Interview w/ Yoga For Stroke Recovery teacher Zaeem Zaidi

Interview w/ Yoga For Stroke Recovery teacher Zaeem Zaidi

One Saturday night, riding home from a basketball game, I got a call from my brother.  I knew it couldn’t be good for three reasons.  Number one, we rarely call always text, two,  it was almost 10:30 pm and finally, my mom has a lot of health issues. “Mom had a stroke.”  The fear and uncertainty stung.

A couple of weeks later I was contacted by a PR representative asking if I wanted to know more about . The timing was perfect.  I was able to take some classes with my mom via their virtual platform.  While she is limited on her mobility, the teacher was able to get her into a calm state with deep breathing and simple movements.  The sessions were very beneficial and Mom looked forward to each one!

It is an honor to share this information and have the opportunity to interview . Zaeem is an instructor at MyYogaTeacher online yoga platform, who teaches Yoga for Stroke Recovery, in addition to yoga classes for improving brain and joint function, as well as private training students. A certified yoga teacher,personal and group fitness trainer, Zaeem has over 14 years experience in the fitness industry and 8 years of experience teaching yoga. Using his extensive knowledge of yoga therapy, anatomy, physiology, Zaeem is using research to help students improve cardiovascular endurance, joint health, and cellular health through the practice of yoga. He is a Ph.D. scholar and Senior Research Fellow at Anvesana Lab at S-VYASA Yoga University in Bangalore, India.

1) How did you come into the practice of yoga?

I was the fitness manager at a gym, and we had a group yoga class in the evening. The yoga teacher did not want to teach a group class in the evening, so I had to make it work. I decided to sign up for a three-month yoga certification course. I started teaching at the gym what I had learned, and seeing how people made positive changes made me want to learn more about yoga. First, I received a master’s degree in yoga and I’m now pursuing a Ph.D. in yoga at an accredited university. I will keep researching yoga for the rest of my life.

2) Tell us what you know about strokes and recovery?

A stroke is a medical condition that happens when blood flow to part of the brain is stopped or greatly reduced. This can hurt brain cells or kill them. This could happen if blood gets into the brain tissue or if a blood clot in the brain blocks an artery. Stroke symptoms include sudden weakness or numbness, especially on one side of the body, in the face, arm, or leg; trouble speaking or understanding speech; disorientation; vision problems; dizziness; and a severe headache. If you or someone you know has any of these symptoms, you need to see a doctor right away to stop a stroke from getting worse.

The process of getting back to normal after a stroke is called stroke recovery. Having a stroke can cause a wide range of physical, mental, and emotional changes, depending on where it happened and how bad it was. Most people who have had a stroke need a mix of medical care, rehabilitation, and changes in how they live. A doctor may give you medicine to stop blood clots or reduce inflammation. As part of rehabilitation, therapies like yoga, physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech therapy, and others, can help restore function and mobility.

Changes to your lifestyle, like changing your diet, quitting smoking, and getting regular exercise, may also help you get better after a stroke. Getting better after a stroke can take weeks, months, or even years and look very different for each person.  Some people might be much better at their jobs, while others might not be able to do as much. Getting ongoing help from doctors, carers, and support groups can be a big help in getting better after a stroke and making life better in general.

3) How did you come to find yoga for stroke recovery?

I was reading an article that said the number of people who have had a stroke is high and growing every year. After heart disease, stroke is the second leading cause of death around the world. Another major cause of long-term disability is a stroke. 14.5 million people around the world have a stroke every year. Out of those 14.5 million, 5.5 million die and another 5 million are left permanently disabled. Stroke rates and death rates vary a lot from country to country and region to region. Stroke and death rates have been going down in high-income countries, but they are still going up in low- and middle-income countries. I did a review of the research and found that yoga therapy is very helpful for people who have had a stroke. I thought that people who have had a stroke should have their own yoga class that is focused on issues stroke survivors are facing during recovery.

4). What are some of the ways yoga can help stroke patients?

I can help people who have had a stroke in many ways. I customize their yoga practice, incorporating specific exercises that have been scientifically studied. Such exercises will help them regain mobility and flexibility, relax and deal with stress, improve their balance and coordination, give them emotional support, and work with medical professionals. I can make a patient’s yoga routine based on their medical condition, physical limitations, and overall health goals. This can help the patient regain mobility and flexibility, calm down and relieve stress, improve balance and coordination, give emotional support, an work with other healthcare professionals.

5) Can you share some simple yoga exercises that could benefit someone who has had a stroke?

Here are some simple yoga moves that could help someone who has had a stroke:

Sukhasana (Easy Pose): This is a seated pose that helps improve posture, calm the mind, and reduce stress
and anxiety.

Tadasana, or “Mountain Pose” is a standing position that helps improve balance, posture, and blood flow. This is especially helpful for stroke survivors who may have trouble moving around.

Marjariasana (Cat Pose) and Bitilasana (Cow Pose): These two poses are often done together. They help to stretch the spine, improve mobility in the neck and shoulders, and promote relaxation. Deep relaxation techniques, such as meditation and progressive muscle relaxation, have been shown to have positive effects on stroke patients. It may help stroke patients reduce stress, anxiety, depression, and improve quality of life.

Savasana, also called “Corpse Pose” is when you lie on your back with your arms and legs stretched out and your palms facing up. It helps to reduce stress and tension, make you feel more relaxed, and get a better night’s sleep. It is important to remember that each person’s needs and abilities are different, so the yoga poses and their benefits may be different for each person. Before starting yoga, it is always a good idea to talk to a qualified yoga teacher or therapist, especially after a stroke.

6). Why do you think yoga can help stroke patients?

Yoga can help people who have had a stroke in many ways. It can make them healthier in body, mind, and spirit. Some of the benefits of yoga for people who have had a stroke are: Flexibility, balance, and muscle strength can all be improved with yoga poses. This can help them move around again and keep them from falling. Less stress and anxiety: People who have had a stroke often feel stressed, anxious, and sad. Meditation and deep breathing are two yoga practices that can help them relax, feel less stressed, and feel better. Improved cognitive function: A stroke can make it hard to remember things and pay attention. Pranayama and meditation are two yoga practices that can help you think more clearly and sharpen your mind. Improved heart health: People who have had a stroke are more likely to get heart disease. Asanas and pranayama are two types of yoga that can help improve heart health and lower the risk of heart disease. Better quality of life: Yoga can help people who have had a stroke improve their overall quality of life by making their pain, tiredness, and depression go away. It can also help them feel independent and in charge of their health again.

It is important to remember that people who have had a stroke should talk to their doctor before starting any new exercise program, even yoga. Depending on their needs and abilities, they may need to change some poses or stay away from some practices.

7). Is there anything else you would like to share with our community?

I would like to share some more important points for stroke survivors. Yoga can help people get stronger, more flexible, and more balanced. This can be especially helpful for stroke patients, who often have weakness or paralysis on one side of the body. Yoga can also make you feel better mentally, reduce stress and anxiety, and help you relax. This can be helpful for stroke patients who may be having emotional or mental problems. But it is important to remember that yoga should only be done with the help of a trained and experienced yoga teacher, especially for stroke patients who may have special medical or physical needs.


Connect with Zaeem: