Exercise is often recommended when you have arthritis, and yoga is one of the top exercises you can do. It is a gentle type of conditioning exercise that is very easy on your joints and offers a lot of modifications based on the type of arthritis you have and the days when you are in a lot of pain.
Before getting into some of the better yoga poses for arthritis, you should know that you don’t just want to go to any yoga class and try to do all the moves. You will likely have difficulty with some of the moves because they are not meant for people with joint pain. For example, there is quite a lot of floor work that requires balancing some of your weight on your hands. This puts a lot of pressure on your hands and wrists, so if you have arthritis in these extremities, it can be painful. Don’t rush into yoga, but instead go very slowly and work with a yoga instructor who can modify some of the moves for you. A good yoga move to start with if you have arthritis and are new to this type of exercise is a sun salutation. This is really easy on your body, relaxes you, and is good to do in the morning before starting your day. To do a sun salutation, you just need to stand up with your feet touching and hold your hands to your heart with your palms together. Focus on your breathing as you exhale, raising your arms up as you do so. When you inhale, bend back and stretch your arms into the sky. The next type of yoga move that is good for arthritis is the child’s pose. This is another gentle pose often taught for beginning yoga classes, which makes it really good to try even if you are brand new to yoga. The child’s pose stretches out your lower back and can help to give you more strength and flexibility in your core. The child’s pose is done on the ground with your knees on the ground and toes together. Reach your arms forward and to the ground, dropping your head as you do so. Speak to your yoga instructor when taking a class in order to learn other moves that will be good for your arthritic body.