If you suffer from arthritis (osteoarthritis or rheumatoid), then yoga can help relieve your symptoms and promote relaxation.
Dating back 5,000 years to ancient India, yoga blends physical exercise and mental relaxation or meditation practices. During yoga, you go through a series of physical poses, often moving from one to another in a flowing movement, while performing breathing and relaxation techniques. According to the American Yoga Association, yoga promotes better physical and mental health.
For people with arthritis, yoga provides you with daily physical activity without the risk of injury to your joints. Plus, yoga reduces stress and helps you relax.
Regular yoga practice can help people with arthritis:
- Reduce pain.
- Improve joint function.
- Build muscle strength.
- Improve balance and posture.
Tips for Beginning a Yoga Routine
You should find a type of yoga that’s best for someone with arthritis. You should look for a yoga style that involve gentle stretches and relaxed breathing techniques.
Hatha yoga is a common form of yoga practiced in the U.S. It involves physical poses and breathing techniques. There are many different methods of hatha yoga, but those best suited for people with arthritis include:
- Tyengar – emphasizes precise methods focused on poses and body alignment. It also includes the use of supports or props.
- Anusara – emphasizes the spiritual aspects of yoga, including imagination techniques and image-based exercises.
- Kripalu – emphasizes meditation, poses and understanding your body. Since less focus is placed on body alignment poses, it’s good for people with arthritis.
- Viniyoga – may be good for someone with arthritis since it’s usually practiced individually with an instructor.
- Phoenix Rising – combines poses and breathing with an emphasis on psychology and clarification of physical and mental feedback. Often practiced with a private instructor.
Any of these styles of yoga can be used for easing arthritis symptoms, improving function and reducing pain. However, it’s best to avoid more strenuous methods of yoga, such as Astanga, Bikram (hot yoga), Body Pump, or Body Balance yoga.
Other forms of yoga that are more for people seeking enlightenment include Integral, Sivananda, Ananda, and Kundalini yoga. These types may not be appropriate for someone with arthritis.
Some other things to considerbefore starting a yoga program include:
- Determine if you’ll practice yoga in a class setting with a trained instructor or at home on your own using instructional materials.
- Find an instructor who understands your physical limitations due to arthritis and can modify poses for you if necessary.
- Wear comfortable clothes that allow you to move easily into the various poses.
- No special shoes are required. You can even practice yoga barefoot.
- Avoid poses that twist the joints or put direct pressure on them.
- Be aware of your limitations. You can do yoga every day, but just don’t overdo it.
- Don’t perform yoga if you’re experiencing acute pain, swelling or inflammation.
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Your feet and ankles are susceptible to arthritic diseases. Foot pain and deformity caused by arthritis can lead to pain in your legs, knees, hips and lower back.
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- Functional support – Recommended for active individuals with flexibility or those wanting to achieve better health and comfort throughout their day. Functional orthotics are designed to guide your feet into a better biomechanical position with every step you take.
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With ezWalker® insoles, you can experience reduced stress, discomfort and wear-and-tear on the joints in your feet, ankles, knees, hips and lower back, especially if you’re in the early stages of arthritis. For more information, contact us today. To order ezWalker® Performance Insoles, visit our website.
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