Move freely, breathe easier (formerly 'chair yoga')

Free chair yoga and a safe, sociable space for people over 60.

Especially for people who've experienced
or worry about age-related mistreatment,
from abuse to rip-offs and scams

Supported with grant funding from
Lewes Town Council
Barchester’s Charitable Foundation

Move freely, breathe easier is a Unity Centre initiative, running since 2022, to provide a series of free therapeutic sessions for people over 60 who live in Sussex, especially if they’ve experienced – or they’re worried about – being mistreated or taken advantage of because of their age. Each session provides an hour of chair yoga followed by a social (or quiet) time over tea and cake.

Age-related mistreatment can take many forms, centred around people thinking your age makes you vulnerable. It might be scams and rip-offs, perhaps in emails or online, or in ‘real’ life. It might be treatment that leaves you feeling neglected, left out of things or abandoned. It might be about someone taking financial advantage of you. It might be someone constantly putting you down. Or bullying you. Or it might be physical harm or abuse. Or maybe something we haven’t mentioned here .

And it might be something you’ve already experienced or something you worry about as you get older.

So we offer these free sessions designed to help people cope and also to share a nice, comforting time, with yoga, tea and cake (or biscuits) and good company.

Please read on to see how to apply.

In some circumstances we’re also able to help with transport costs. Please see below.

Chair yoga, July 2023

What’s in the sessions?

Chair yoga (and more)

The first hour is yoga, meditation and music created to help you relax and find a healing place, with a sense of physical, emotional and psychological safety. It includes gentle chair stretches, chair yoga and relaxation, as well as meditative techniques and breathing exercises with gentle music in a wonderfully relaxing environment.

When past experiences and worries about the future can sometimes leave you feeling disconnected, the yoga, meditation and breathing can help you to feel grounded and more secure.


After the chair yoga there’s time to relax with tea and cake (or biscuits) in a safe, social space. You may enjoy chatting and participating or you may prefer to sit quietly, soaking in the atmosphere. It may be that you’d like to talk about your experiences, worries or concerns in this friendly environment, where others know what you’re talking about and won’t judge you. But if you prefer not to join in, you’re equally welcome simply to be there and appreciate the company (and the tea and treats).

The length of these social sessions varies from month to month; they generally last between 30 minutes and an hour, depending on what people want, but of course you can leave whenever it suits you.

When and where are the sessions?

Thursday lunchtimes, once a month (most months) at The Unity Centre, Lewes. We’ll let you know exact dates after we’ve completed the application process with you.

With thanks

Move freely, breathe easier is made possible by the generous support of grant funding from Lewes Town Council and Barchester’s Charitable Foundation. We thank them both warmly.

We are also grateful to the Safer in Sussex Community Fund, kindly awarded by the Sussex Police and Crime Commissioner, for their previous support.

Move freely, breathe easier is provided by Unity Lewes CIC, the not-for-profit community interest company that runs The Unity Centre. Our ability to arrange subsidised and free community initiatives depends on the generosity and goodwill of grant-awarding bodies, our donors and our members, and from our hearts we thank you all.

If you would like to support our work through a donation (of whatever size, large or small) please visit our donations page.

The Unity Centre, Lewes   

Support with coming to the Centre

Help with the cost of transport to and from the Unity Centre, to attend sessions, is available to some. This might include transport for a carer where appropriate. Funding is limited, so it’s largely provided on a first come, first served basis.

Access to the Centre

At The Unity Centre we’re committed to accessibility. Although our beautiful Victorian architecture has given us steps for our main entrance, we have a second entrance that we’ve made accessible and wheelchair friendly. It’s step-free and the doorway is extra wide. Inside, everything’s on the ground floor, there are no steps and we have a large, accessible and wheelchair-friendly bathroom/toilet.

We also have a single disabled parking bay, right next to our accessible entrance. As we have just the one bay, we ask you please to call our friendly reception and reserve it, to avoid being disappointed when you arrive. Please also let us know if you’d like someone to help you when you arrive. Our phone number is 01273 778400.

If you’d like to know more about getting to the Centre, there’s additional travel information here.

How do I apply (or refer someone)?

Please complete the form below and we will get back to you within ten days, often sooner. If you have any questions or concerns, please email Sarah: Please note that Sarah works part-time, so she may not be able to answer you straight away.

To apply

Move freely, breathe easier application

Move freely, breathe easier application

Please confirm your email address
Are you applying for yourself or someone else?
If someone else, please tell us their name
If someone else, please tell us their name
Please tell us your home address (or, if you're applying for someone else, their home address)
Please tell us your home address (or, if you're applying for someone else, their home address)
Post code
Town or city
If you'd like help with the cost of transport, please tick
How did you hear about these CHAIR YOGA (or Breathe Easier) sessions?

How can I help?

If you would like to support our work through a donation (of whatever size, large or small) please visit our donations page.