The Benefits Of Yoga For Arthritis

Just because you have a diagnosis of arthritis, it doesn't need to stop you from doing what you love. It doesn't have to mean less mobility, in fact the opposite is true, if you do the research and work within your limits. Arthritis can be a debilitating condition; Your joints hurt and may be stiff through lack of movement through protecting the area to minimise pain. It's real pain; really mind blowing pain that stops you in your tracks. the thought of moment is scary because of that pain and the fear of making it worse. As it worsens over time, the periods of immobility become longer, the pain stronger. Is there a way to ease the pain and make movement easier? Gentle movement is better than no movement. think of an engine. ... as it moves it is greased and lubricated, the cogs turn and the engine whirrs. Motoring up the engine regularly makes a difference as the engine has less down time to seize up.

Now Think Of Your Body As An Engine

"It's important to keep muscles strong to support the joints, and movement is important to reduce stiffness. Yoga can be a fun alternative to swimming, walking or other gentle activities. Like any other exercise, yoga helps you stay at a healthy weight and grow stronger, which in turn takes pressure off your joints" Susan J. Bartlett (PhD), associate professor at McGill University in Montreal

So How Can Yoga Help?

According to the Arthritis Foundation a combination of gentle yoga poses, breathwork and relaxation can make a big difference to joint tenderness and swelling. And the mood boosting benefits of yoga help to lift your spirit and mindset. Many people with a painful condition can feel overwhelmed and down or stressed as a result. Stress has a negative impact on arthritis symptoms and can actually worsen the condition. Yoga works on the mind and body, gently encouraging homeostasis in the nervous system and has been proven to energise, build positive feelings and lessen anxiety.

I've seen the benefits first hand with my mother after a ; She fell off of a ladder and broke her back some years back and she developed arthritis in her thoracic spine when it healed. The things my mother took for granted before her accident, gardening and cleaning for example, left her in a lot of pain and she had to take medication. I introduced mum to yoga around 4 years ago and she hasn't looked back. The pain eased, her mood lifted and she didn't take the pain meds anymore, actually moving instead to natural ginger root and turmeric - natures anti-inflammatories.

What Have You Got To Lose?

Explore your local yoga offerings and find a good, qualified teacher to start your journey. A good teacher will have an understanding of physiology and anatomy and will ask for a brief medical history to ensure they keep you safe and injury free in class. They will also be able to suggest modifications and alternative postures to ensure you can get the most out of your class, maximising the benefits you experience.

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