How yoga can help you manage your Parkinson's

On International Yoga Day we're encouraging more people with Parkinson's to try yoga. Whether you're a beginner or an enthusiast, there are many benefits for your physical and mental wellbeing. 

Wednesday 21 June is International Yoga Day, a celebration of one of the most popular and accessible forms of physical activity and wellbeing.

What is yoga?

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

The benefits of yoga are well recognised and it is practised worldwide. It can easily be adapted for people who have neurological conditions like Parkinson’s.

The body postures or ‘poses’ are used as exercises that focus on strength and flexibility while you breathe in a specific way to help calm the mind. 

How does yoga help? 

Yoga can offer many benefits for physical and mental wellbeing, whether that's helping to increase mobility, improving strength or supporting better flexibility and power in muscles and joints.   

Yoga can also help a person with Parkinson's to improve their sleeping patterns and lift their mood. 

In-person classes can also offer opportunities for people with Parkinson's to socialise and make new friends. 

What types of yoga can work best for Parkinson's? 

It's all about finding the right type of yoga for you. If you've never tried yoga before then it's always advisable to speak to your GP or a Parkinson's nurse before you start and remember to build up gradually.  

Like tai chi, there are a number of different styles of yoga and it may take trying them out to find the one that's right for you. Here are just a few examples of popular yoga styles:

  • Ashtanga - a classical, dynamic style of yoga. 
  • Bikram - yoga practised in a humid room heated to 41°C. 
  • Hatha - a style focused on preserving a force or energy. 
  • Restorative - a slower style that focuses on opening your body through passive stretching.
  • Vinyasa - a contemporary practice where movements flow from one to another.   

If you want to try yoga, then it's often advisable to attend a class with a qualified instructor who can support you and offer guidance about the best types of yoga to try for your Parkinson's.

Your Parkinson's Local Group can also offer advice on the best yoga classes in your area.  

Alternatively, you can also find classes in your local area by searching on our look-up tool. 

Find a yoga session near you

Our physical activity page can help you find the right activity for you.