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How Chair Yoga can Help with Fatigue and Stress Management

Stress and Fatigue After Stroke 

Stroke survivors often face a range of physical and emotional challenges as they navigate their recovery journey.

A common issue that many stroke survivors face is fatigue, which can be caused by a variety of factors such as difficulty sleeping, medication side effects, and the physical and mental demands of rehabilitation. Mental fatigue is still common even several years after a stroke or TBI as the brain continues to rewire and rebuild neurological pathways and connections. 

Stress is another common issue that stroke survivors may encounter, particularly as they adjust to life after stroke and cope with any changes in their physical or mental abilities. Financial stress is also a common experience for survivors and their families as various rehabilitation therapies and physician appointments are necessary post-stroke.

Fatigue, stress, and physical challenges or difficulties can make it challenging to engage in healthy fitness activities outside of physical therapy. This is where gentle activities, like chair yoga, is an excellent option for stroke survivors. This is because this particular yoga practice can be practiced in its entirety in a seated position and with the support of a chair. So no matter your level of physical ability or mobility assistance needed, you can engage in a healthy physical practice that moves the body.

But the benefits of chair yoga go beyond physical exercise.

It can also help with fatigue and stress management by providing a sense of relaxation and calm.


How Chair Yoga can Help

Here’s how chair yoga can help with fatigue and stress management:

  • Deep breathing:
    • One of the key components of chair yoga is deep, diaphragmatic breathing. This type of breathing helps to oxygenate the body and calm the nervous system into a more relaxed and rested state, which can help to reduce fatigue and stress.
    • Deep breathing is also great to use outside the classroom in stressful situations or in moments when you may feel anxious. 
  • Relaxation techniques:
    • Many chair yoga practices include relaxation techniques such as progressive muscle relaxation or guided imagery, which can help to calm the mind and body.
    • Many of these techniques have been shown to be beneficial for survivors in managing stress and anxiety. 
  • Mindfulness:
    • Chair yoga can also help to cultivate mindfulness, or a state of present-moment awareness. This can help to reduce stress by allowing you to let go of worries about the past or future and focus on the present moment.
    • Mindfulness encourages us to recognize that each moment and each sensation is only temporary. This practice can be helpful for stroke survivors as it encourages us to acknowledge the current self while keeping an open and positive mindset for future success and exploration. 
  • Social support:
    • Participating in a chair yoga class can also provide a sense of social support and connection, which can be particularly beneficial for stroke survivors who may be isolated or have limited mobility.