Great news in the ‘another way yoga is awesome’ dept. A recent study finds stroke victims benefit from yoga on a psychological, physical and confidence-boosting level, TIME magazine reports.
The study, published in the American Heart Association’s journal Stroke, involved 47 stroke survivors, mostly male veterans, who had had their stroke six months prior. The participants were still experiencing balance problems, which can be long-lasting after stroke, arising from injury to central brain structures and impaired senses. Difficulties with balance can lead to a higher risk of falls, further injury and continued disability.
The oldest patient was in his 90s. To qualify for the study, all the participants had to be able to stand on their own.
The patients were divided into three groups: one group participated in twice-weekly sessions of group yoga for eight weeks; another group, the “yoga-plus” group, met twice weekly for yoga and listened to relaxation recordings three times a week; and the control group received usual medical care, without yoga rehabilitation.
“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,” says Dr. Schmid [one of the study's authors]. “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.”
Amazing what a little yoga can do. The next time someone asks you why you do yoga, tell them it’s not all about the stretchy pants.
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