By: Yassmine ElSayed
CAIRO, Mar. 27 (SEE) – Recent researches showed that the benefits of yoga for stroke recovery are huge. ‘SEE’ provides you in this piece, 5 of these benefits, that might surprise you.
But first, it is important to define yoga, as most people have the wrong understanding of what it is really about. Yoga is about so much more than cool-looking poses. In fact, poses are only a small part of yoga.
According to a news story published by ‘Flint Rehab’, Yoga involves a combination of poses, meditation, breathing, and relaxation techniques. It’s about fostering your mind/body connection, and it’s really beneficial for stroke recovery.
Here are 5 benefits of yoga for stroke recovery:
- Yoga Helps Rewire the Brain:
Yoga is therapeutic for stroke recovery because of the intense focus and attention required.
Each movement is (ideally) very deliberate, and that extra stimulation can really wake up your brain.
Your brain gets an extra push that says, “Yes, we’re moving! Let’s get better at this skill.”
Then, the rewiring process begins – perhaps more intensely than regular rehab exercise because of all the extra awareness and attention.
- Yoga Helps Stroke Survivors with Balance, Range of Motion, Strength, and Endurance:
In a study made in 2014, 37 stroke survivors participated in yoga twice a week for 8 weeks.
By the end of those 8 weeks, the stroke survivors improved their pain, neck range of motion, passive hip range of motion, upper extremity strength, and endurance.
To improve your safety, modify all your yoga poses to suit your ability level (more on this later). Also, be sure to practice with a caregiver around or work with a therapist.
However, if you are a stroke survivor with impaired movement and balance, then yoga can be potentially dangerous.
- Yoga Can Unintentionally Help with Your Gait!
The mobility issues that stroke survivors face often lead to balance issues and poor gait (your manner of walking). In another study on yoga for stroke recovery, researchers discovered that yoga helped stroke survivors improve both balance and gait speed.
The quality of their gait improved with longer steps and better coordination.
Best of all, the study didn’t even intend to discover a correlation between yoga and gait improvement.
If you want to improve your movement, balance, and gait, then we recommend adding yoga to your rehabilitation as soon as possible – with proper guidance and care.
- Yoga Can Be Modified to All Stages of Recovery:
Yoga is also great for stroke recovery because it can be tailored to almost any stage of recovery. Even if you have paralysis, you can start with meditation and mental practice.
If you have some mobility impairments, you can try starting with chair yoga or using props to support your poses.
- Yoga Helps You Remember to Stop Holding Your Breath While You Exercise:
We all know that breathing is good, especially when we’re exercising. This is obvious.
An unintentional mistake that stroke survivors often make is holding their breath while they exercise.
Because movement requires so much more effort than before, it can cause you to subconsciously hold your breath while you do your rehab exercises.
Luckily, yoga places a heavy emphasis on linking breath to movement. Breathe in, move one way. Breathe out, move another way.
This extra emphasis on your breath will help you remember to breathe when you’re doing rehab – and when you’re going about your daily life!