What is Dru Yoga?
Dru Yoga is one of the UK’s most popular forms of yoga. Dru Yoga is characterised by beautiful, gentle, flowing postures and movement sequences that release the energy blocks that often underlie painful emotions and dis-ease. The therapeutic physical movements of Dru Yoga are enhanced by the use of breathing techniques, mudras (hand gestures), affirmations, meditation and concentration techniques, visualization and relaxation. I have written a much more detailed explanation of Dru Yoga in my post entitled What is Dru Yoga?
Dru Yoga for Holistic Healing
Dru Yoga is a holistic approach to uplifting and healing your whole being. Dru Yoga is effective in not only maintaining optimum health but also as a complement to other therapies in treating a wide variety of health issues. Dru Yoga includes therapeutic stretches and postures to ease back pain, flowing movements designed to relieve stress, and breathing exercises which calm the mind. Whatever your yoga ambitions, you’ll find Dru Yoga a fresh, energetic, positive and complete approach to health and wellbeing.
Many people also practice Dru Yoga as a self-development tool.
‘Dru Yoga should be available in every GP surgery.’ ~ Dr Hilary Jones
How does Dru Yoga affect people’s lives?
In 2005 a survey, which was designed by psychiatrists and passed out to 450 Dru yoga practitioners all over the world, aimed to get a qualitative idea of how Dru Yoga affects people’s lives. Covering 34 physical and mental-emotional indicators, the results are remarkable:
- 89% of respondents said Dru Yoga helps them overcome stress,
- 93% are better able to handle negative thoughts and
- 83% are better able to handle their emotions.
- Over 84% experience a positive shift in their mood after practicing Dru Yoga
- Nearly 73% have a better ability to deal with conflict.
- Over 79% of people practicing Dru yoga who returned questionnaires experience higher levels of serenity.
- Over 79% report they are more patient and open with others.
- More than 82% feel more tolerant towards others and over 76% feel greater feelings of compassion for others.
- Nearly 74% report a positive improvement in their communication skills and over 74% report an improvement in their ability to handle relationships.
- Over 74% of people practicing Dru Yoga who returned questionnaires experience better family relationships.
- Nearly 68% experience better social relationships in general.
- 66% have better experiences in the workplace.
Physical energy and vitality
- 86% of respondents experience a boost in their energy levels
- 82 % of respondents notice an improvement in their strength and stamina.
- 92% of people report that their body awareness has improved.
- 72% of people experience a positive change in their back pain after doing Dru yoga.
- 93% of people who practice Dru Yoga experience greater flexibility of the joints and spine.
- 84% experience an improvement in overall body tension, a significant factor in decreasing back pain.
Dru Yoga is effective in boosting overall physical wellbeing
- 88% of people say their breathing has improved, while 86% say theirr balance is better.
- 69% mention that their sleep pattern is now better.
- About 80% of respondents experience a positive change in their physical wellbeing on one level or another.
- Over 72% found they were better able to change unhealthy lifestyle habits with Dru Yoga e.g. eating, smoking.
- Nearly 74% find they have a greater clarity of purpose when doing Dru Yoga.
- Over 81% feel more confident and 75% have more courage after doing regular Dru Yoga while about 72% feel more intuitive and creative.
- Nearly half of people even had others commenting on changes that they noticed in the person since they started Dru.
Remarkably, only 53% of respondents say they practice their yoga more than once every 5 days. It is worth considering what benefits could accrue from more regular practice!
Dru Yoga Reduces Workplace Stress
In 2008, a randomized controlled study showed that Dru Yoga is significantly effective for improving wellbeing and resilience to stress in the workplace. A team of researchers working at Bangor University found that a six week programme of Dru Yoga reduced anxiety and fatigue, while increasing emotional well-being and resilience to stress.
This research was particularly pertinent since at that time the latest figures from the HSE suggested that stress in the workplace cost the UK over £530 million per year, which equates to over 13 million ‘lost’ working days.
The study found that employees who practiced Dru techniques for six weeks reported feeling significantly:
- more confident in dealing with stress
- more energised
- more happy
- more clear-minded
- more agreeable
- more confident
- more composed
- more purpose and life satisfaction
…than the control group who did not practice Dru techniques.
Researchers conducted a randomized controlled study, (the first robust research done on yoga in the workplace) involving 48 university employees. They were either placed into a Dru Yoga programme, or wait-listed as the control group. The yoga group participated in a six week programme of Dru Yoga, which involved attending at least one weekly 60-minute class.
Results showed that the Dru Yoga group reported feeling significantly less anxious, unsure, confused, tired, and depressed than the control group who did not practice Dru Yoga.
In addition, the yoga group reported feeling more life purpose and satisfaction, and greater self-confidence during stressful situations. Study participant Eileen Price, Undergraduate Recruitment Administrator, said,
At the end of the first session I went back to the office with a much clearer head and renewed vigour – I could think more clearly, make better decisions and work more efficiently.
Researchers concluded that even a short program of Dru Yoga is effective for enhancing emotional well-being and resilience to stress in the workplace, and recommended that employers should consider offering yoga classes to their employees.
The complete research results can be viewed online in the Scandinavian Journal of Work, Environment & Health.
Dru Yoga Reduces Stress and Back Pain at Work
UK research, published in September 2012 in the Journal of Occupational Medicine, shows that Dru Yoga can reduce perceived stress and back pain at work.
Stress and back pain are two key factors leading to sickness absence at work, costing the British economy an estimated £17 billion per year. This study by researchers at Bangor University suggests to employers that wellbeing programs that include yoga can have a significant impact not only in reducing stress, but also in preventing back pain.
More than 80 participants in the study were recruited from Conwy County Council and randomized into a yoga group who received one 50-minute Dru Yoga session each week for 8 weeks along with a 20-minute DVD for home practice, and a control group who received no intervention.
When compared with the control group, the Dru Yoga group scores were significantly lower for perceived stress, back pain, sadness and hostility, and much higher for feeling self-assured, attentive and serene.
Susan Williams, a Community Engagement Officer for Conwy County Council who participated in the Dru Yoga group, said:
I found that the Dru Yoga programme had a positive influence on my level of confidence. I felt more in control, ready, aware, dynamic, even recognizing my own power. I was happier, and it was so much easier to manage my circumstances.
The study authors concluded:
The results indicate that a workplace yoga intervention can reduce perceived stress and back pain and improve psychological wellbeing.
Larger randomized controlled trials are needed to determine the broader efficacy of yoga for improving workplace productivity and reducing sickness absence.
The study was published on-line in September in the Journal of Occupational Medicine (Oxford University Press).