Yoga for Dementia

Submitted by Jerry Parker on December 27, 2012

Yoga is a combination of physical and spiritual well being. The benefits of this practice are more holistic in nature. Though yoga has shown no benefit for people suffering from dementia and is not known to reduce risk of dementia, it can be great to improve the patient’s agility. Doing regular yoga can help reduce these telltale signs of dementia.

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Yoga can help improve the quality of life of a person with dementia but has not shown any tangible results on being able to reduce the risk of dementia. But one cannot ignore the fact that persons, especially the elderly, who exercise regularly, reduce their risk of dementia and Alzheimer’s by at least 40 per cent. Physical activity can delay the onset of such conditions while not preventing them completely.


The regular practice of yoga is known to reduce moodiness along with improving flexibility and physical fitness, balance. The benefits of yoga are not just superficial. Improved physical fitness can greatly change how the person responds to dementia. With better breathing techniques, there is also an increased awareness about symptoms and how to manage triggers better.

Yoga is also a good alternative to vigorous exercise as the elderly find it difficult to continue exercise the same intensity. It can be a complete workout that improves all body and mind functions.  Yoga can help steady the nervous system and control ailments like rheumatism, incontinence and other health issues that seemingly do not have a cure. Yoga also controls stress and anxiety which is a very important cause of dementia. It also acts as a preventive step for diabetes and cardiovascular diseases.

Puzzles and memory games are known to keep the brain active and could possibly reduce the risk of getting dementia.  This is one way to keep dementia at bay but genetics play a big role in it so the aim is to prolong the onset of dementia.   It can also help if the primary care giver does yoga with the patient himself.

While there are many schools of yoga, some of them are very vigorous while others are easier to do. The emphasis for the elderly has to be on regular activity everyday rather than activity that are energetic. Including yoga early on into the everyday activity helps.

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