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International Day Of Yoga 2022: Beneficial Yoga Poses For People With Parkinson’s Disease

People with Parkinson's disease have limitations in motor function, postural control, functional gait and balance. These limitations may cause serious consequences such as higher incidences of falls [1] and a decrease in the quality of life. [2]

Yoga may help people with Parkinson's disease improve their functional deficits. According to a study, yoga may help PD patients with functional mobility, motor functions, anxiety, depression, balance and increase their quality of life. [3]

Here are some of the yoga poses for people with Parkinson's disease.

1. Raised hand pose (Urdhva Hastasana)

Raised hand pose yoga helps strengthen the shoulders and arms and may help relieve back pain, along with major improvement in balance and posture.

How to do:

  • Raise the hands above the head and position them in line with the ears.
  • Make sure the palms are facing each other.
  • Take the hands backwards and join the palms in a prayer position.
  • Simultaneously, relax the neck and turn the gaze up towards the thumb.
  • Breathe deeply for up to one minute in this position, and then release the arms.
  • Repeat 10-15 times.

2. Locust pose (Salabhasana)

Locust Pose yoga may help improve the back and core muscles while increasing spinal mobility to carry out daily tasks like sitting. The yoga pose can also help improve the posture and prevent slouching.

How to do:

  • Lie down on the stomach with arms beside the body and palms facing down.
  • Bring the thumb toes together, press all the ten toenails against the ground and turn the heels out slightly.
  • Gently place the forehead on the floor.
  • Lift the head, chest and arms partially or completely, pressing the hands lightly on the mat.
  • Make sure to put the weight on the lower ribs, stomach and pelvis.
  • Maintain a forward or slightly upward gaze.
  • Hold this pose for a minute and relax slowly.
  • Repeat the process 10 times.

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3. Seated Forward Bend (Paschimottanasana)

Iyengar yoga is a yoga style that focuses on the structural alignment of the body. Seated forward bend yoga or Paschimottanasana is a type of Iyengar yoga that helps massage the shoulders, spine, arms and abdominal region and helps maintain motor functions of the body.

How to do:

  • Begin by sitting on the edge of a folded blanket with legs straight and feet upright.
  • Inhale and stretch the arms out to the sides and up over the head, reaching for the ceiling.
  • Exhale and lean forward from the hips while keeping the front torso long, and hands towards the feet.
  • Deepen the forward bend with each exhalation.
  • Consider the belly coming to rest on the thighs instead of the nose coming to rest on the knees. This will assist in keeping the spine long.
  • After reaching full extension of the spine, decide whether to stay in the position or round the spine more in the forward direction.
  • Hold the pose for 1-3 minutes.
  • Release the position slowly and repeat.

4. Mountain pose (Tadasana)

Mountain pose is a type of hatha yoga or yoga that may help improve posture and balance by strengthening the knees, ankles and thighs.

How to do:

  • Place the thumbs of the toes together and the heels slightly apart.
  • Place the arms loosely over the sides and palms facing forward.
  • Adjust the width of the feet and the position of the arms to maintain the balance.
  • Lift up and spread the toes, and then come down slowly, like swaying back and forth.
  • You can either remain still or shift the weight forward and backward, as well as side to side.
  • Feel an energy line running from the feet to the head.
  • If you are holding the position, hold it for a minute.

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To Conclude

Yoga may provide long-term benefits to people with Parkinson's disease if practised daily and correctly. This is why it is important to practice yoga under the supervision of an expert. It is also suggested to perform certain warm-up exercises before performing difficult yoga poses.

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