Parkinson’s disease is a chronic degenerative disease common in the elderly. In addition to following the instructions of the doctor, it is also very helpful to maintain a daily routine of yoga to support the treatment of Parkinson’s disease.
Parkinson’s is a degenerative disorder of the central nervous system that can affect movement, balance, and muscle control. Characteristic symptoms of the disease are often muscle stiffness, tremors, abnormal walking, standing, slow movement, and even loss of some motor functions.
Yoga is one of the exercises for people with Parkinson’s disease. To understand more about yoga to support Parkinson’s treatment, please join easyhealthylive.com through the sharing below.
How does yoga help with Parkinson’s disease?
Yoga is a health exercise that has the effect of increasing muscle strength, body flexibility and especially non-competitiveness. Yoga can be practiced at home, in class or in clubs and can be easily adjusted to suit each person’s physical requirements. Therefore, for people with Parkinson’s, yoga will help them increase concentration, stretch muscles, improve coordination and balance, and bring relaxation to the body and mind. In addition, people with Parkinson’s will also better understand the capabilities of the body through yoga exercises.
What yoga exercises should people with Parkinson’s do?
Here are some yoga exercises that doctors recommend people with Parkinson’s should practice every day to promote health and improve symptoms:
- Postures that stretch and relax muscles such as forward bends
- Variations of Grasshopper Pose to strengthen the abdominal muscles, while expanding the shoulders and chest
- Exercises to help you forget about Parkinson’s tremors, such as meditation and mantras
- Breathing exercises to relax the body and balance the mind, stimulate the parasympathetic nervous system
- Sit or lean against a wall for stability.
During exercise, people with Parkinson’s can use ropes, bricks or support cushions to make it easier to perform poses.
>>> See more: Learn about rage yoga – A new type of yoga
10 yoga poses to help treat Parkinson’s disease
easyhealthylive.com has collected 10 basic and simple yoga movements that can bring great effects to Parkinson’s patients:
1. Mountain Pose
Mountain pose can help improve balance and gait and standing. Not only that, this pose also helps strengthen the thighs, knees, and ankles and can help relieve sciatica.
- Stand straight, big toes touching, heels slightly apart.
- Hands relaxed along the sides of the body, palms facing forward
- Adjust the width of the feet and the position of the arms for the best balance
- Feel an energy flow from your ankles to the top of your head
- Relax your shoulders and expand your chest
- Hold the pose for about 1 minute.
2. Palm tree pose
This is a standing pose that can help improve your gait, standing, and balance. In addition, it also works to stretch the shoulders and armpits and can relieve back pain.
- From mountain pose, raise your arms straight up to the ceiling, arms shoulder width apart
- Touch your palms together to form an overhead prayer pose, relaxing your shoulders
- Feel the energy run from your ankles through your spine and out through the top of your head.
- Relax the back of the neck, eyes towards the thumb
- Breathe deeply and hold the pose for about 1 minute.
3. Bend forward is a yoga pose that supports Parkinson’s treatment
The forward bend can help strengthen the legs, knees, and hips. Not only that, this pose is also known to be very effective in reducing stress and anxiety.
- Stand up straight on the mat
- Bend the hips forward, while stretching the spine
- Put your hands in a comfortable position
- You can bend your knees slightly
- Focus on releasing tension in the lower back and hips
- Squeeze your chin in your chest and let your head fall to the floor
- Hold the pose for about 1 minute.
4. Warrior Pose 2
This is a classic standing pose. Warrior Pose 2 strengthens the legs and ankles and increases stamina. Not only that, but it’s also a great way to stretch your chest, shoulders, and groin.
- To make the exercise easier, you can do it from mountain pose, then step your left foot back with your toes facing out.
- Keep right foot forward.
- Raise your arms so that they are parallel to the floor with your palms facing down
- Slowly bend your right knee forward
- Make sure your knees and ankles are in line
- Press firmly on the feet, while stretching the spine
- Looking at the tips of the fingers first
- Hold the pose for about 30 seconds and then switch sides.
5. Tree Pose
This is a classic balance pose that strengthens the ankles, legs, and spine and stretches the thighs, chest, and shoulders. The tree pose can help improve balance and help relieve sciatica, so it is a very good yoga posture to support Parkinson’s disease.
- Stand near a chair or wall for support
- Put weight on left foot
- Bring your right foot to your left ankle, calf, or thigh but avoid putting it on the knee.
- Raise your arms to hip level in a prayer position in front of your chest or overhead.
- Focus on one point in front of you
- Hold the pose for about 1 minute and then switch sides.
6. Grasshopper Pose
Grasshopper pose is a yoga movement that supports the most effective treatment of Parkinson’s disease. This is a gentle back bend that can help strengthen the upper body, spine, and thighs. In addition, it also helps stimulate the organs in the abdomen, helping to relieve indigestion, bloating and constipation.
- Lie on your stomach, arms along your body with palms facing up
- Bring the big toes together and turn the heel slightly outward
- Place your forehead gently on the floor
- Raise your head, chest and arms as much as you can
- You can lift your feet up if you feel comfortable
- Looking straight ahead or slightly upward
- Hold the pose for about 1 minute.
7. Child Pose
This is a great resting pose that gently stretches the hips, thighs, and ankles, thereby helping to relieve tension and back pain. Not only that, the child’s pose also works to support Parkinson’s treatment by calming the mind, reducing stress and fatigue for the patient.
- Sit on heels, knees a distance apart
- You can place a pad underneath your butt for support.
- Straighten your arms, and at the same time bend your hips forward
- Keep your arms extended in front of you or place your arms along your body
- Forehead touches the carpet, chest falls to the knees when taking a deep breath
- Release the tension in the body
- Relax in this pose for about 5 minutes.
8. Fixed angle position lying on the back
The supine fixed angle position stretches and increases flexibility in the inner thighs, groin, and knees. Not only that, this pose also works to stimulate the organs in the abdomen, heart, and improve blood circulation.
- Lie on your back, place the soles of your feet together, and extend your knees
- Align the body so that the spine, neck and head are in alignment
- You can place a folded towel or pillow underneath your knees, shoulders, and feet for support.
- Place your arm in a position where you feel comfortable
- Relax the area around the hips and thighs
- Hold the pose for about 10 minutes.
9. Pose with feet on the wall
This is a gentle inversion pose that stretches and increases flexibility in the neck, front torso, and hind legs, and is a yoga pose that helps treat Parkinson’s disease. In addition, the foot up the wall pose can also help relieve back pain and aid digestion.
- Sit on the floor with your shoulders facing the wall.
- Lie on your back, while stretching your legs along the wall. The body should form a 90 degree angle to the wall.
- If possible, keep your butt close to the wall
- You can place a folded blanket underneath your hips for support
- Keep your spine and neck in a straight line
- Place your arm where you feel most comfortable
- Breathe deeply and let your body relax.
- Hold the pose for about 15 minutes.
10. Corpse Pose
Corpse pose is often done at the end of a workout to help relieve stress. In addition, it also helps to relieve headaches, fatigue and insomnia.
- Lie on your back on the mat, with your hands along your body with your palms facing up.
- Feet slightly wider than hips, toes sticking out to the side
- Adjust the body so that the spine, neck and head are in alignment
- Relax your body completely
- Hold this pose for 10-20 minutes.
According to the results of a 2013 review, practicing yoga can help improve motor function, balance, and lower limb strength in people with Parkinson’s disease. In addition, people with Parkinson’s who practice yoga also feel better and sleep better. Not only that, a small 2015 study found that yoga can help reduce blood pressure and tremors in people with Parkinson’s, and improve lung capacity.
Practicing yoga supports Parkinson’s treatment, however, before practicing, patients should still consult their doctor for some detailed instructions. And don’t forget to download easyhealthylive.com to your device for proper yoga instruction by professional yoga teachers.
Yoga for Parkinson’s Disease: 10 Poses to Try, Why It Works, and More https://www.healthline.com/health/parkinsons/yoga-for-parkinsons Accessed: September 22, 2020
John Alen was born in 1971 and is a doctor in the healthcare and psychology fields with many years of experience. He is currently working at easyhealthylive.com, a leading health and psychology blog. Having studied at Y1 National Medical University named after IM Sechenov, John Alen is using his knowledge and experience to help improve the physical and mental health of people in the United States.