How Yoga Can Help People With Arthritis

By Subodh / November 8, 2014

A stiff back, a painful inflammation of the knee or elbow joint, pain in the wrists – all these indicate that you are under the attack of arthritis. Gout, fibromyalgia, osteoarthritis, or rheumatoid – all these belong the same group, tagged under arthritis. Irrespective of the type of this condition, countless medical researches prove that including yoga in the lifestyle could actually help in managing the condition in a better way. Read on to know how yoga helps people with arthritis…

Benefits of Yoga For Arthritis

Here are some of the benefits one can enjoy by practicing yoga regularly:

  1. Better physique
  2. Stronger back and joints that could lessen the impact of arthritis
  3. Lowers the stiffness experienced in the joints
  4. Helps in curbing the uric acid levels
  5. Helps you in losing excess weight, a prime culprit of arthritis
  6. Helps in coping up with the pain in a better way
  7. Helps in combating depression and stress associated with arthritis
  8. Yoga Asanas For Arthritis

1. Tadasana – Mountain Pose:

mountain pose

It is known to help in improving the circulation of blood in the joints suffering from inflammation. The better the blood flow to the affected area is, the lower the pain levels will be.

Benefits:

  1. Corrects posture
  2. Stronger ankles and knees
  3. Strengthens and enhances mobility of your legs and hips
  4. Stronger and more flexible spine
  5. Better management of pain in the affected areas
  6. Improved circulation of blood
  7. Better stress management

How to do:

  1. Stand in Samasthithi, feet together, head and spine erect, hands resting along the body, and palms facing outward.
  2. Inhaling deeply, lift your hands over your head, aligned with ears and join the palms in Namaskar mudra.
  3. With each deep inhalation, stretch as much as possible, keeping your foot grounded firmly on the floor.
  4. Once you are comfortable, try balancing on the toes.
  5. Close your eyes and hold the pose breathing deeply for about 10 counts.
  6. Exhale and relax. Release and come back to the starting position.

2. Neck Rotations:

This helps in easing the stiffness and pain you experience around the neck muscles. You can do them whenever you want, seated or standing.

How to do:

  1. Stand feet together, hands resting on either side of body, and palms on the thighs.
  2. Keep spine and head erect, chest lifted.
  3. Inhaling deeply and as you exhale, bring your neck down so that you chin touches the chest.
  4. Inhale and tilt the neck to the right until you feel the stretch.
  5. Breathing deeply, rotate the neck clockwise, while maintain the stretching experience.
  6. Keep rotating till your neck is back to the starting position.
  7. Do 10 such rotations clockwise. Pause for 5 deep breaths and repeat the same anti-clockwise.

3. Shoulder Rotations:

This eases the tension as well as pain experienced by the shoulder muscles from long hours of sitting or standing. As with Neck rotations, ensure that your spine is erect.

How to do:

  1. Stand feet together, hands resting on either side of body, and palms on the thighs.
  2. Keep spine and head erect, chest lifted.
  3. Taking a deep inhalation, lift the shoulders as if you are going to touch the ears.
  4. Exhale and roll the shoulders slowly in an anti-clockwise manner so that the shoulder blades come as close as possible.
  5. This completes one rotation.
  6. Do 15 such rotations, pause for 5 deep breaths, and repeat the same in a clockwise manner.

4. Gomukhasana – Cow Face Pose:

Gomukhasana

A seated yoga asana, it is quite deceptive in nature. If you have severe pain in the knee joint, then choose a seated posture of your choice. You can even opt for sitting on the chair and doing this one.

Benefits:

  1. Gives your chest, shoulders, hips, knees, and ankles a good stretch
  2. Strengthens and tones you chest, hips, and shoulders
  3. Corrects your posture
  4. Eases you back pain
  5. Strengthens and tones your spine and back muscles

How to do:

  1. Sit erect on the mat, legs stretched in front you. Place your palms flat on the floor, while fingers are together.
  2. Keep your head and spine erect.
  3. Fold the right knee and let right foot rest near left sit bones. Keep your hips firmly on the floor.
  4. Cross your left leg over the right, folding at the knee in such a way that knees look stacked one atop the other.
  5. Inhaling deeply, lift your left hand over your hand and bring it behind you, folding at the elbows.
  6. Bring the right arm behind you, folding at the elbow, fingers pointing to the ceiling.
  7. Try to interlace the fingers of both hands. If you are not able to touch, use a towel.
  8. Hold the pose, gazing forward, core tucked in, breathing deeply for a count of 10 deep breaths.
  9. Exhale, release, and relax.
  10. Repeat with other side.

5. Shavasana – The Corpse Pose:

Shavasana

This is an asana meant for complete relaxation.

Benefits:

  1. Helps in sleeping better
  2. Helps in combating depression
  3. For better absorption of oxygen
  4. Eases pain
  5. Relieves stress
  6. Eases tension

How to do:

  1. Lie down on your back.
  2. Stretch your arms away from the body, palms facing the ceiling.
  3. Stretch out your legs, wide apart.
  4. Close your eyes and focus on your breathing.
  5. Lie down till you feel relaxed.

These were some really simple yoga asanas that could help people with arthritis. Try them and see the difference yourself.