People who have had strokes experience symptoms such as difficulty or loss of speech, weakness of limbs, and balance difficulties. A recent study conducted by the VA Medical Center of Indiana found that yoga can lessen stroke symptoms, especially balance difficulties. The study consisted of 47 participants, 75% of whom were male veterans who had suffered a stroke. Approximately one quarter of the participants acted as the control group, which means they did not have yoga in addition to remedies typical for stroke victims. The rest of the participants attended yoga classes, either twice or three times a week, to supplement their rehabilitation. The new yogis were taught a variety of poses, which increased in difficulty during the eight-week course. At the end of the study, both yoga groups showed measurable improvements compared to the control group.
More significantly, those who made quantifiable improvements had the stroke at least six months prior to the study. The medical community has stated that any progress you make in a stroke must take place within the first three to six months after the event in order for the improvements to be permanent.
The results of the study are relevant to many demographics, not just the aging population who are more prone to strokes. Strokes are now occurring at a younger age due to obesity-related risk factors such as diabetes and high blood pressure.