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April 27, 2015
Those are really good links Paul.
I have also had some experience teaching with stroke survivors. I teach seniors through a community center and classes can be a real mixed bag. Unfortunately this can mean that I don't have the opportunity to devote a class to heart and stroke patients . However, I am gradually learning how to accomodate these students and it can be very rewarding to watch the positive changes that evolve with their practice.
Using the wall and a chair, to help with balance issues, avoiding twisting the head or neck, and avoiding inverted postures are all important.
I just wanted to add that while pranayama is a valuable tool for these students, it is very important not to teach breath hold. I teach them deep yogic breathing (belly breath + 3 stage breathing) as well as anuloma viloma (alternate nostril breathing) but without any breath hold. If my student(s) are in a class with non stroke survivors then I really have to watch that they don't follow their neighbour (by holding their breath, or twisting their head and neck...) because memory is also an issue here. I find I often need to repeat the same gentle instructions every class.
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