Nottinghamshire Hospice

Adding Life to Days

Yoga teacher supports hospice during lockdown

A Nottingham yoga and meditation teacher whose mother received help from the hospice has put on an online session to raise funds as well as offering free sessions for patients.

Helen had practised yoga, mindfulness and meditation for many years and started teaching techniques to her mum after she was diagnosed with cancer This led her to enrol on an intensive teacher training course and set up Snugg Yoga.

Since lockdown she has been putting on a free online class for a different charity each week, focusing on independent local charities.

“I loved working with Nottinghamshire Hospice because of the wonderful work that it does with terminally ill patients, my mum supported the charity since I was younger and it meant a lot to her, she was so kind and loved that the hospice also showed this kindness when supporting its patients. We always used to go to its Christmas and Summer fayres and just love the passion and care that the charity puts into making end of life care as easy and comfortable as possible.

“Mum was diagnosed with post transplant lymphoma cancer and using the Notts Hospice services to talk through her illness really gave her peace of mind. I taught her Qi Gong, mindfulness and meditation techniques when she was ill and realised how much I wanted to use it to help others.”

Helen with her mum
Helen with her mum

Helen says yoga is especially helpful during lockdown as it offers the opportunity to get fit and relax and helps with tension, anxiety and breathing.

“So many people have found lockdown incredibly stressful and are either going at one hundred miles per hour or are quite restless. When we are anxious we tend to breathe in quite a shallow manner. Yoga encourages us to breathe deeply and to be mindful and present, which can really help to ease anxiety and is a tool you can use in your own time when needed.

“People have also joined the classes suffering with bad backs and shoulders and stiff necks due to being cooped up – yoga is great at easing tension, helping to lengthen and sooth those muscles.”

As well as Nottinghamshire Hospice, Helen has worked with other charities including a refugee support organisation, a black LGBTQIA+ therapy group and a children’s cancer charity.  She runs the sessions through Zoom and asks for those taking part to make a donation to that week’s nominated charity, if they can.

photo credit: @angela_luci_shepherd
photo credit: @angela_luci_shepherd

“I have had a lovely response to my sessions since starting these classes over three months ago,” she added “not only from the charities but also from the people taking part. Yoga always seems to generate positive and compassionate vibes and I love switching on to a sea of smiling faces.”

Helen has offered to run free sessions for patients at the hospice on an ongoing basis, and is currently in discussion with care teams to explore how that might work remotely.

“I would love to work with terminally ill people offering mindful meditation, Qi Gong and yoga classes that brought my mum such peace,” she said.

To find out more about how you can take part in a Snugg Yoga or Meditation class visit Snugg Yoga or head to @snuggyoga (instagram, Twitter and Facebook).

Nottinghamshire Hospice is anticipating a loss in funding of £150,000 due to shop closures and cancelled events during lockdown. It launched it’s Forget Us Not appeal in April to address this shortfall. Find out more here.