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Yoga Therapy Case Studies 

Here are some recent stories about people who I have worked with that have benefitted from yoga therapy. In each case, yoga has supported the whole individual, with practices to support their physical and mental health needs. All these personal stories are real but the names have been changed and images used are illustrative, to protect confidentiality. Get ready to learn how yoga therapy can help you too.

Senior Woman

Vicky's story: Asthma, painful knees and bereavement

“I'm much more aware of my breathing day to day and can focus on deeper breathing to calm and focus myself which is great. I have a significantly improved lung capacity which I am hoping will help me fend off future bouts of lung infections. Yoga has helped raise my awareness of different aspects of my body that are affected when moving, and I am starting to use this to help ease my return to running. Overall, I feel stronger and more confident in myself too as a result, with stronger legs and core muscles.”


Vicky felt tired and drained from asthma and her habitual, shallow breathing. She got frequent chest infections, was regularly on antibiotics and had some ongoing knee problems due to a  running injury. Vicky had also recently lost her mum, was grieving and felt she had neglected herself due to her caring responsibilities.  She described feeling generally very run down, like she was ‘hovering with her feet off the ground’ and was permanently wired and anxious.


Vicky had practiced some yoga before but nothing regularly for a long time and she wanted to explore how yoga therapy could help her improve her physical and mental health.


Together we set measurable goals to achieve over the course of 5 yoga therapy sessions, to:

  • Double her regular lung capacity by lengthening her breathing cycles and to feel comfortable when exercising and not breathless - achieved by session 3.

  • Feel more grounded and in control of her life, achieved by session 5.  



At the end of the sessions, Vicky had a toolbox of different yoga practices to use whether she’s on or off the yoga mat, to continue improving her breathing, and feel strong and grounded.


Sammy's story: Breast cancer recovery, stress and anxiety management

“Yoga therapy has helped me to relax, stretch my body, feel energised and boost my moods. I didn’t appreciate the power of yoga before and coming to the sessions makes me feel nurtured and calm. I now practice yoga at home every day and this has been great for my scar tissue post-surgery. Yoga therapy has definitely improved my overall wellbeing – both physically and mentally. Thanks Lesley!”

Smiling Portrait


Claire had just finished a lengthy course of chemotherapy and radiotherapy. She'd had a lumpectomy and lymph node removal and taking a lot of oestrogen suppressing medication. Claire was experiencing very severe stress, severe anxiety and moderate depression. She wasnt sleeping and felt permanently exhausted, emotional and struggling to balance her challenging job with the recovery process. She described feeling totally out of control, would get palpitations due to anxiety, and felt that her cancer was controlling her life. She was frightened about the future.


Claire had no previous experience of yoga but her consultant had suggested it would help her regain strength and manage her anxiety. Due to her physical exhaustion and delicate scar tissue we took things very slowly, starting with gentle practices that she could even do in bed.


Together we set measurable goals to achieve over the course of 5 yoga therapy sessions, to:

  • Reduce her scores for stress, anxiety and depression to normal levels (measured using a DASS21 questionnaire before and after therapy.

  • Improve her sleep quality to enjoy a full seven hours of sleep for 3 nights out of every 7.

  • Both these goals were achieved and Claire felt much stronger physically and mentally after the course.



At the end of the sessions, Claire said she felt she could move on after the surgery and treatment, feeling much more optimistic about life. She booked herself a beach holiday to celebrate and now regularly sends me photos of where she practices her yoga in different places.

During our last session she told me that she feels so much stronger and she practices yoga with gratitude, feeling happy to be alive and to move her body. She feels less stressed, has learned to pace herself and that yoga is a great distraction to help her.

Mature Woman

Jana's story: Menopause and insomnia

"Yoga therapy was very relaxing, it gave me some ‘me’ time as well as focussing on the breath and poses, which was quite liberating. It was good to talk through my issues and Lesley was very empathetic and skilled at finding the right yoga tools to help me.  Overall it has a been a really positive experience and I will continue my yoga practice as it has been transformative!"


Jana had a very difficult experience during the Covid lockdown, finding herself unemployed and facing financial difficulties. She moved to a new area, faced strains in her relationship and was suffering with many peri-menopause symptoms - hot flushes, brain fog, poor sleep, mood swings. An assessment showed she had severe depression, severe stress and moderate anxiety. Poor sleep meant she woke feeling tired and groggy. Jana felt less productive than she should be at work, which created stress in the evenings and at night she would wake up worrying about her to-do list and couldn't drop back off. It was a negative cycle and the stress mixed with depression was resulting her becoming socially isolated.​ Although Jana was taking HRT but she needed something else in addition, which yoga therapy offered.


Jana had been to vinyasa yoga classes but hadn't really developed a home practice. She was a morning person and we developed an energising daily routine to help set herself up for a productive day and combat night time worries. Over time the practice became stronger, supporting her running and she started sleeping better.


Together we set measurable goals to achieve over the course of 5 yoga therapy sessions, to:

  • Reduce feelings of stress and depression from the severe levels - measured using a DASS21 survey - achieved after session 3

  • Enjoy better sleep quality, with at least 1 night per week of unbroken sleep over a 7 day period - achieved after session 4

  • Reduce isolation and boost wellbeing, making time to see friends once a week - consistently achieved.



At the end of the sessions, Jana was sleeping better, feeling happier and was getting along with her partner better. Stress and depression was being measured at normal levels and she was no longer waking up worrying about work in the middle of the night. Jana used yogic breathing techniques to help herself remain calm and she had short yoga practices as movement breaks, to help her stay focused and be as productive as possible. She was busy planning a move to the seaside for a complete lifestyle change.

Do these stories resonate with you? Could you benefit from yoga therapy?

Get in touch for a confidential discussion to learn more

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