Can yoga really help rheumatoid arthritis pain in hands and knee? Nowadays, more people are taking a holistic approach when it comes to medicine. Naturally, some doctors are even prescribing yoga as a means to help a person relieve some of her pain. Did you know that some asanas or “poses” and certain types of yoga can indeed help with arthritis? Let us go over styles of yoga, yoga poses and the benefits that can help with arthritis and arthritis pain.

Rheumatoid Arthritis Joint Pain

Yoga presents many benefits to lessen pain in people with different forms of arthritis. Such as, osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis and others. With a calming form of yoga, and a consistent practice a few times a week, yoga exercise greatly reduces pain and stress. Keep in mind, It is important for an instructor to create a modified plan for people with arthritis because it can be harsh on the body if not done correctly.

Benefits Joint Flexibility

With a regular workout, a person with arthritis can expect increased flexibility in the joints. With a modified practice of an hour a few times a week can greatly reduce the amount of pain, increase flexibility, and improve their physical function.

Lowers Stress

Yoga isn’t just for one’s physical challenges but great for mental health. We can assume with pain comes stress and tension. Like with “2 birds and 1 stone”, you can better your body and your mind at the same time. When relieving stress, you are promoting relaxation and that is just what the body needs sometimes. Relieving stress can also help one better deal with arthritis, and other kinds of pain.

Which Styles Of Yoga Poses are Best For Arthritis?

It is important to know the styles of yoga before taking a class when you have certain conditions. It is also important for a yoga instructor to know the different styles of yoga to tailor the practice and modify when needing to. We will go over which styles of yoga are best for arthritis.

Iyengar yoga

Iyengar yoga is a style of yoga that focuses on structural alignment with the use of asanas. This style of yoga often uses props which is great for people with arthritis. Iyengar yoga uses sequences in their practice, so the practice could be repetitive and easy to follow along with a good instructor to help guide along.

Hot Yoga

Hot yoga, or Bikram yoga is a style of yoga where the temperature is usually around 90  degrees at the least. Temperature can also vary depending on where you take a class, and with whom you take a class with. This can be a great form of yoga for people with arthritis due to the high temperatures. The increased heat in a yoga room will loosen up one’s joints and muscles, which can be relaxing and reduces pain. Again, It is important to practice with modifications from your yoga instructor.

Yin Yoga

Yin yoga is slow paced, and holds poses for 2 minutes or less. This is a great option for people that don’t need to put too much stress on the joints, but just enough to benefit from. Most people find this style to feel good on their muscles and joints, and very relaxing due to the gentle movements.

Chair Yoga

Chair yoga is popular, and many instructors offer it as a style of yoga. This is a great option if one needs to sit in a chair for more comfortability. A person is able to do a whole practice in a chair with mild movements to reduce stress on the body, while still improving flexibility.  

Which Asanas Are Best For Rheumatoid Arthritis

There are easily over a hundred yoga poses ranging from easy to advanced, and probably best for anyone in certain conditions to avoid any poses that could harm the body. It will be best to seek out an excellent instructor that knows the limits for people with arthritis or any conditions that needs a special practice. There are obvious poses that some people SHOULD stay away from, like any inversions, or poses that put stress on your joints. Let’s discuss some of the poses that are great for arthritis pain.

It is important that a person listens to their body and not push themselves in any way that could potentially harm them. There are various asanas one is able to do when having arthritis.

Child’s Pose

The pose is done by sitting on your legs with your knees folded, palms resting on your thighs, and eventually you move your body forward to a resting position. Placing a rolled up blanket between your thighs and calves is a modified position for people who are not able to sit down completely.

Supine Twist

The supine twist pose is done by simply laying on your back, then bending your knees with your feet still on the ground. You then, twist your knees to one side of your body and then the opposite side.

Cat & Cow

A person gets on all fours like an animal, like a cat or cow in this instance. One has to make sure that the shoulders are aligned with the hands, and the hips are aligned with the knees. For the “cat” You arch your back upward like an angry cat. For the cow, you make a sort of a hollow back lifting your gaze and buttox upward.This pose is usually repeated to strengthen one’s spine.

Seated Spinal Twist

The seated spinal twist may be a simple, yet effective pose for people. Seated in a chair facing forward, one turns to one side, and then the opposite side creating the spinal twist.

Yoga can be one of the best medicines for many physical challenges, like arthritis. With its numerous benefits, like the styles of yoga and gentle yoga poses, people are able to  utilize and even enjoy the practice of yoga.  Whether you are an instructor or a student with arthritis, it is best to know what the body is capable of and how to handle it with the best care. 


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