Cloverdale yoga program designed for people living with Parkinson's disease

A new program in Surrey for people living with Parkinson’s disease hopes to increase quality of life with a little stretching.

It’s called “Yoga Out Parkinson’s,” and grew out of a separate Parkinson’s boxing program at Cloverdale’s Box2Fit gym.

“Everybody’s seeing improvement and that’s one of the greatest parts of the program,” said Box2Fit CEO Frankie La Sasso.

La Sasso spent years working in care homes as a physiotherapy assistant where he said he was inspired to develop the developed the initial boxing program, called Punch Out Parkinson’s.

“We have people that were doctors and surgeons and police officers, and hearing their stories I started going home laying in bed thinking about it. It just started getting real personal with me,” he said.

Since starting the Punch Out program, he said he’s held the occasional yoga program, but that the idea has been growing in popularity.

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La Sasso said the yoga poses have proved to help relieve people’s muscles after suffering from Parkinson’s characteristic tremors.

Family members are also encouraged to come to participate in the classes.

“They’re watching your back throughout the class, because, you know, if your spouse has Parkinson’s, you’ve got it too. Because you’ve got to deal with it, you’re living with it every day,” La Sasso said.

He said along with stretching muscles, the program helps relax the mind, something he said has contributed to the significant positive changes he’s seen in participants.

“The biggest part of our program is community,” La Sasso said.

“Just somewhere where these people can all come and work out with people and they understand what its like, they know what its like struggling to put your shirt on in the morning.”

The regular Yoga out Parkinson’s program kicks off officially on Monday.

© 2018 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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