Yoga for Stroke Recovery - Yoga Practice Blog

Yoga for Stroke Recovery

yoga for stroke recoveryBy Sangeetha Saran

How does Yoga for stroke recovery work? Yoga is considered by medical professionals to be one of the leading forms of alternative therapy. Additionally, studies show that yoga may be especially useful in the recovery of stroke victims. Granted, generalizations based on results from past studies may be beneficial. However, recovery from strokes is a specialized area determined by individual needs. In the meantime, people recovering from strokes should do their research before deciding on a Yoga class.


How and Why

Firstly, according to the Mayo Clinic, a stroke occurs when the supply of blood to the brain is blocked and destroys tissue in the brain. Secondly, an ischemic stroke, the most common type, stems from an obstructed artery. Thirdly, a hemorrhagic stroke results from a ruptured or leaking blood vessel. Finally, there is a TIA, or transient ischemic attack. The TIA is a less severe form of stroke, which temporarily disrupts the blood flow to the brain.



Strokes result from a variety of causes, such as weak spots in the walls of blood vessels or uncontrolled high blood pressure. Less frequently, they are caused by birth defects resulting in tangles of blood vessels with thin walls. Furthermore, low potassium levels can also increase the level of stroke risk.

Factors in Teaching

Yoga Journal states that special care should be taken when a stroke comes from plaque in the carotid artery breaking off and traveling to the brain. However, the exact cause of a stroke may not be known. Nevertheless, the safest option would be to treat all students as if they are at risk.


Teaching Survivors

When Yoga classes consist of people recovering from strokes, individual abilities may vary widely. Issues with balance or weakness in the limbs is common, and a slow pace may be necessary. As a result, participants who become lightheaded or experience dizziness should be carefully observed.


Knowing Your Students

When practicing poses, walls can be used for support, and so can chairs of all kinds. Subsequently, all asanas can be modified. Also, depending on individual needs, inversions should be avoided. When it is known that a student is recovering, or at risk, precautions must be taken. Hence, there is a need to know the general health of each student.


How Does it Work?

Yoga can be especially helpful in lowering blood pressure, decreasing depression, and improving general well-being. It can, also, restore balance, strengthen muscles, and improve posture. In order to reduce anxiety, Yoga poses, meditation, and breathing techniques, are practiced together. It is equally important to note that a rise in anxiety can put anyone at risk for strokes. Therefore, Yoga is an adjunct method for the prevention of stroke.


Effects of Practice

While scientific research is still incomplete, initial reports show that Yoga may promote the recovery of stroke symptoms. However, Yoga may, also, help with the management of underlying causes, as well as related health issues. Therapeutic Yoga promotes self-awareness in addition to a sense of well-being that is valuable to overall health.



Instructors who want to work with people recovering from a stroke, should take specialized Yoga teacher training courses. Of course, teacher trainings for Chair Yoga and Restorative Yoga are a good start. Additionally, research regarding Yoga for stroke recovery is a must. Afterwards, it is wise to remain in contact with like-minded teachers. Following any training there is always an opportunity to network with each other.


© Copyright – Aura Wellness Center – Publications Division

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3 thoughts on “Yoga for Stroke Recovery”

  1. In conjunction with meditation and breathing techniques, Yoga poses alleviate anxiety and reduce potential for future strokes. Thanks for posting this valuable article.

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