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Yoga can help you deal with a variety of health issues. Starting from curing migraines and improving stamina, it also helps you handle depression and improve your sexual health. Now, doesn't that sound interesting?
If you are among those suffering from a constant joint ache and fatigue when doing mundane tasks or if you often pop painkillers to do away with the pain, then you probably need to turn towards a holistic approach such as yoga for help.
What Causes Joint Pain?
As you age, there are increasing chances of joint pain. A weak bone structure, lack of essential nutrients in the body, lack of adequate physical exercises, etc. can all further aggravate the pain. Arthritis is the most common cause of joint pain.
Sometimes, the pain may also be due to inflammation of the cushioning around the joints, due to infectious diseases, an injury, due to certain illness like gout, lupus, overuse of a joint, fibromyalgia, an infection of the bone, osteoporosis, etc.
How Is Yoga Beneficial In Relieving Joint Pain?
Although medication can alleviate the pain, chances are that the pain will recur after a period of time. However, yoga is a time-tested method that can help you do away with the pain altogether. Apart from toning your body, it also calms your mind, helping you cope better with pain too.
The practice of yoga on a regular basis can improve flexibility and functioning of the joints, apart from reducing pain and stress. Yoga also reduces inflammation. In fact, studies have shown that yoga practitioners have lower levels of inflammation-causing proteins in their blood.
Yoga Postures For Joint Pain Relief
Here are six yoga postures that can be beneficial in relieving joint pain. Apart from helping your joints, they also help in strengthening them.
- Trikonasana (Triangle Pose)
- Veerasana (Hero's Pose)
- Gomukhasana (Cow Face Pose)
- Vrikshasana (Tree Pose)
- Sethubandhasana (Bridge Pose)
1. Trikonasana (Triangle Pose)
• Relieves the pain in the neck and shoulder.
• Relieves stiff joints.
• Strengthens your legs, knees, ankles, and chest.
• Improves digestion and metabolism.
• Reduces stress and anxiety and improves calmness.
• Helps beat acidity and stomach-related ailments.
How to do:
• Stand straight with legs apart with one foot turned outwards such that your toes face sideways and turn the other foot slightly inwards.
• Now stretch your arms sideways.
• Bend at your hips and lower one arm towards the outward turned leg and the other arm raised up towards the sky.
• Breathe out as you bend down. Place your arm either on your ankle or knee.
• Inhale and exhale softly and allow your body to relax. Ensure that your hips are in a straight position. Hold in this pose for five breath counts.
• Exhale and come back to standing position.
• Repeat on the other side.
Tip: Do not exert yourself too much when doing this pose. Also, avoid this pose if you have high or low blood pressure, migraines, diarrhea, and neck or back injury.
2. Veerasana (Hero's Pose)
• Tones muscles, thighs, hips, and arms.
• Great remedy for arthritis, increases circulation around the joints, and strengthens the joints.
• Improves circulation in the joints and makes them flexible.
• Tones muscles of the chest and improves lung capacity.
How to do
• Sit on a yoga mat and stretch your legs outwards with the back kept straight.
• Bend your left leg at the knees and place the toes of the foot under your left buttock.
• Bend your right leg at the knees and place the toes of that foot on the thigh of the left leg.
• Extend your hands in front of you, raise them over your head, and bend them at the elbow and joint of your palms.
• Bring them down together and place your wrists on your head.
3. Gomukhasana (Cow Face Pose)
• Beneficial for the joints of elbows, shoulders, fingers, neck, spine, and hip.
• Improves blood circulation in the knees and ankles.
• Tones muscles and nerves and makes them stronger.
• It reduces stiffness and lubricates the joints.
• Improves functioning of heart and lungs.
How to do
• Bend your knees and place them on the mat such that your upper body is erect and knees bear your weight. Keep your toes pointed to the ground.
• Take your right hand, bend it at the elbows, and place it behind your back.
• Take your left hand over your head, bending it at the elbow and above your ear.
• Place the left hand at the nape of your neck and grasp your right hand with it.
• Breathe normally while you do this asana.
• Get out of the asana while sitting down and bring hands back to normal position.
Tip: If you suffer from severe arthritis, this asana can be performed sitting in the Padmasana pose also.
4. Vrikshasana (Tree Pose)
• Tones ankles, knees, hip, joints, shoulders, elbows, hands, and fingers.
• Increases blood circulation around the affected joints and reduces pain.
• Tones muscles of the stomach and abdomen.
• Relaxes the mind and improves focus.
How to do
• Stand with legs together.
• Place your weight on one leg and raise the other leg such that your foot is facing inwards towards your opposite knee. You can hold your ankle to pull up the leg.
• The heel of your foot can be placed on your inner thigh of the other leg, close to the pelvis.
• Gently raise your hands over your head, with fingers pointed towards the ceiling.
• Breathe steadily and try to maintain balance.
Tip: If you have an injured knee, check with your practitioner before performing this asana.
5. Sethubandhasana (Bridge Pose)
• Helps your spine and hip joints.
• Relieves pain, stiffness, and discomfort.
• Relieves disorders of the neck, arms, and palms.
• Controls blood pressure, relaxes the mind, improves digestion, and relieves respiratory. problems.
How to do:
• Lie flat on the yoga mat with feet flat on the floor.
• Exhale and raise your body with your neck and head placed flat on the mat and the rest of your body points up in the air.
• Use your hands to push for added support.
Tip: Do not overexert or hurt yourself. Avoid this pose if you have neck or back injury.
1. Understand your body's limitations and do only as much as you can do comfortably. In case the pain aggravates, discontinue the practice and consult a medical professional before resuming practice.
2. All yoga postures should be performed only under the supervision of a trained practitioner.