Ashtanga and Parkinson's
I have just started enjoying Ashtanga Yoga, and I had a question:
My friend has Parkinson's disease and his doctor recommended that he begin taking some low impact aerobic classes, I was wondering if you consider Ashtanga to be aerobic? He currently practices Tai Chi and Chi Gong and when I described my Ashtanga Yoga experience he thought it might be a nice alternative option.
Thanks for your input.
Thank you for your message. Since I am not a Physician I cannot prescribe a particular program for your friend that might be of benefit for his condition of Parkinson's disease but I will provide some general information. He should first speak with his physician before beginning any new activities.
Ashtanga Yoga is quite aerobic. It is not the same as running or fast walking but the continual flow of vinyasa as well as the dynamic breath will definitely keep the heart moving as well as fill the lungs and blood with oxygen. Your friend need not choose only one activity. He could practice aerobics or any other type of activity and also practice Ashtanga. The yoga will benefit all other activities. In general Ashtanga Yoga does work to strengthen the body and does increase blood circulation. The main benefits however are beyond the body. The deepest benefits are those of the mind. None of us can control the circumstances that confront us each day. The practice of yoga is a wonderful aid to assist in how we react to the things that are placed in our path. That is the greatest benefit of Ashtanga Yoga. In this regard if the doctors give the OK for your friend to participate in Ashtanga Yoga I think he will find the emotional and mental benefits to be incredibly valuable. I would recommend he try a few different activities and see which feels the best and is most enjoyable. Enjoyment is a big incentive to consistent practice of anything. Ashtanga Yoga would be a great compliment to his Tai Chi and Chi Gung practice and could be a nice compliment to whatever other exercise he chooses to participate in. I hope that this general information is helpful.
Thank you again and let me know how things progress.