Our thoughts and prayers go out to those whose lives face dramatic change and who face pain as these events arise. In our own lives we try to turn with courage to face the dangers and difficulties in order to find the opportunities. Sometimes these opportunities are so subtle that we cannot see them until much time has passed. Across a span of time we see that our choices in the face of crisis have brought us in some mysterious way, exactly into being the people who we have become.
Researchers say the participants experienced a boost in their self confidence after their yoga practice and became more physically active generally. Assistant Professor of Occupational Therapy, Arlene Schmid said, “It was also interesting to see how much the men liked it,” and that many of the participants wanted to continue their yoga practice at home after the study ended. “They liked it so much partly because they were not getting any other treatment. They had already completed their rehabilitation but felt that there was still room for improvement,” Schmid stated. Previous research shows the risk of falls and breaking a hip increased significantly after a stroke and also with increased age. In this small study participants had an average age of 26 and attended an hour long yoga class twice a week for eight weeks. The yoga therapist modified typical yoga poses to meet participants needs: initially participants performed the yoga poses seated in chairs and then progressed to standing poses. Eventually, all the participants were able to perform poses on the floor.
At the end of the study the researchers found the participants balance had improved by 17% on the Berg Balance Scale and by 34% on the Fullerton Balance Scale. In particular, the average score on the Berg Balance Scale improved by 40% to 47% indicating the participants were no longer at high risk from a fall. (reported on WebMD Health News June 2011)