From time to time, when resources permit, our group runs yoga classes.

Yoga means "union" and is the ancient science of unifying body, mind and emotions to bring health, balance and peace. Yoga postures harmonise the systems in the physical body, and breathing and relaxation practices calm the mind and increase energy levels.

Yoga is about awareness - being in the present moment using the body, breath and senses. To gain the maximum benefit it should be practised a little every day.

Below are three videos containing yoga practices from the Satyananda/Bihar School of Yoga tradition, which is a very spiritual and meditative approach, devised by Swami Satyananda Saraswati (see It is very good for stress management.

The teacher, Lilamurti (Lynn Parrott), is a trained Satyananda Yoga teacher (recognised and insured by the British Wheel of Yoga) and has been teaching yoga since 2000. She taught a weekly class for the South East London ME Support Group (then the Camberwell ME Support Group) several years ago. During that time she worked with the group to refine routines that would be suitable for ME sufferers. She teaches a gentle yoga class at the Satyananda Yoga Centre in Balham which is suitable for people with ME (

These yoga practices - postures (asanas), breathing (pranayama) and relaxation (Yoga Nidra) - are very gentle and suitable for beginners and people with ME. However if you wish to practise and have not done yoga before, you are advised to consult a qualified yoga teacher first. If you have a serious medical condition then please consult a doctor before practising. The teacher and the South East London ME Support Group cannot accept responsibility for any ill effects you experience from attempts to carry out these practices.

Because of the nature of ME, you may need to do fewer rounds or rest at some point. Listen to your body. Do not push yourself to complete postures if you start to feel exhausted. If possible practise on an empty stomach (two hours after a meal).

Most of the postures and breathing can be found in the book Asana Pranayama Mudra Bandha' by Swami Satyananda Saraswati (Bihar Yoga Bharati). More Yoga Nidra CDs are available from the Satyananda Yoga Centre London If you have an android phone (not iPhone) you can download the free Bihar Yoga App which has more practices on it.

The three attached videos are:
  • Shavasana - Short relaxation video of about 10 minutes.
Lie down - cover yourself with a blanket if you're cold. If you have a bad back bend your knees with feet on the floor near the buttocks or place cushions under your knees. Body awareness, senses, breath, abdominal breath.
Yoga - 10 Minute Relaxation:

  • Postures and breath - The second video is approximately 20 minutes long.
For people with a little experience of yoga and a bit more energy. This sequence could also be done after the last video if you want a longer practice.
  • Shavasana (lying relaxation) - abdominal breathing.
  • Leg raises - from lying. Be wary of this if you have back or neck problems.
  • Rocking and rolling (you should have padding under your spine).
  • Sunflower - from lying - raising arms and opening hips (take care if you have hip problems).
  • Cat (marjariasana) - good for the spine - on hands and knees.
  • Hare pose (shashankasana) - kneeling, with forehead on floor, arms above head on floor.
  • Tadasana - palm tree pose - standing balance, raising arms, raising yourself on your toes.
  • Breathing - Tibetan Bhramari. Sit in any comfortable way.
  • Inhale - palms together at heart, exhale and while humming bring your hands over your face, head and ears with a loving, nurturing attitude towards yourself. Very healing and calming.
Yoga - 20 Minute Session:

  • Breath and gentle stretching - the third video is 30 minutes long.
For complete beginners or if you are not feeling well - this can all be done from lying if necessary. It can be combined with the second video for a longer session.
  • 10 mins - Lying relaxation - breathing - abdominal, thoracic and complete yogic breath.
  • 20 mins - Pawanmuktasana Part 1 - joint movements - good for stiff joints and anxiety.
  • Sit (or lie). Toe bends, ankle bends, ankle rotations, knee bends, half butterfly.
  • Finger clench, wrist bends, wrist rotations, elbow bends, shoulder rotations, neck turns.
Yoga - 30 Minute Session:

  • Audio recording - Yoga Nidra - Deep Relaxation (25 mins).
Yoga Nidra was devised by Swami Satyananda Saraswati and recorded here by Lilamurti. It is a wonderful practice which brings physical, mental and emotional relaxation. Lie down - cover yourself with a blanket. Have a cushion under your head if necessary. If you have a bad back you can have your knees bent and feet on the floor near the buttocks, or cushions under your knees. Or you can lie on your side if you wish. Be warm and comfortable. Make sure you will not be disturbed. It can be done in bed to help you sleep.

Yoga Nidra