Arthritis includes inflammation of the joints that can cause swelling, stiffness, and utter pain. There are several kinds of arthritis, but the two most common types are rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis. With this, the question arises: does yoga help arthritis? Yoga is beneficial in so many ways. The good news is, there are yoga solutions to your aching and stiff joints. These can help you move comfortably in no time.
Yoga has countless benefits, such as strength improvement, stress management, balance, and flexibility. It will also help you achieve a better outlook and well-being as well as a better sense of your body. Does yoga help arthritis? Absolutely. In this article, you will find out the best yoga for arthritis that you can incorporate into your daily routine. Plus, you will learn more about the specific yoga classes you can attend to battle arthritis.
First Things First
Before you delve into any yoga program or start doing your yoga exercises, make sure that you schedule an appointment with your doctor first. This is so that you can assess the right yoga exercise for your condition, since arthritis may affect joints in various ways. If pricey private lessons are not part of your options, then you may go for joint classes for starters or beginners. The best way to do this is to call yoga studios around you and tell them right away about your arthritis.
There are numerous yoga styles and types of training programs that these yoga instructors can teach you. Look for an instructor that is knowledgeable and flexible enough to give you modifications that best suit your condition. You need to be more selective in your choices of programs. Moreover, you might want to read on about some information on the equipment, basic poses, and etiquette so that you do not feel too uneasy as a beginner.
Does Yoga Help Arthritis?
Nowadays, anecdotal evidence and research have proven that people with arthritis who practice yoga consistently feel better afterward. People always speak from their first-hand experiences when recommending yoga to other people. These are the three parts of most yoga classes that help soothe and treat knee arthritis:
Breathing Techniques and Awareness
Making yourself aware and controlling how you breathe can significantly influence how you feel. The so-called “yogic relaxation breaths” is a practice that can help during a painful osteoarthritis attack. At this point, movement is near to impossible. You can calm the stress response through calm breathing techniques.
Gentle Movements to Improve Balance, Flexibility, and Strength.
Some postures and movements help strengthen the muscles around your joints flexible and strong. With these exercises, you also get to learn the proper alignment of the skeleton, alleviating joint pains caused by its misalignment. Know that any movement may be modified so that you can minimize the pain or pressure around the aching areas of your body. Yoga should not inflict more pain on these crucial areas.
Here are some yoga guides to help you improve your strength and flexibility:
Meditation and Relaxation
Using meditation and relaxation techniques on a daily and consistent basis can help reduce stress. This is especially important since this can create awareness and offset the tendency to tighten one’s muscles to become rigid, especially when feeling stress or pain.
If it seems almost impossible to look for a teacher that can help cater to your needs, do not be alarmed. There are some techniques you can try, which are proven to be arthritis-friendly without straining your muscles too much. Moreover, these yoga styles emphasize adaptation and rehabilitation to be effective when it comes to physical limitations.
When you are in a yoga class, note that yoga is mainly about listening to your body. Your teacher will not force you to do something that feels off. Take it slowly and allow yourself to stop when these movements or poses cause you pain.
- Chair yoga
This is an uncommon yoga practice made especially for people who cannot stand for long hours or use a mat.
- Water yoga
This kind of yoga is perfect for people with joint pains. There are community pools with this type of program. You should contact them if you are interested in enrolling.
Viniyoga is an adaptive type of yoga that is tailored to be appropriate for a person’s physical condition. This is possible for both individual and group settings.
- Iyengar yoga
People perform this yoga practice with the use of props to secure and support the body. This is to find comfort in different poses while maintaining proper alignment of the spine. Also, Iyengar yoga helps promote good posture. You can expect the teachers in this yoga class to be exceptionally-trained in pose modification and anatomy.
This is an excellent option for people with better mobility and those who aspire for a more active yoga practice. Anusara takes its inspiration from Iyengar’s methods. Teachers of Anusara are trained in adaptation and alignment. This class is also great for starters who want to experience yoga at its fullest.
- Integral, Kripalu and Sivananda
These three yoga practices are all gentle practices that are most appropriate for beginning students. You can tell your teacher to do these practices at your own pace since these are all designed to adjust to a student’s needs.
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- What Should I Eat After Doing Yoga?
- How Often Should You Do Yoga As A Beginner?
Does yoga help arthritis? It certainly does. However, yoga should always be coupled with listening to your body, eating healthy food, and hydrating yourself with fresh water. Your doctor should also have a say in the treatment that you should receive. Moreover, it is also essential to consider getting an instructor if you are new to this whole practice. As much as you want to learn new things on your own, supplementing your home practice with classes is one of the best ways to go about it.