The heir to Britain’s throne, Prince Charles, has spoken out in favour of wider use of yoga by the UK’s state-funded National Health Service (NHS) as a means to ease the pressure on healthcare resources.

The 70-year-old royal, known for his support for alternative therapies, came out in favour of yoga in a written message to the Yoga in Healthcare conference in London over the weekend.

“The development of therapeutic, evidence-based yoga is, I believe, an excellent example of how yoga can contribute to health and healing,” said Charles, the Prince of Wales.

“For thousands of years, millions of people have experienced yoga’s ability to improve their lives. This not only benefits the individual, but also conserves precious and expensive health resources for others where and when they are most needed.”

Multi benefits

Queen Elizabeth II’s son and heir expressed his support for more yoga classes because he said they not only had tremendous social benefits but also built “discipline, self-reliance and self-care.”

“I will watch the development of therapeutic yoga in the UK with great interest and very much look forward to hearing about the outcomes from your conference,” he said.

The Yoga in Healthcare Alliance was set up with a mission to make yoga more accessible and collaborates with the NHS to create a model to help integrate yoga into healthcare systems.

The conference, held at the University of Westminster in London from February 15-17, brought together opinion leaders and pioneers in yoga research, health policy, and government to address integration of yoga into the NHS.