Yoga for Arthritis

Yoga is a commonly prescribed and beneficial activity for people with arthritis.

Join Alka Kaminer, E-RYT & YFA-III

Chair Yoga – Wednesdays 12pm

What is Arthritis?

Arthritis is a chronic condition characterized by inflammation of one or more joints, causing pain, swelling, stiffness, and limited movement. It is a progressive disease and can affect people of all ages, including children. There are over 100 different types of arthritis, with osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis being the most common. The causes of arthritis can vary, but it is often the result of a combination of genetic, environmental, and lifestyle factors. Treatment options include medication, physical therapy, and lifestyle changes.

Should Yoga be part of your treatment and wellness plan?

Yoga is a commonly prescribed activity for people with arthritis. Consulting with a healthcare professional is recommended before getting started because everyone’s situation is unique. The following is a number of ways in which yoga can be beneficial:

  1. Improved flexibility: Yoga can help improve flexibility, which can be particularly helpful for people with arthritis who may experience stiff joints. Gentle stretching can help increase joint mobility and reduce pain.
  2. Increased strength: Yoga can help build strength in the muscles supporting the joints, which can reduce the strain on those joints.
  3. Reduced stress: Arthritis can be a source of chronic pain, which can lead to increased stress levels. Yoga can help reduce stress and improve mental health, which in turn can help manage arthritis symptoms.
  4. Improved balance: Many yoga poses require balance, which can help improve stability and reduce the risk of falls for people with arthritis.
  5. Better sleep: Arthritis pain can interfere with sleep, and lack of sleep can make arthritis pain worse. Yoga can help improve sleep quality, which can reduce pain and improve overall well-being.

Improving Flexibility

Yoga can be a helpful practice for improving flexibility and managing arthritis symptoms. Here are some yoga poses that may be beneficial for increasing flexibility in people with arthritis:

  1. Cat-cow stretch: This gentle, flowing movement helps to loosen up the spine and may reduce stiffness in the neck and back.
  2. Downward-facing dog: This pose stretches the hamstrings, calves, and back muscles, which can be especially tight in people with arthritis.
  3. Child’s pose: This restful pose can help to release tension in the hips, thighs, and lower back, and may also provide a gentle stretch for the ankles and knees.
  4. Warrior II: This standing pose strengthens the legs and opens up the hips, which can be especially helpful for people with arthritis in the hips or knees.
  5. Tree pose: This standing pose helps to improve balance and strengthen the core, which can be beneficial for people with arthritis in the lower back.

Building Balance

Maintaining balance can be challenging for people with arthritis, but practicing yoga can help improve balance and reduce the risk of falls. Here are some yoga poses that may be helpful for building balance in people with arthritis:

  1. Mountain pose: This foundational pose helps to improve posture and build strength in the legs and feet, which can improve balance.
  2. Chair pose: This pose strengthens the legs, especially the quadriceps, which can be helpful for people with arthritis in the knees or hips.
  3. Tree pose: This standing pose challenges balance and helps to strengthen the muscles of the legs and core.
  4. Warrior III: This pose strengthens the legs, hips, and core while challenging balance and focus.
  5. Half-moon pose: This balancing pose strengthens the legs and improves stability and balance.

Increasing Strength

Strengthening muscles can help people with arthritis manage symptoms and improve overall joint function. Here are some yoga poses that may be helpful for strengthening muscles in people with arthritis:

  1. Plank pose: This pose helps to build strength in the arms, shoulders, and core, which can be especially helpful for people with arthritis in the upper body.
  2. Warrior II: This pose strengthens the legs, especially the quadriceps and glutes, which can be helpful for people with arthritis in the hips, knees, or ankles.
  3. Bridge pose: This pose strengthens the muscles of the back and glutes, which can help improve posture and reduce back pain.
  4. Dolphin pose: This pose strengthens the arms, shoulders, and core, which can be helpful for people with arthritis in the upper body.
  5. Tree pose: This standing pose challenges balance and strengthens the muscles of the legs and core.

Find a qualified and experienced instructor for your well-being

It’s important to work with a qualified yoga instructor who can help you modify the poses and tailor a yoga practice to your specific needs and limitations.
Alka is a Yoga for Arthritis level 3 certified instructor and mentor to fellow instructors. Yoga for Arthritis is the premiere trainer of yoga instructors in this field. Alka started teaching chair yoga in 2013 and has been incorporating her Yoga for Arthritis training into her classes since 2015. Join her on Wednesdays for Chair Yoga to strengthen muscles, increase flexibility and improve balance.

Alka has helped me to get back in shape and to be more flexible. She has a way of keeping it very interesting and also lots of fun. Alka is able to joke about things, and is also very concerned about us doing it right so we don’t get hurt. I’m very much looking forward to the future with more Chair Yoga!

Empowering Healthy Living for All Ages

Feel free to email Alka directly with any questions at alka@presentwisdom.com 

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