Benefits of Yoga for Parkinson's

Yoga is one of the best exercise programs for Parkinson’s Diagnosis. Multiple studies show that adding Yoga into your treatment plan can be beneficial for various reasons. According to the Parkinson’s Foundation for the National Capital Area, “Recent research has shown that yoga is a powerful complementary therapy for Parkinson’s Disease.” Let’s first start by freeing your mind of any myths associated with Yoga.

Myth #1: I need to be flexible to do Yoga. The truth is, the more inflexible you are, the more you need Yoga. Yoga uses straps, chairs, blocks, and straps to modify for those who struggle with joint mobility issues. The more you practice Yoga, the more flexibility and joint mobility you will gain. This will translate into your day-to-day life by improving your posture and decreasing chronic pain levels.



Myth #2: Yoga is a religion: The practice of Yoga is NOT a religion. It originated in ancient India but is not associated with Hinduism. You can do Yoga no matter what your spiritual belief. There can be a spiritual side to Yoga, but you do not need to participate in it.

Yoga is individualized per person and will support the needs of that individual. It is all about the intention while practicing Yoga.


Myth #3: I need to perfect the pose: Yoga is a practice. There is no perfection. You can gain strength and improve your form; however, each pose will unveil new areas of the body that need to be worked on. Yoga is about awareness of your body day to day. Some days and some poses will be better than others, and that is okay!


Yoga as a practice:

The practice of Yoga includes multiple dimensions. Yoga practice includes meditation/rest (Nidra), poses (Asanas), Flow (Vinyasa), alignment (Iyengar), and breathwork (Pranayama). There are multiple branches and styles of Yoga. It is essential not to become overwhelmed with which style is best for you. Explore, experiment, and keep showing up to practice. In time, you will find what fits best with your body and your mind. Yoga is a journey and is called a practice for a reason. Where Yoga comes into play is in your acceptance of where you are physically and not comparing yourself to others.


Benefits of Yoga:

Yoga offers more benefits than improved flexibility. In Yoga, you will learn to control your breath better, improve strength, decrease stress, improve your posture, and according to studies, improve your dopamine release. Studies show that meditation alone can enhance your dopamine release by 65%. Yoga can also decrease anxiety, depression and increase your overall well-being. Specific to Parkinson’s, the combination of Yoga and Tai chi can improve your lung capacity, postural stability, balance, gait speed and enhance the ability to initiate movement. Here is a list of additional conditions improved by Yoga: Alcoholism, arthritis, asthma, back pain, cancer, diabetes, ulcers, heart disease, high blood pressure, insomnia, migraine, neurological disease, obesity, and smoking, according to Yoga as Medicine.

What to wear

Loose-fitting, comfortable clothes. No shoes or socks required.


Equipment

Minimal equipment is needed for Yoga; pillows, blocks, no-slip yoga mat, chair for modifications.


Wellness 360 now offers yoga therapy. Enjoy restorative yoga poses, stretching, and massage. Restorative Yoga provides supported poses held with bolsters, pillows, and straps. If you are looking for a safe way to start a yoga program set up your appointment today! Email Beth at beth@wellness360fitness.com for an appointment or call 585-730-3968.

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