Let's face it: yoga is pretty much good for everyone!
This is especially true now that we're hearing that the stretchy exercise (and breathing, of course) is great for those who have survived strokes!
One of the hardest things to regain after having a stroke is your balance, so it's exciting to hear that a new study in chronic stroke survivors shows that practicing yoga can improve balance in patients, which leads to more confidence to handle day-to-day activities and potentially reducing disability!
The study involved 47 stroke survivors, mostly male veterans, who had a stroke about 6 months prior and were still having balance issues. They all had to be able to stand on their own.
They were put into three groups: twice-weekly sessions of group yoga for eight weeks; twice weekly for yoga and listened to relaxation recordings three times a week; and usual medical care, without yoga rehabilitation.
Here's what happened:
'By the end of the eight weeks, those in the yoga and yoga plus groups had improved their balance on tests of standing, standing with their eyes closed, standing with their feet together and turning around 360 degrees, compared with patients in the control group. What’s more, the yoga participants also reported being less afraid of falling, feeling more independent and enjoying better quality of life.'
This was NOT a surprise to researchers:
“I think that yoga was so beneficial because it is complex and includes the mind and the body, and helps to coordinate movements and breathing. Many of the [participants] stated they wished they had done this type of intervention while in the hospital or just earlier in their life. They were able to use the breathing and meditation to help decrease stress.”
More people should be doing yoga — we're convinced!
Maybe just a few times a week?? It couldn't hurt!
[Image via AP Images.]