Congress 2011

The British Wheel of Yoga Congress is an annual event for Yoga teachers and students held in the UK ith the aim of providing continuois professional development for teachers, socialising and networking in the Yoga community and shopping at the Yoga marketplace.The BWY also carries out their AGM and other annual business of interest to members like myself. This year the congress is on the 8th to the 10th April at Warwick University with every delegate in an ensuite room in the University Halls of residence.

One change this year is that you can now book online – I have just done this and it ran really smoothly.The benefit of doing this is that you can see which workshops have places left and make your choices accordingly. I have chosen a mixture of asana practice and lectures, discussions and Q & A.

Here are the details about the workships I am doing:

Friday 8th April 2011

Session A 14:30pm – 16:00pm Howard Napper: Unlocking the Secrets of Stregth through Yoga I have followed Howard Napper’s work for a while so I am really looking forward to taking part in his workshop for real.

Session B 20:00pm – 21:30pm Paul Fox: Adjusting Students in Forward Bends Paul has a gentle, knowledgeable and down to earth manner which is just the type of teaching I respond well to at the moment. I struggle with forward bends and my lower back is tingling with the joy of anticipation of being properly assisted and adjusted in these postures. I went to one of Paul’s sessions last year and learnt how to assist and adjust students in twisting postures.  I put this immediately into practice with my classes and so as well as enjoying myself, I am hoping to learn some new tricks for my students with this workshop.
Saturday 9th April 2011

Session C 11:15am – 12:45pm: Ruth Gilmore: Function and Malfunction of the Gastrointestinal System (GIT): How Yoga Can Encourage Digestive Wellbeing

Session D 16:45pm – 18:15pm Ruth Gilmore: Function and Malfunction of the Immune System: How Yoga Can Encourage Immune Wellbeing”

I suffer from Crohn’s Disease which is a immunilogical disease affecting the GI system so I am very interested in these two lectures by Dr Ruth Gilmore. I am considering using my direct knowledge and experience for developing a ISTD for GI disorders so these workshops will help me with this too (my first degree is in Zoology so I have formal knowledge as well). We are so lucky that Ruth attends congress and gives these informative lectures as she is both a medical doctor and Yoga teacher. I always try to catch at least one of Ruth’s lectures.

Session E 20:00pm – 21:30pm Bob Insley, Zoe Knott, Hugh Grainger, Be Insley: Eke Pada Rajakapotanasana  – King pigeon One of my absolute all time favourite postures so this workshop will be pure indulgence for me. I have not been taught by any of the teachers before so I am looking forward to this too.


Sunday 10th April 2011

Session F 10:00am – 11:30am Lisa Petersen:  A Fine Balance – ‘Being’ v’s ‘Doing’ Lisa has worked with one of my favourite teachers, Donna Farhi.

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2 Responses to Congress 2011

  1. Mat Witts says:

    I notice that the promotional material for Dr Ruth Gilmores’ lecture at the 2011 congress runs the risk of bamboozling people with medical expertise, perhaps the consequence will be the typical, intellectual vacuum whereby links between conventional medicine and yoga can be instantiated, but “out of ignorance”.

    I do not have any evidence that yoga therapy is an effective treatment for IBS, or for immune deficiencies, or for more critical illnesses such as cancer – and ,neither do the UK Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) it seems.

    The key word in the literature that promotes the lecture is “might”, (the full blurb can be found on the BWY website).

    So, this begs the question: What of this “might”? Might we be kings? Might we be rich one day? – Of course we might !! – but we might not.

    The DEGREE OF CERTAINTY we have then is not very high – and so we will want to backslide into “belief” at some stage on this journey – nothing wrong with a consensus of belief – but only if we are prepared to call it religious – or (at best) “bad science”.

    Without wishing to diminish the significance of anecdotal evidence as to the therapeutic effects of participating in many modes of yoga, (and the debilitating effects of perhaps as many others?) – to promote the (false?) hope of efficacy without evidence seems disingenuous, and in some cases contravenes British codes of advertising, and in the case of cancer – flies in the face of statute law (1939 Cancer Act).

    It would make better sense to stick to milder claims – such as “relieving tension” until we have critical research evidence for the efficacy of yoga therapy in the treatment of IBS, cancer and the other medical conditions.

    Until then, the BWY promotional literature, and literature found elsewhere within the “yoga therapy” field look dubious.

    There is some risk to the public when marketers create confusion as to what might one can expect from undertaking a course of yoga therapy, especially when compared to say, undertaking a course in some other yoga-related discipline that may well prove to be as effective (or ineffective) as a means of enjoying good health as this newly coined phrase, “yoga therapy”.

    • catharineh says:

      Thanks for your remarks Mat. I have attended Dr Gilmore’s lectures previously and the format they have taken in the past has been a. overview of a ailment / disease b. explanation of the physical manifestestion of the disease with signs and symptoms explained including images and diagrams to show / explain and c. discussion about contraindiciations/adaptations for postures and practices. I expect that these lectures will be the same.

      Have you written to the BWY with these concerns?

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