Many stroke patients have found a new and effective addition to their recovery regimen: yoga! Created nearly 10,000 years ago, yoga has provided health and reflection to its practitioners throughout the centuries. It only makes sense that stroke patients are now gleaning these health benefits as well.
The following will explore just a few reasons why yoga therapy is a formidable asset to stroke recovery!
Yoga Promotes Total Body Awareness
One of the main components of yoga is to promote an understanding of the body as a fully connected apparatus. When in poses, patients are encouraged to check in with the whole body, and not focus on just one component.
For stroke patients, this total body awareness is beneficial for furthering daily recovery. The awareness can help patients better articulate their spasticity, compromised sensation, and muscle weakness. With a better understanding of where their body is that day, they can use their recovery time in a more effective manner.
Yoga Promotes Balance Practice
For stroke patients, yoga’s ability to help improve balance is especially helpful. According to a study released by Physical Therapy Journal, nearly 83% of stroke survivors suffer balance impairment after a stroke. Thus, adopting a regular balance practice is beneficial to stroke survivors.
This theory was proven in a 2012 study published for the American Heart Association’s journal. The study found that stroke patients who regularly practiced yoga “demonstrated significant improvement in balance.”
This correlation could be because a large component of yoga is balancing poses. These can be standing, sitting, or even kneeling! The overall goal is to use total body awareness to find that sweet spot that maintains equilibrium. Thus, through practicing regular yoga, stroke patients are given a pathway towards finding balance!
Yoga Strengthens the Connection Between Mind and Body
A huge benefit of yoga for stroke rehabilitation is the strengthening of mind-body movement. One of the main tenets of stroke recovery is facilitating a reconnection between the mind and the body.
When someone has suffered a stroke, they have actively lost oxygen supply to the brain. This lack of nutrients causes the brain cells to die and any neural control to be lost in the process.
Through yoga, patients are given daily exercises for fostering that reconnection. Through regular mind-body movements, stroke patients can work on the repetition and rebuilding of what has been lost!
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