Health & Family

You don’t have to be a devoted yogi to reap the benefits of the cobra pose. A new study in chronic stroke survivors shows that practicing yoga can improve balance in patients, giving them more confidence to handle day-to-day activities and potentially reducing disability.

The study, published in the American Heart Association’s journal Stroke, involved 47 stroke survivors, mostly male veterans, who had had their stroke six months prior. The participants were still experiencing balance problems, which can be long-lasting after stroke, arising from injury to central brain structures and impaired senses. Difficulties with balance can lead to a higher risk of falls, further injury and continued disability.

The oldest patient was in his 90s. To qualify for the study, all the participants had to be able to stand on their own.

The patients were divided into three groups: one group participated in twice-weekly sessions of group yoga for eight…

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