Investigations into the effects of yoga continue to turn up more benefits. This mind-body practice has long been used to relieve stress and improve emotional outlook. And now scientists have found that yoga can help stroke victims regain their balance.
In this study, at the Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis, yoga helped stroke victims even if they didn’t start doing yoga until six months after their strokes. Yoga was also more effective than other post-stroke exercises.
“For patients, like those in our study, natural recovery and acute rehabilitation therapy typically ends after six or, less frequently, 12 months,” says lead author Arlene Schmid. “We found that yoga exercises significantly extended rehabilitation beyond the first year after stroke.”
Yoga may be more therapeutic than traditional exercise because the combination of postures, breathing and meditation may produce different effects than simple exercise, adds Schmid.