Research on yoga and stroke rehabilitation

Our yoga and Pilates classes/sessions have become very popular and we plan to expand them in the future. Last year, one of our physios, Anne Harris, was invited to write an article that discussed using Yoga and Pilates with those living with and rehabbing from neurological conditions. The article was published in the current issue of Directions, the quarterly journal of the Physiotherapy Association of British Columbia. [Download the pdf file with this link]

One of the articles that Anne referenced in her article was a recent research paper by Garrett, Immink, and Hillier: Becoming connected: the lived experience of yoga participation after stroke (Disability and Rehabilitation, 2011; 22(25-26): 2404-2415). You can find the paper there, but the abstract is:

Purpose. To investigate the personal experiences and perceived outcomes of a yoga programme for stroke survivors.

Method. This article reports on a preliminary study using qualitative methods to investigate the personal experiences and perceived outcomes of a yoga programme. Nine individuals who had experienced stroke were interviewed following a 10-week yoga programme involving movement, breathing and meditation practices. An interpretative phenomenological approach was used to determine meanings attached to yoga participation as well as perceptions of outcomes.

Results. Interpretative themes evolving from the data were organised around a bio-psychosocial model of health benefits from yoga. Emergent themes from the analysis included: greater sensation; feeling calmer and becoming connected. These themes respectively revealed perceived physical improvements in terms of strength, range of movement or walking ability, an improved sense of calmness and the possibility for reconnecting and accepting a different body.

Conclusion. The study has generated original findings that suggest that from the perspective of people who have had a stroke yoga participation can provide a number of meaningful physical, psychological and social benefits and support the rationale for incorporating yoga and meditation-based practices into rehabilitation programmes.

If you are interested in our unique yoga/neuro-rehab courses offered here at Neuro-Ability, please take a look here at the Neuro-Ability Small-Group Exercise Course Link. Our next sessions will start up again in the fall. Feel free to email Anne Harris: classes@neuro-ability.ca.

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