Yoga is so beneficial for persons living with PD. On a basic level, yoga help improve blood circulation, flexibility, and the alertness of mind. In addition, we’ve talked about a few pranayama (breathing) techniques (breath of joy, lion’s breath), which are used to control the breath, and can help reduce the anxiety or tension that can be caused by PD symptoms.
Though PD does not always weaken the muscles of the body at first, I encourage people living with PD to practice yoga daily. What does this look like? Well, it could be as simple as spending a few moments in a spinal twist when first waking up, taking the time for childs pose before bed, or finding your yogic breath to help get through a discomfortable episode (which could be tremor, freezing or dyskinesia). However, because people living with PD experience fatigue, MODERATION is important. Yoga improves physical/mental awareness, making you better able to read your body and distinguish what you feel you SHOULD do (vigorous movement) compared to what your body REALLY NEEDS (rest!).
This week I wanted to introduce core strengthening postures that can benefit those living with PD. Core exercises strengthen the spine and abdominal muscles, align the pelvis and sacrum. Core exercises that engage the spine (and keep it long) can be very beneficial to persons living with PD, who experience a forward stooped posture, though taking care of any low back discomfort.
Here I’m introducing a video by some researchers at the University of Waterloo who discuss proper alignment of the spine in core exercises. We spend time doing core strengtheners in my PD yoga class, and the exercises shown in the video are fairly accessible to a wide range of populations… maybe not “stirring the pot”, but definitely taking the first steps. Hope this video introduces some concepts around spinal alignment and other awareness during core exercises. Hope you get inspired and fire up that core! much love