The British Wheel of Yoga West Midlands

A Call to Action: Help Make the BWY Dementia-Friendly

A Call to Action: Help Make the BWY Dementia-Friendly

Become a Dementia Friend by Watching Videos click to access videos
Code: BWY123
Number: 1 (or more if friends watch the videos with you)
Postcode: Your Postcode.

Become a Dementia Friend by Information Session
click to locate session close to you

Please email to let us know you’ve become a ‘friend’

Become a Champion ‐
click to find a 6 hour training day near you

Please email to say you’ve become a ‘champion’ and to give update on how many friends you recruit.

BWY National Focus Group on Older People and Age-Related Conditions such as Dementia

Please email if you would like to share your thoughts with the focus group members below.

‘I have, for many years felt that Yoga and in particular BWY should be putting more into the health of the nation with a much higher profile. Dementia as a growing issue both in the UK and worldwide and I feel that Yoga could have a unique ability to make a positive impact in this field. It is for me a great privilege to be part of the initial development of this programme’. John Parry, Regional Treasurer, South West Region.

‘I believe as a community we need to understand and promote awareness of Dementia and ensure we work together to support each and every person affected by it.’ Richard Kravetz, BWY teacher, Special Yoga Centre.

‘Dementia is an issue that is very close to my heart and I truly believe it is vital that we do everything we can to get people talking about a condition that affects so many people across the UK.’ Pauline Fleming, BWYT Vice-Chair

‘The Champion Training was very valuable interactive training which inspired me – in a karma yoga way – to be more compassionate about the problems faced by people with dementia and their carers, more proactive in helping to make the world more dementia-friendly by setting up and delivering Information Sessions to the general public, and more confident in my knowledge and ability to lead the Dementia Friends Information Sessions.’  Laura Bissell, BWY DCT, Yorkshire Yoga & Therapy Centre.

‘I am looking forward to being part of this valuable project.’ Angela Thompson, Regional Officer, Eastern Region.

A Call to Action: Help Make the BWY Dementia-Friendly

It is inevitable that Dementia will touch us all at some time in our lives. There are currently over 800,000 people in the UK living with dementia and around 700,000 family members and friends who deal with the challenges of being a primary carer.

A recent survey by the Alzheimer’s Society discovered that less than half of us feel we have a good understanding of the condition. It is this vacuum that The British Wheel of Yoga wish to address by developing a nationwide initiative to promote more awareness of Dementia and to examine ways we can help as an organisation.

At this year’s BWY Congress the keynote speaker Pandit Rajmani Tiguanit (the Spiritual Head of the Himalayan International Institute) expressed that the yoga world needs to go beyond the asana-dominated field of yoga and address some of our more current needs.

He stated on the subject of Dementia “…Let us take the concerns that we face today related to Alzheimer’s and Dementia. We can see that something unique is happening in our society today and it is happening throughout the world.

Today we yogis can really make a contribution to finding an answer for problems like Dementia provided we pay attention to three things.

  1. Look into the broader pool of yoga, bring it forward and present it to our community
  2. Bring scientific discovery to yoga and bring yoga to scientific discovery
  3. Use modern technology to bring yoga therapy to the world.

These statements resonated strongly with me as 24 hours earlier I stood up at the Annual General Meeting to express my thoughts that The British Wheel of Yoga should be addressing the major issue of ageing and how the yoga community can help this growing population. This also resonated with the NEC who agreed to form a working party comprising Pauline Fleming, Laura Bissell, Richard Kravetz and John Parry who met in London to discuss and formulate a strategy.

The result is that the BWY National Executive Committee agreed to initiate and embrace change in line with the ethos of Yoga principles, and to embellish the fundamentals of Karma Yoga in Action, by promoting Dementia friendly communities and by asking BWY teachers and members to become “Dementia Friends/Champions”

Consequently, the BWY has now registered with the Alzheimer’s Society as a Dementia Friends organisation and set a target to recruit Dementia Friends and Dementia Friends Champions who can lead Dementia Friends Information sessions.

Dementia Friends is a social action movement run by the Alzheimer`s society that aims to give people an understanding of Dementia, and the small things we can all do that could make a difference to people living with dementia in our communities. You can become a Dementia Friend by watching information videos listed above this text.

The objective is to promote awareness and action — for example, when a student needs extra help in a yoga class or when answering confusing queries on the phone or during completion of a form before class starts … there are a myriad of situations where we as BWY members can and should provide support!

We invite members to share their experiences, teachers to help promote Dementia friendly classes for individuals with dementia and/or carers, and Regional Officers and DCTs to instigate dementia friendly initiatives in their area (email

Yoga principles have so much to offer communities in need and the larger picture is one of an ageing population where physical and cognitive changes need to be addressed in a pro-active and compassionate manner. By inviting change and instilling the principles of yama/niyama, we can ensure that those living with dementia and their carers live well and enjoy life to the full.

It is the purpose of this initiative to work together to support each and every one of us affected by Dementia. This is the first part of a larger initiative which will be formulated after feedback from our initial findings.

Our vision is for the BWY to be a Dementia Friendly community-one that shows a high level of public awareness and understanding so that people living with the condition are encouraged to seek help and are supported accordingly.

BWY Central Office (Registered address) British Wheel of Yoga 25 Jermyn Street SLEAFORD NG34 7RU
Email: BWY Central Office Telephone: 01529 306851 Registered Charity No. 1136674 registered in the UK