Many people who suffer from arthritis experience symptoms of joint pain, stiffness, and swelling, as well as limited ranges of motion. Evidence suggests that a regular yoga practice can help reduce joint pain, improve joint flexibility and physical function, and lower stress and tension to promote better sleep. Yoga may also help a person with arthritis build muscle strength and improve balance. Remember to check with your doctor before beginning any exercise program, but the following are some tips to make sure that you have a safe and successful yoga class:
- Use props such as blocks, folded blankets and straps to personalize your yoga practice and make it more comfortable.
- Modify poses by not going “deeply” into them
- Most yoga teachers are more than willing to work with you to find pose variations and modifications to accommodate your arthritis.
- Practice proper body alignment and equal weight distribution.
- Find a comfortable resting pose to go to if you are feeling pain or discomfort in your joints.
- Always practice yoga poses in your pain-free range.
- Listen to your body and be mindfully present in the moment as you practice. Do not try to keep up with classmates or have expectations of yourself.
- With regular practice, you will likely gain flexibility, strength, and confidence in your yoga practice.
So if you are thinking to yourself that you’d like to try yoga to relieve some of your pain.. the time is now! Try one of our Beginner Yoga Workshops (visit our events page to find the next one) or try any of our Slow Flow Yoga classes.