Stroke survivors often struggle with balance problems during their recovery. A small, new study published online July 26, 2012 by the journal Stroke found that yoga can help. In fact, the benefits of yoga were evident even when individuals with balance problems began classes six months or more after their strokes. The 47 men and women (mostly men) who participated in the study were divided into three groups. One group attended twice weekly yoga sessions for eight weeks; the second group met twice a week for yoga and were given a relaxation recording to listen to at home at least three times a week, and the third group received standard medical care. The researchers reported improvements in balance among the yoga group participants that were statistically significant and greater than seen in earlier exercise trials for stroke victims. The patients practicing yoga reported that they became more confident in maintaining their balance. The study leader suggested that yoga may be more therapeutic than traditional stroke rehabilitation routines because the combination of postures, breathing and meditation may produce different effects than simple exercise.