Roy Alcalay, MD, assistant professor at Columbia University and medical adviser with the Parkinson’s Disease Foundation, states, “For people with Parkinson’s disease, yoga has been shown to increase flexibility and posture, ease stiffness, and possibly improve balance.”
According to Kaitlyn Roland, PhD, and yoga teacher at the Parkingo Wellness Society in Victoria, BC, Canada: “Stooping is common in Parkinson’s disease due to changes in muscle strength and balance. Becoming more aware of posture and strengthening the muscles that hold the body upright improves walking, balance, and even digestion.”
To practice the yoga “mountain pose”:
- Stand with your feet hip-width apart and your back to a wall. If your heels don’t easily reach the wall, keep them slightly forward.
- As you improve, move the heels toward the wall.
- Press into your toes and heels at the same time to engage the arches of your feet.
- Draw your belly button in toward your spine and slightly up toward your ribs.
- Gently press the backs of your hips, lower ribs, shoulder blades, and head into the wall.
- Keep your head in line with your spine and tuck your chin slightly.