Yoga and Parkinson’s Disease


by Megan Brock PT, DPT, MPH, RYT 200  & Jennifer Dixon ERYT 500, MBA

The word Yoga comes from the Sanskrit word “yuj,” which means

“yoking” or “union.”

Did you know in India, Yoga was used as a supplement to a doctor's treatment?  That is because it is a practice--a system that includes a focus on breath, movement, and meditation.  

Sort of like a super hero, "when these powers combine..."  you get better health through Yoga.

People come to yoga for various reasons; Flexibility, fitness, balance, stress management etc. Recently, Megan Brock and Jennifer Dixon had the opportunity to discuss the practice of Yoga and how it can be beneficial to people with Parkinson's Disease. Here is a brief outline of the points we discussed at our Event, Living your Best Life, hosted by Erlanger Hospital.

Benefits of Yoga

With a CONSISTENT yoga practice (this means more than once every so often) you can experience

  • Muscular strength, flexibility, balance
  • Stress relief
  • Emotional resilience
  • Mental clarity
  • Improved sleep

Research on Yoga & Parkinson's

Parkinson's Disease is caused by a degeneration of the brain cells that create Dopamine.  Trembling, Slow Movements, Body Rigidity, and Stiffness are common symptoms of this disease for which we have no cure. We are currently in an era of exciting breakthroughs, however.  Recent Study suggest early evidence of various health benefits for individuals with Parkinson’s Disease that participate in a regular yoga practice.

  • Sharma et al., 2015 and Colgrove et al., 2012

In this study, participants were randomized to two groups.  One group was the "control" group and did not participate in Yoga, the second group participated in yoga.  The group that practiced yoga practiced 60 minutes, 2 times a week for 12 weeks.

The Benefits of Yoga and Parkinson's Disease

  • Significant improvements in balance, muscle function, blood pressure and lung capacity.
  • Participants also noted tremor reduction
  • Yoga for Parkinson's Disease

    An individual with Parkinson's disease can greatly benefit from a regular, consistent yoga practice.  Focusing on increased lung capacity, flexibility, and stability are key ingredients to maintaining a healthy lifestyle --not just for Parkinson's patients but for EveryBody.  

    We invite you to come and practice with us today.  Experience the benefits that yoga can give to you after the very first practice.  Become your own version of a yoga "super hero" and become a stronger, more flexible, more radiant version on yourself.