Joint health is not to be neglected, even if you are an overall healthy and active person. When unaddressed, the problem will only grow, eventually making it painful for you to lead your life as normal. Whether it’s a pain, swelling, or only stiffness you feel, you definitely should do something about it.
People usually associate joint health with arthritis and old age, but according to holistic health approach experts from Primal Harvest, it can affect virtually anyone – you can be young and healthy and still suffer because of lack of physical activity, or over-exercising and putting too much pressure on your joints. Additionally, there are some illnesses and other joint issues that affect people of all ages.
No matter if it’s your knees, hips, shoulders, or back, there’s no better remedy for joint pain than the right type of physical activity. In this article, we will focus on the most suitable yoga poses to reduce or even eliminate these ailments. Read on to learn more about yoga for arthritis.
Things to Know Before You Start Practicing Yoga for Arthritis
If you are experiencing pain only after you have been exercising, then rest may be all you need – or a consultation with a doctor if it doesn’t fade with time. However, if you suffer from chronic pain that seems to be unrelated to any particular activity, then you should definitely try fighting it with the right types of exercise.
Unfortunately, due to the sedentary lifestyle imposed on us by the modern world, more and more people are suffering from different kinds of joint pain. That’s why it’s vital to provide your joints (and the rest of the body) with regular movement to keep them healthy and strong.
Benefits of Yoga
- Yoga combines gentle movements with breathing exercises, which can be beneficial for both your body and mind, as learning the right breathing technique can help you relax and become more mindful.
- It loosens and strengthens muscles, including those that surround and support bones and joints.
- It provides your joints with the right exercises for maintaining the full motion range.
- It improves circulation, evenly distributing oxygen and synovial fluid in your body, including all the joints. The latter is responsible for supporting joint cartilage and slow, painless movements.
Listen to Your Body
Yoga is highly versatile and flexible in terms of adjusting poses to your abilities. The most important thing is to listen to your body – don’t stretch too much at the beginning, and don’t keep pushing when you already feel the pressure. Start slow and mild, don’t force anything, and you will soon see progress.
Yoga Poses Recommended for Arthritis
It is recommended to practice yoga with a certified instructor, especially if you are a beginner. The poses can be highly beneficial if executed properly, but you may actually hurt yourself if you are not aware of your mistakes. Look for classes of slow types of yoga – Hatha, Iyengar, or Viniyoga.
However, there are some basic poses that you can easily practice on your own – the help of YouTube videos will suffice for you to do them right – as long as you assess your abilities fairly and listen to your body while you stretch.
Bridge Pose for Knee Joints and Lower Back Pain
Lie down on your back on a yoga mat, towel, blanket, carpet, or anything else to avoid lying on a hard floor. Bend your knees so that they are directly over your heels, pushing them away from the hips. Supporting yourself on your shoulders, with your arms straight on the floor, lift your buttocks and chest; pay attention so that each shoulder stays on the floor. You should feel the pressure in your core, legs, and buttocks – if anything hurts, adjust the position. Hold for 15 seconds, then lower yourself slowly and relax.
Upward Bound Fingers Pose for Hands and Wrists
Stand with your big toes touching, legs straight. Make sure you stand evenly on your feet. Bring your arms toward your chest and interlace fingers of both hands together. Turn them inside out and extend your arms straight in front of you. Relax your shoulders and lift bound hands over your head. Lock the elbows and take several deep breaths. Keep your buttocks and abdominals engaged the whole time.
Crescent Lunge Pose for Hips and Spine
Bend your right knee in front of you, with the knee directly over your ankle; drop the left knee on the floor behind you, pushing as if you wanted to straighten that leg. Lengthen your tailbone in the direction of your left heel. Lift your arms, keeping them in line with your ears, and lean back, pushing your hips forward. Your left thigh should get closer to the floor as you deepen the lunge. Take several breaths and relax slowly. Repeat on the other side.
Seated Half Spinal Twist Pose for Hips and Lower Back
Sit on a mat, making sure your back is straight and your legs extended in front of you. Lift your right leg and put its foot on the floor outside your left leg’s thigh. Make sure to engage your thighs. Twist to the right from the base of your spine, placing your fingertips (or palms, if you can) behind you, and hug your knee to your chest. Hold it for several breaths, as long as you’re able, and relax slowly. Repeat on the other side.
Yoga – the Remedy for Your Body and Mind
The benefits of yoga are numerous and go way beyond joint health. It’s a very broad term that involves many different types of movement – both slow-paced as well as fast and power yoga – combined with breathing exercises.
Physical activity is key to staying healthy and in a good mood, especially right now, with the global pandemic still strongly influencing our everyday lives. So why shouldn’t you try some enjoyable practices that will allow you to focus both on your physical and mental health?
Read the instructions carefully, and if you can’t go to a yoga class, watch some videos to get a grip of each position you want to practice. Do it regularly, and in no time, you will reduce the pain you’re suffering from – whether it’s your arms, hips, knees, or back.