Gentle Yoga poses that can help manage arthritis: 10 exercises for enhancing joint flexibility | Health

ByZarafshan Shiraz, New Delhi

According to experts, gentle Yoga poses and stretches can help improve joint flexibility, reduce stiffness and alleviate discomfort associated with arthritis. The practice also promotes relaxation and can contribute to better overall well-being however, it is essential to approach Yoga with caution and consult with a healthcare professional to ensure that the chosen poses align with your specific condition and limitations.

Gentle Yoga poses that can help manage arthritis: 10 exercises for enhancing joint flexibility (Image by DC Studio on Freepik)

In an interview with HT Lifestyle, Himalayan Siddhaa Akshar, Founder of Akshar Yoga Kendraa, suggested some simple Yoga poses that can be beneficial for managing arthritis symptoms and enhancing joint flexibility –

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  1. Child’s Pose (Balasana): Start on your hands and knees, then sit back on your heels, reaching your arms forward. This pose gently stretches the hips, thighs, and ankles, providing relief to the lower back.
  2. Cat-Cow Stretch (Urdhva/Adho Marjaryasana): Move between arching your back upward (like a cat) and dipping it downward (like a cow). This dynamic movement helps improve flexibility in the spine and eases tension in the neck and shoulders.
  3. Downward-Facing Dog (Adho Mukha Svanasana): Begin on your hands and knees, then lift your hips towards the ceiling, forming an inverted V-shape. This pose stretches the hamstrings, calves and shoulders, promoting flexibility throughout the body.
  4. Mountain Pose (Tadasana): Stand tall with your feet together, arms at your sides. This foundational pose encourages proper alignment, strengthens the legs and improves posture, offering relief to arthritis-related discomfort.
  5. Warrior I (Virabhadrasana I): Step one foot back and bend the front knee, arms reaching overhead. Warrior I enhances strength in the legs and opens the chest, fostering flexibility in the hips.
  6. Seated Forward Bend (Paschimottanasana): Sit with legs extended, then hinge at the hips to reach towards your toes. This seated stretch targets the lower back, hamstrings and calves, promoting joint mobility.
  7. Bridge Pose (Setu Bandhasana): Lie on your back, bend your knees, and lift your hips towards the ceiling. Bridge Pose strengthens the lower back, buttocks, and thighs, supporting overall joint health.
  8. Legs Up the Wall Pose (Viparita Karani): Sit close to a wall, then lie on your back with legs extended up the wall. This gentle inversion can reduce swelling in the legs and alleviate pressure on the joints.
  9. Supine Hand-To-Big-Toe Pose (Supta Padangusthasana): Lying on your back, extend one leg upward while holding the big toe. This pose aids in hip flexibility and can be modified based on your comfort level.
  10. Corpse Pose (Savasana): End your practice by lying on your back, arms at your sides. Savasana allows for relaxation and integration of the benefits from your yoga session.

Remember, it is crucial to listen to your body and modify these poses as needed and if any pose causes pain, it is essential to stop and consult with your healthcare provider. Incorporating these gentle Yoga poses into your routine regularly may contribute to better arthritis management and increased joint flexibility.

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