5 Gentle Yoga Poses For People With Arthritis

5 Gentle Yoga Poses For People With Arthritis

Living with arthritis can feel like a catch-22 because gentle movements are beneficial, but certain exercises can cause pain. If your joints feel achy and you want to relieve the pain, certain yoga poses may come to your aid. Before you arch into scorpion pose or contort into a pretzel, there are a few things to understand about arthritis, yoga, and how to prevent injury.

What Is Arthritis?

Arthritis is an umbrella term that describes more than 100 conditions that affect joints, tissues around the joints, and connective tissues in the body. It causes inflammation and pain within joints, according to rheumatologists. There are varying forms of arthritis, the most common of which is osteoarthritis. That condition is a degenerative process that results from wear and tear on the joints. People with osteoarthritis typically suffer from limited mobility or general pain. 

Pain from arthritis may discourage you from engaging in certain movements, but exercise is beneficial for improving mobility and managing symptoms. Consistent movement is truly the key because a sedentary lifestyle can limit movement and worsen symptoms of arthritis patients. Moderate physical activity of about 150 minutes per week is great for both preventing arthritic pain and cardiovascular health. 

How Does Yoga Help Arthritis?

Yoga is a gentle form of exercise that can help improve flexibility and balance. It also encourages relaxation and stress reduction, two things that can help improve mood and mental well-being. The great thing about yoga is that it is low impact, so it places less force on the back, hips, and knees than other types of exercise. That said, there are yoga poses that are not accessible for people with arthritis. The following poses, however, are generally safe for the needs and abilities of any person, including those with arthritis. 

Mountain Pose

As a simple, calming yoga pose, mountain pose is a great way to begin your yoga routine. Stand up straight with your arms at your sides, palms facing forward, and your feet hip-distance apart. Lift your toes and spread them apart before placing them back on the floor. Keep your weight centered, balancing between both feet. Tuck your tailbone and squeeze your glutes, while simultaneously lifting your chest. Hold for one minute, taking slow, deep breaths throughout. 

Warrior II Pose

Standing in mountain pose at the front of your mat, take a big step back with your left foot. Keep your right foot facing forward and turn your left foot out to the side at a 90-degree angle. On an exhale, bend your right leg and lift your arms up to be in line with your shoulders. Turn your gaze to look beyond your right fingertips and engage your glutes, quads, and core. Breathe deeply for one minute and then repeat on the other side. 

Seated Forward Fold

This gentle fold aims to create space in the lower back and improve hamstring flexibility. Sit on a yoga mat with your back straight and extend your legs out in front of you. Inhale and raise your hands over your head before leaning forward on an exhale. Make sure to hinge at the hips to fold forward, aiming to bring your head to your knees. If you can, grab your feet with your hands. If this is uncomfortable, place a pillow between your chest and thighs to provide support. Remain here for about 10 deep breaths before returning to the starting position.

Seated Spinal Twist

Tight glutes or sore lower back? This yoga pose should hopefully provide some relief! Sit up straight with your legs extended out in front of you. Bend your right leg and cross it over your left leg, planting your foot just outside your left thigh. Wrap your left arm around your knee and hug it toward your chest. You can place your right hand on the floor behind you for support. Twist slightly to turn your gaze behind you and hold for 10 deep breaths. On every inhale, try to lengthen your spine. Repeat on the other side. 

Cat-Cow Pose

If you find it difficult to put weight on the hand and knees, make sure to put padding or folded towels under those areas. Begin on your hands and knees in a tabletop position, stacking your shoulders directly over your wrists and hips over your knees. Slowly inhale and enter the cow pose, pushing your abdomen towards the floor and lifting your chest and chin to raise the body upwards. Try to draw the shoulder blades away from your ears. On an exhale, enter the cat pose, lifting your abdomen up and into the spine. Round your back and tuck your chin. Inhale again to enter cow pose and then continue alternating for about 20-30 seconds.



Refer A Friend give 15%
get $20