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University studying effects of yoga on Parkinson's disease

A University of Minnesota study is assessing the benefits of yoga for people diagnosed with Parkinson's disease.

Researchers at the U of M's School of Nursing in Minneapolis will explore yoga's effect on oxidative stress, motor function and non-motor function in individuals with the degenerative brain disorder that causes tremors, stiffness and slowed movement.

Exercise programs are recommended to improve motor functions and manage non-motor aspects of Parkinson's disease, according to the study's website. "Yoga, a popular exercise modality, uses poses, meditation and breath-control techniques to help improve physical function and psychosocial well-being."

Participants are individuals diagnosed with idiopathic Parkinson's disease — the most common form of the disease — in the 45-75 age group who are not regular yoga practitioners.

Yoga in America

More than 36 million Americans practice yoga, according to a 2016 study by Yoga Journal and Yoga Alliance.

"Among the many benefits of practice are the physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual aspects of well­-being," said Carolyn Hedin, founder of Bluewater Yoga Studio in Red Wing. "By studying and practicing yoga consistently, one develops the skills for living with confidence, clarity and compassion."

The Main Street studio, which is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year, offers classes on yoga postures, breath awareness and relaxation techniques.

Michael Brun

Michael Brun joined RiverTown Multimedia at the Red Wing Republican Eagle in March 2013, covering county government, health and local events.  He is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin-River Falls journalism program.

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