Yoga = calm = practice = stretch = stamina
When I was out about two years after the stroke, I decided to take a yoga class. Our community had a weekly class. It was held by a woman named Kathleen who had been doing yoga for many years. I took the plunge and signed up and I was pleased. Kathleen as an instructor was excellent. That is important if you use an instructor. She allowed me to pace myself when my balance was off or the pose required a bit more stretch than I had. I continued the class for about three years. I’m glad I had the experience.
There are lots of reasons why yoga is a splendid pairing with your stroke rehabilitation. Yoga provides valuable self-administered or teacher-led options for your recovery. There are even Android and Apple apps for yoga which you can do it in your home, your chair, or your bed. There is even an app for yoga to do sessions with diseases like your stroke (WHO mYoga App).
You will find that yoga assists you with your stamina, range of motion, strength, and balance. In one study, evidence suggested the combination of breathing, postures, and mindfulness is better than just exercise. That is my association with yoga.
Yoga helps your walk (gait). When you are having issues with your mobility and balance, it affects your walking (gait). In another study, scientists discovered that yoga helped stroke patients improve both their gait speed and balance. A two-fer all wrapped up! They found that their gait improved with better coordination and a longer stride (typically shorter with stroke patients).
You can modify yoga with your stage of rehab. Even if you have paralysis, you can practice yoga with some simple poses and mental practice. You can use blocks and other props to support your poses.
Chair yoga is another method. You find that you improve your range of motion to start. You will find that yoga decreases your stress. A chair provides the stability while still allowing you to get in a workout. It is a wonderful way to start or end your day. Remember, have an intention during your session. That is true with whatever method you choose with yoga.
For your safety, ALWAYS modify your yoga poses to suit your ability level. If you are concerned, be sure to have a caregiver around. However, if you are a stroke warrior and have impaired movement and balance, then yoga can be potentially dangerous. That my disclaimer! If you aren’t doing yoga, you will improve your movement, balance, and gait with it. I strongly advise adding yoga to your rehabilitation soon.
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