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Could yoga help after a traumatic brain injury?

Many people in Pennsylvania practice yoga, whether for spiritual reasons or to enjoy its physical benefits. What yoga practitioners may not realize is that it is also good for your brain. It may even be effective therapy after a traumatic brain injury.

That is what a nonprofit called the Love Your Brain Foundation believes. In honor of Brain Injury Awareness Month, the foundation launched a fundraiser to help TBI patients pay for yoga classes.

The story of one man who turned to yoga after his brain injury provides a dramatic example of how the poses can help regain balance, flexibility and strength. In 2011, the man fell 20 feet from a rooftop water tank, suffering a diffuse axonal injury, one of the most serious forms of TBI. He was in a coma for 12 days, and it was miraculous that he ever awoke instead of staying in a coma or emerging into a vegetative state.

Despite beating the odds, the man was in poor shape after waking up. As part of his recovery, he tried yoga. He recalled trying a relatively easy pose, standing with his feet together with his eyes closed, and almost falling over. Since then, day by day, the man has regained his balance thanks to yoga, which he says was the most effective and cheapest form of therapy he uses.

We cannot guarantee that yoga will work for every brain trauma victim, but it could be something to consider. Meanwhile, other forms of treatment and therapy can be expensive, but the cost could be borne by the party responsible for the injury, if there is one.

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