Yoga Boosts Balance
Updated: Apr 26, 2019
Yoga. It offers some serious benefits. And perhaps that’s why its practice is so widespread throughout the West today. I mean, 30 years ago, no one really cared about yoga. The Health Crazes of the Day were the StairMaster, Richard Simmons, and Jazzercise.
But none of it really stuck. And that’s largely due to skyrocketing interest in practices like HIIT, PACE, burst training, tai chi, gi gong, Pilates, and yoga.
Yoga itself has been quite noted for:
Optimizing core strength
Aiding with spinal alignment
Increasing lung power
And improving focus
Just to name a few healing themes.
However, one of yoga’s most underrated benefits might be…
And now a new study conducted by researchers from the Adaptive Physical Activity Study Department at the College of Physical Education, State University of Campinas in Brazil, sheds new light on this benefit, as it pertains to individuals suffering from Multiple Sclerosis, or “MS.”
By way of a randomized controlled trial, researchers observed 11 women and one man, who all suffered from MS. None had ever practiced yoga prior to the study. The 12 participants were randomly divided into two equal groups of six: the control group (C), which was wait-listed for yoga, and the yoga group (Y), which obviously received the yoga training. Each participant in group Y practiced yoga postures, meditation, relaxation, and breath exercises once a week, for 60 minutes, over a six-month span.
Researcher evaluated participants at both baseline and the six-month mark via the Berg Balance Scale (BBS), the Expanded Disability Status Scale (EDSS), and self-reported postural balance quality and influence of postural balance on activities of daily living.
Yoga Improves Balance
What the Brazilian research team found is that, despite group C seeing no improvement whatsoever, group Y enjoyed a significant improvement in both BBS and EDSS scores from baseline to six months, as well as increased quality of self-reported postural balance and decreased influence of postural balance impairment.
The study was published in Explore: The Journal of Science and Healing.
And, if it can improve balance in an individual suffering form Multiple Sclerosis, it can certainly improve balance in you.
So, I say, just another reason to pull out that yoga mat and get to work.
You can even wear your leotard...if you still have it tucked away in a closet somewhere. :)
- Nelson Pahl