI tool (2017); NICE recommends exercise for managing low back pain with or without sciatica (2016); experts recommend this kind of approach (Lancet Journal 2018).
  • Make the switch from relying on others to being able to help yourself.
  • It’s enjoyable and improves general well-being.

Research Findings:

  • After attending a 12-week course, participants had an average of 3.8 days days off work, compared to control group average of 12.3 days, i.e. a 70% decrease, suggesting they had learnt to lessen the frequency, duration and intensity of bad back pain episodes.
  • Participants report a 63% improvement in their ability to “control and cope with their back pain on their own”.
  • 60% of course participants were still practising 30-minute yoga sessions at home approximately twice a week, a year after beginning the course.
  • This course is safe and very effective, as well as being cost-effective (for individuals, workplaces, society, NHS). (Ask your workplace to subsidize.)

Who is it suitable for?

  • Those who want to learn to help themselves.
  • Those who like the prospect of learning methods for “getting back control of their back condition”
  • Those looking for a kind and gentle, person-centred approach.
  • Those whose back pain has become chronic, e.g. persistent pain or pain that is there the majority of the time.
  • Those whose back pain comes and goes (recurring/ episodic), e.g. several bouts each year.  Don’t wait until your next episode of bad back pain – start now.
  • Anyone prepared to commit to weekly classes, which teach you to incorporate some yoga skills into your daily life.
  • Holistic approach – so particularly beneficial for those who have:
  1. stress / emotional factors (which may be contributing to back pain experience)
  2. injuries or health conditions that prevent participation in other exercise or sports
  3. multiple conditions, e.g. headaches, hip replacement, high blood pressure (your teacher will show you modifications for maximum holistic benefit).

What to Expect:

  • No previous experience of yoga is necessary; but it can offer those with yoga experience more subtle knowledge of lifelong best practice methods (“optimum rather than maximum”).
  • You will not be asked to do anything which your body or mind is not comfortable with.
  • Not just for fitness fanatics, i.e. it is suitable for people of all shapes, sizes and fitness levels! (but note that it can help fitness fanatics get back to their favourite sports!)
  • Yoga is a philosophy (i.e. as well as helping your back pain, it can show a positive way of living, but it is not a religion)
  • No complicated, challenging or advanced yoga, i.e. no Olympic gymnastics!

Where and When?

  • Courses available throughout UK –  (Find a Teacher page – Qualified Teacher Register listed alphabetically by County plus Trainee teachers below; interactive map; Teaching Teams)
  • You may need to wait up to 12 weeks or longer for a start-date.

Yoga before? – attend a YHLB course and enjoy going back to yoga foundations to help long-term, to help inform your general class practice and to encourage safe and effective home practice.

The ‘Yoga for Healthy Lower Backs’ (YHLB) 12-class Course Offers –

A Self-Help, Mind-Body, Life-Long Tool-kit


– A self-empowering 12-class course

taught over 3-4 months

by a highly-skilled and well-trained Yoga for Healthy Lower Backs registered teacher.


– Learn to help yourself

to improved comfort, health and well-being

for now and the future.


– Unique, strongly evidence-based classes

taught according to 12 YHLB class plans,

accompanied by comprehensive evidence-based educational resources

for long-term self-management.


How to sign up? – See How to Help Yourself page

You must pre-book a place on a course via the teacher (or Team Hub) well in advance.
Normal Costs (may be higher in some locations; Trainee teachers may offer cheaper pilot courses):
£214 approx. per person for 15 hours of supervised tuition in small groups (6-12 people), includes book, 4-track relaxations CD, home practice sheets, hand-outs, support.

  • Usual Payment instalments =
  • £60 for Resources Pack, YHLB Registration and Support (payable to social enterprise)
  • £77 for first block of 6 classes (at Class 1)
  • £77 for second block of 6 classes (at Class 7)
  • Your GP Practice / Council may be able to offer you the option of this course at a subsidized rate (social prescribing?).
  • Your workplace may offer subsidies / Resources Pack / full-funding / gift of time off work.
  • 12-week ‘Yoga for Healthy Lower Backs’ course valued in published research at £292 per course attendee (bargain rate now in order to share), was shown in research to be cheaper than NHS physiotherapy packages and hospital clinic rehabilitation programmes (2008 prices).

Cost Comparisons:

  • Another initial back pain treatment consultation could cost £45 with 15-30-minute follow-up consultations costing £35 each x 6–50 sessions (e.g. 25 sessions could cost £1750).
  • Two monthly prescriptions for medications could cost – £206 per year
  • A cappucino @ £2.50 per day for 4 months could cost £280.
  • A child’s half-hour swimming lesson @ £15 could cost £210 for 14 lessons.
  • A 10-week term of ‘general’ yoga classes (NOT a well-structured course that starts gently, NOT evidence-based, NOT specialised, NOT taught by specifically-trained back-care teacher, NOT a small group class, NOT enabling you to know how to practise at home for the long-term health of your back, NOT designed specially to make sure it does not ‘upset’ your back) could cost £120.
  • 3 months’ subscription to a gym could cost you £100+