Since ancient times, breathing techniques and meditation have been touted as a way to boost mental and physical health. But does yoga really work to improve the arthritis symptoms like stiffness and pain or psychological issues like stress and anxiety? Today on International Yoga Day, we will be discussing yoga for arthritis pain relief.
Not many know that yoga is proven to help people with arthritis symptoms. In fact, recent studies have shown that regular yoga practice can help reduce joint pain, lower stress and tension to promote good sleep, and improve joint flexibility.
How Does Yoga Treat Arthritis Pain?
As you age, the chances of joint pain increase and you start suffering from weak bones; a lack of exercise and essential nutrients can aggravate arthritis. Yoga is an ideal form of exercise for those who suffer from joint pain because it is a low-impact exercise that provides natural arthritis pain relief by strengthening your muscles in the joints, thus increasing flexibility and maintaining bone strength.
Have a look at these yoga poses for relieving arthritis pain and strengthening your joints.
1. Warrior Pose/Veerbhadrasana
This yoga asana aims at strengthening the joints, increases the blood circulation to the hips, shoulders, cervical region, and ankles. The warrior pose is also extremely beneficial in strengthening the arms, legs, and lower back.
How to do: Stand straight with legs wide apart and turn your right foot out by 90 degrees and left foot in by 15 degrees. Lift both your arms sideways to shoulder height with your palm facing upwards. Bend your right knee and breathe out.
2. Bow Pose/Dhanurasana
This yoga pose opens the shoulders and increases flexibility in the back. Practicing bow pose every day will bring relief from lower back pain.
How to do: Lie on your stomach with your feet apart and arms placed at the side of the body. Fold your knees and hold your ankles and start breathing in. Slowly lift your chest off the ground and pull your legs up and back.
3. Bridge Pose/Setu Bandhasana
This yoga asana will help strengthen the knee muscles and is also helpful for those suffering from osteoporosis. The bridge pose calms the brain and reduces anxiety and stress in the body.
How to do: Lie on your back, and fold your knees and keep your hip at a distance. Place your arms beside the body and slowly lift your lower back, middle back, and upper back off the floor. Hold the position for one to two minutes and release the pose.
4. Triangle Pose/Trikonasana
This yoga pose strengthens the knees, legs, and ankles. It also helps in stretching and opening the hamstrings, hips, and groins. The triangle pose can also bring relief from back pain and sciatica.
How to do: Stand straight and separate your feet wide apart. Turn your right foot 90 degrees and left foot in by 15 degrees. Inhale and exhale deeply and allow the left hand to come up in the air and the right hand comes down towards the floor.
5. Camel Pose/Ustrasana
The camel pose is an effective exercise for relieving back pain and strengthening the shoulder. The asana also improves the flexibility of the spine, relieves low back pain, and improves posture.
How to do: Kneel down and place your hands on your hips. Keep your knees in line with the shoulders. Inhale slowly and arch your back and slide your palms over your feet.
6. Dolphin Plank Pose/Makara Adho Mukha Svanasana
The dolphin plank pose helps to strengthen and stretches the hamstrings and shoulders. It also strengthens the arms, legs, and wrists.
How to do: Lie down on your stomach and ensure your shoulders are aligned with your wrists. Lower your arms till the forearms touch the floor and press your palms to the floor.
7. Cow Pose
The cow pose improves the flexibility of the spine and stretches it.
How to do: Kneel down and place your hands on the floor with fingers spread wide. Bring your chest forward as your shoulder blades press down towards your waist.
8. Child's Pose
This yoga asana improves flexibility and stretches the spine and hip flexors. It brings relief from lower back pain.
How to do: Drop down on your knees, spread your knees wide, sit back on your feet, and place your arms on the ground. This is a gentle exercise to stretch the lower back.
9. Sun Salutations/Surya Namaskar
Sun salutation works by improving overall flexibility of the body. It also helps in loosening up your muscles in the knees and thus helps to provide relief from arthritis pain.
How to do: Surya Namaskar is a great yoga asana to start the day. It is a meditative exercise and calms your body. It should be done on an empty stomach. There are two sets in each round of Surya Namaskar. Twelve yoga poses make up each set. One should practice Surya Namaskar regularly in order to get best results.
Some Additional Tips For Relieving Arthritis Pain:
- To keep your joints healthier, reduce the intake of inflammatory foods such as gluten and sugar.
- Start consuming anti-inflammatory foods like nuts, green leafy vegetables, and fruits that can help lower joint pain.
- Increase muscle mass and avoid over-stressing your joints.
- Maintain good posture while standing and sitting.
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