Yoga

Yoga is an ancient form of meditation, diet, lifestyle, breathing and exercise. There are different styles of yoga and some are more gentle than others.

When you do yoga, you place your body into certain positions that are designed to increase your strength and flexibility. You can study yoga one-to-one or in a group.

What's the difference between yoga and Pilates?

Both yoga and Pilates focus on developing strength, balance, flexibility and posture. The difference is that the moves in yoga are designed to increase the strength and flexibility of the whole body and improve breathing.

Pilates also focuses on breathing, but its exercises concentrate much more on precise movements to target specific parts of the body.

How might yoga help?

People may use yoga to develop their general fitness and increase their overall sense of wellbeing. Some people find it also helps to reduce feelings such as stress, anxietydepression and tension.

There isn’t a lot of evidence that shows any specific benefits of yoga for people with Parkinson’s.

Is yoga safe?

There are many types of yoga and they all have different levels of difficulty. Speak to the yoga instructor before you begin the class to check it is suitable for you.

If you want to try yoga at home, make sure you learn the exercises properly from an instructor first.

Yoga instructors are not currently regulated by law. You will need to check your teacher is registered with a professional body and is insured.

Useful contacts

  • Yoga is one of the complementary therapies more commonly offered on the NHS. Ask your GP, specialist or Parkinson’s nurse for details on availability.
  • You will probably find classes at local leisure and community centres, although these may not be tailored for people with long-term conditions such as Parkinson’s.
  • Some local Parkinson’s UK groups offer regular exercise sessions, including yoga classes.
  • The British Wheel of Yoga
    The British Wheel of Yoga is a registered charity and the Sport England recognised governing body for yoga. It is a members-based organisation and accredits other yoga training organisations.

Last updated March 2013. We review all our information within 3 years. If you'd like to find out more about how we put our information together, including references and the sources of evidence we use, please contact us at [email protected].