Results of a recent study suggest performing yoga regularly can help people who have had a stroke regain their balance, stop them falling over and maintain their independence.
Researchers at the University of Indiana in the United States found stroke victims who took part in an eight-week yoga course went on to display better balance than those who had not. They also reported feeling more able in their lives as a whole.
The study examined results in 47 people who had suffered a stroke at least six months before the trial commenced.
Strokes often cause partial paralysis down one side of the body, and patients tend to be offered short-term rehabilitation to help them walk again and regain other physical functions.
However, longer-term rehabilitation is rare, both because it is costly and due to the assumption that there is a limited period of time for the brain to ‘rewire’ itself after a stroke. In Britain, for example, few receive rehabilitation for longer than 12 months after the event.
Therefore researchers conducting this study wanted to examine the effects of yoga classes on those who had suffered a stroke some time ago.
They randomly assigned participants, all of whom could stand unaided, to one of three groups – two yoga groups and one who received usual care. The oldest participant was 90.
Those in the yoga groups took part in classes that gradually got more difficult.
Tests found people in the yoga groups had better balance, less fear of falling, were more independent and happier with their lives than those who did not do yoga.
To read more visit: The Daily Telegraph