Healing yoga for arthritis!

yoga_June5_ASuffering with arthritis and the idea of stretching your body into flexible yoga postures may seem incongruent. However, there’s evidence to suggest that yoga practice can actually help alleviate or at least ease some of the symptoms of arthritis and is in fact an ideal exercise for those with pain and mobility issues. For non-sufferers, exercise could help prevent the onset of joint problems too. Healing yoga for arthritis could open a whole new lease of life for sufferers.

Because yoga’s been such a solid and respected exercise system for so long there is absolutely loads of anecdotal evidence that points toward the benefits of practice on the mind, body and whole being. When it comes to conditions such as osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis, yoga can promise a gentle workout that is less intense and is not going to pound joints.

A recent University of Cincinnati Health Promotion and Education Program reviewed previous studies conducted in the US and India between 2010 and 2013. Out of nine studies, six revealed beneficial physical and psychological results in relation to arthritis.

So what are some of the potential benefits of yoga if you have arthritis?

  • Keeps you positive – Anyone who has suffered from a painful problem understands that illness can spark off negative feelings and be a catalyst for depression.
  • Eases stiffness and pain – The stretching and challenge to your body’s flexibility that yoga practice entails can perhaps stop the body from feeling rigid, tight and closed-up.
  • Modifiable – If you have a physical problem in one specific area then you can easily modify yoga and find an alternative posture or movement.
  • Gentle exercise – With arthritis there are certain more intense activities that may be out of bounds. With medical go-ahead, yoga can be a great way to stay active.
  • Strength and stability – Yoga is a great practice to strengthen and condition the whole body and it keeps muscles strong so that they can support joints. By being body-aware and enhancing muscle performance throughout the body, yoga can help improve muscle balance which inspires better stability.
  • De-stresses – Anxiety, both physical and mental, is no friend to ongoing health problems. By calming the body and the mind and increasing ideas of acceptance and capability, yoga can relax and stimulate you at the same time.
  • Increases movement – Stretching and focusing on flexibility will, over time, increase your range of motion and your general functional movements.
  • Boosts energy – Yoga sets off feel-good hormones and stimulates your circulation and your digestive processes. It creates a chain of wellness processes which make you feel energized after practice.

The key to successful yoga practice, for anyone, not just those with arthritis, is to listen to your body and stop if you feel in pain or uncomfortable. Yoga can keep your body supple and your joints moving, thus guarding against the onset of arthritis too.

Don’t let disability stand in the way of keeping fit and being healthy. Get in touch today.

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