Mindful Yoga in Supportive and Palliative Care and into Bereavement

This workshop is aimed at yoga practitioners, teachers and therapists interested in supporting people with life-limiting conditions. It is also suitable for healthcare professionals and others with a practice in yoga and/or mindfulness who wish to integrate these approaches into clinical practice. The course has been updated to consider the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Kate Binnie New

Course Description

This live online workshop is aimed at yoga practitioners, teachers and therapists interested in supporting people with life-limiting conditions, whether for personal reasons or professional use (e.g. community settings, hospitals, hospices and care homes). It is also suitable for healthcare professionals who have a grounding in yoga and/or mindfulness and who wish to integrate these approaches into clinical practice. The course will also be of use to bereavement counsellors, mental health, social and spiritual care providers and complementary therapists who wish to add mindful yoga skills to their toolkit.

Course Structure

The course will incorporate a mixture of lecture with slides, discussion in small groups, directed and experiential practice on the mat, and reflective practice. The slides, reading list and all information will be available for students to take away.

Day 1

Practice: We will start with (and keep coming back to) gentle, creative practice to acknowledge our embodied experience of being human, which inevitably includes being with and experiencing illness, death, grief and loss.

Theory, Evidence & Practice: What is supportive and palliative care? How is it delivered in the UK and how does this differ across different sectors of society and the world? How might the philosophy and practice of yoga fit into a holistic model of care? Applying attachment and regulation theory, current research and case studies using PowerPoint slides combined with small group discussion and breakout rooms. We will look at common symptoms of advanced illness; breathlessness, pain, fatigue, anxiety and existential distress.

The day will be interspersed with plenty of directed and self-directed practice to illustrate and explore ways to adapt yoga for people living with life-limiting illness and lots of time to ask questions and share experiences/ideas.

Day 2

End of life: What is dying? How, why, where and when does it happen, and how might yoga help? Supportive reflective practice & case study.

Bereavement: Where there is illness and death there is grief and loss. How can we use mindful yoga for patients dealing with their own losses and facing death, plus support those who are or will be bereaved? What does the philosophy of yoga teach us about dying and grieving well?

Practicalities: building confidence to set up groups in community, charity and healthcare settings and making a business case for yoga to support people with life-limiting conditions, and as part of public health and social prescribing programmes. How can we evaluate and disseminate this work?

Self-care is important when working with loss, death and dying; mindful yoga is the perfect “resilience toolkit”. Introducing yoga in the workplace for healthcare professionals, and practices for self-care which is needed more than ever in the fallout from the pandemic.

What Will I Learn?

  • The history and philosophy of palliative care, and why this integrates so perfectly with the holistic concepts embodied within yoga.
  • Overview of common conditions and symptoms, including advanced cancer, neurological and respiratory conditions. How can yoga support people living with long-term, life-limiting illness as part of a supportive and rehabilitative approach to care?
  • “If you can breathe you can practice yoga”: a relationship with the breath is core to this way of working. Learn about the science of self-regulation, links with trauma-informed and compassion-focused approaches, and mindfulness.
  • How to adapt a practice safely with gentle, practical skills and specific sequences developed in clinical settings, including asana, mudra, meditation and nidra. How to tailor as disease progesses, working 1:1 and in small groups.

SAFETY DISCLAIMER: We are working with a sensitive subject. Please email Kate in advance after booking (through info@yogacampus.com), if you are bereaved, caring for someone who is dying or feel anxious about approaching this topic. We will create a safe, supportive space with time for sharing and mutual support. However – we are working remotely and online and you should be aware of your own needs and take responsibility for what you share and how much you can absorb over the weekend. This is primarily a learning environment for developing a therapeutic approach.


Upon completion of this course, you will receive a Yogacampus Certificate of Attendance detailing the course hours eligible for Yoga Alliance CPD credits.


Meet the Teacher

Kate teaches on the Yogacampus yoga therapy training course. She has spent over 16 years working as a music therapist and 11 years as a mindfulness and yoga teacher, specialising in therapeutic applications of music, yoga and mindfulness for people living with chronic and life-limiting illness in the NHS and the community. She runs CPD training days for healthcare professionals at www.sobelleducation.org supporting the integration of yoga & mindfulness into clinical practice, the delivery of compassionate care and to reduce suffering and burnout in staff.

Kate completed an MSc in Palliative Care at King’s College London (researching yoga and pain) in 2016 and is now a guest lecturer on the course. She is also a lecturer on the Oxford Brookes PG training in psycho-spiritual care. From 2016-20 Kate worked at University of Bristol on the Wellcome funded Life of Breath project (www.lifeofbreath.com) and is currently doing her PhD at the Wolfson Palliative Care Research Institute, Hull York Medical School researching breathlessness and emotion.

www.katebinnieyoga.co.uk / kate@katebinnieyoga.co.uk / @binnieyoga / #holisticEoL

Kate Binnie New

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