Rheumatoid Arthritis is a painful condition that many people live with. This is when the joints begin to stiffen up and are painful. Many people even experience swelling of the joints, tiredness, and weakness.
Yoga is an incredible, low-impact form of exercise that is great for improving mobility and flexibility in the joints and muscles. Many sufferers of Rheumatoid Arthritis take up yoga as a form of treatment to keep the symptoms at bay and to keep their bodies as healthy as can be.
Below are 7 amazing Rheumatoid Arthritis yoga poses that will help your blood flow and can even help manage your symptoms. You can push your body to new heights and find a new lease on life with a few simple yoga poses.
Let’s get into it!
The Cobra Pose is an excellent stretching pose for promoting strength and flexibility in the knees. It aids in easing the discomfort brought on by prolonged sitting in one place. Along with strengthening the spine, it also expands the lungs, chest, and shoulders.
It also improves digestion, fights weariness, and increases vitality. Additionally, this stance can help senior folks with knee pain.
And what makes it better? It is done lying on the floor! Lie flat on your stomach with your hands tucked into your armpits. Breathe in and on the exhalation push your chest up until your arms are extended. Or if that is painful, remain on your elbows and take nice deep breaths.
It is important to take care if you have pain in the wrist or elbows, are pregnant, or have a severe spinal injury. Only stretch when it is comfortable to do so and for short periods of time.
If you are experiencing RA in the hips, lower back, or spine then you will find the Wind Releasing Pose a true relief. It also helps to reduce indigestion, acidity, bloating, and even constipation.
Whenever you feel like things are a little backed up, practice the Wind Releasing Pose.
Begin lying on your back, bringing the knees to your chest and wrapping your arms around them. Slowly release your left leg until fully extended while pulling the right knee closer to your chest.
Hold this position for a few moments before releasing and moving onto the other leg. Alternate between each leg for a few reps before relaxing completely on the floor.
For those with back pain, place a folded blanket or small pillow under the small of your back for support. This is an excellent time to practice breathing techniques and really stretch out the lower spine.
This pose can be difficult for those with RA as it involves stretching various muscles and joints. Take this stretch slowly and only attempt to stretch if you are feeling comfortable.
This pose is great for promoting spine mobility due to the twisting effect. It stretches the chest, glutes, and hamstrings with improving alignments within the body. You will feel a nice stretch in the hips that can improve mobility.
Many people practice this pose to achieve lower back pain relief and tightness in the shoulders. Perfect if you feel stressed or want to work on your posture.
The Lumbar Stretch does require a good range of motion throughout the entire body which may be painful for those with Rheumatoid Arthritis. Be sure to do a quick warm-up and flow session before going into this pose to ensure the joints are loose.
The Triangle Pose is stable in many yoga routines as it stretches the spine and opens the hips. This pose can really push your flexibility while giving the organs a nice wake-up in the morning.
Practicing this pose engages the core which in turn promotes regular digestion and helps to reduce anxiety. You will also feel a nice amount of relief in the lower back. Be sure to complete some light mobility stretches before going into this pose as it requires movement from the hips, legs, and back.
Begin standing tall with your feet wide apart. Turn one foot outwards and extend the arms out to your sides until parallel with the floor. Take a deep breath and lean to the side, bending at the hips. One arm should be behind the turned leg with the other towards the sky.
If this is uncomfortable, have a slight bend in the knee and place your arm on your knee or ankle. Hold and take 5 deep breaths. Repeat on the other side.
It is extremely easy to overstretch in this pose, take care to only go as far as it feels comfortable. Otherwise, you risk hurting yourself which is not the aim of yoga.
Anyone with a knee injury or a spinal disorder should avoid this pose.
The Bridge Pose is one of the best poses for Rheumatoid Arthritis. This pose helps stretch the entire upper body including the chest, neck, and spine. Many find this pose helpful due to the many variations that can help menstrual cramps and even relieve anxiety.
Begin lying on your back with your knees bent up, and feet firmly on the mat. You can take the time to breathe here and really relax during the yoga session. Now, dig into your heels while engaging your glutes and core to raise your torso from the mat. Your neck, core, pelvis, and knees should be in alignment.
Hold this position for a few breaths to find your bearings. Slowly, release your core and glutes while lowering your pelvis back down to the floor.
Now, if you find that you do not have the core strength to hold your torso in the Bridge Pose, clasp your arms together underneath the butt and apply for some support. Or you can slide a yoga block underneath the butt or tailbone for support.
Another variation is to place the feet on a raised surface such as a chair or sofa. You still want to engage the core and the glutes but this takes the pressure off the hips and knees where you may be experiencing some discomfort.
The Bridge Pose is a great way to work the core while calming the mind. You can take the time to breathe into this pose and will see progress the more you practice. This pose should be added to a morning or nighttime yoga routine for a relaxing effect.
The Pigeon Pose is a great pose for opening up the hips and stretching the hip flexors. However, it can be hard to achieve this pose and remain in it for an extended period of time. So, you can do it on a chair!
Begin sitting upright on a chair and bring one knee across the thigh. Take a deep breath and slowly lean forward until you need a nice stretch in the glutes, hamstrings, and lower back. Lower your leg and repeat with the other leg.
This pose is simple yet extremely effective in aiding hip mobility. Work to keep your raised knee in line with your ankle as much as possible.
The Pigeon Pose in all of its forms is popular among athletes, yogi, and anyone looking to loosen their hips.
The Eagle Pose is an advanced yoga pose that is heavy on support from the knees and engagement of the core and glutes. It requires a lot of stability that can take months or even years to acquire.
A great alternative is to use a chair. The Chair Eagle Pose provides you with the same strengthening effect without putting strain on the knees or hips.
Begin sitting upright on a chair with your back straight. Cross the right knee over the left knee, crossing at the ankles. The left arm should cross over the right arm, bent at the elbows, and locked.
Take a deep breath and on the exhalation, bring the shoulders down away from the arms and engage your core. Remain in this position for 5 breaths before repeating on the other side.
This pose is loved for the deep stretch you feel in the hips and down the thighs. You can really take your time to perfect your breathing as the back of the lungs opens and the shoulders relax. Anyone can do this pose and find benefits from regular practice.
Yoga is a practice that everyone can learn and benefit from. Whether you are recovering from an injury, want to create some time for yourself, or want to move your body in a gentle yet effective way, yoga is great.
It is especially brilliant for people with diseases such as Rheumatoid Arthritis who may not have the strength and mobility they had before. With a few simple variations, you can push your body like never before.
Become more in sync with your body and discover just how far you can go. Even if your joints are working against you.
Remember, only stretch as far as you are comfortable and take your time to breathe into the pose.