Sheffield Yoga for ME/CFS runs remedial yoga classes for people with ME/CFS. This is a serious debilitating chronic illness and people are often ill and disabled for many years. The consequences of this are profound in terms of loss of income and social isolation. In many cases, very few activities, social or otherwise, are possible for people because of the severity of their illness.
The classes are carefully organized to meet the needs of people with this debilitating illness and provide important social, emotional and physical support for members of the group. The provision of yoga classes specifically for people with ME/CFS is not available elsewhere in Sheffield and ordinary yoga classes are unsuitable for most people with ME/CFS.
The yoga classes are taught by specialist remedial yoga teachers who, in their adaptation, gear their teaching towards gentle, often lying postures, breathing and relaxation. There are two styles of remedial yoga available; Hatha yoga and Iyengar yoga. The varied approaches, different venues and class times open the classes to a number of people with ME/CFS. The premises for the yoga are quiet and warm. There is parking next to the buildings and the venues have disabled access. The Iyengar yoga classes are held in a specialist yoga centre, where all necessary equipment is provided.
The majority of committee members who organise the classes have ME/CFS but there are also several able–bodied volunteers who do an invaluable job. The premises for the yoga are quiet and warm. There is parking next to the buildings and the venues have disabled access. The Iyengar yoga classes are held in a specialist yoga centre, where all necessary equipment is provided.
A profound consequence of the illness is loss of earnings, and in order to help those in financial need an optional minimal fee is charged. Many people with ME/CFS are too ill to drive or use public transport and the provision of taxis out of funds make the classes more accessible.
The group provides regular bulletins by post and information on the website (www.sheffieldyogaforme.org.uk) and resources such as yoga books/CDs/tapes are available from a postal library.
Sheffield Yoga for ME/CFS is a registered charity. (Registered Charity Number: 1117464)
The majority of trustees who organize the classes have ME/CFS but there are also several able-bodied volunteers who do an invaluable job.
As in previous years, Sheffield Yoga for ME/CFS has carried out a formal monitoring exercise. This is in addition to the ongoing verbal feedback we get from our members. The purpose of this exercise is to ensure that our priority aims are:
Providing a service that meets our members' needs.
Identifying improvements to the service.
Checking that the group is achieving the outcomes hoped for.
Over a period of four weeks, during September and October 2007, a short questionnaire was distributed to members who had attended the yoga classes on three or more occasions during the preceding three months. Questions were a result of outcomes that have been previously identified and were the same as 2006 so that comparisons of results could be made.
Twenty five forms were distributed and twenty two were returned. The format of these forms together with the results is shown below.