Updated: Apr 19, 2021
Does yoga help with Arthritis?
Yes. According to research. Most studies I researched for my Yoga Therapy assignment showed an improvement in function and a lessening of pain. Interestingly, breathing and meditation were more effective with pain relief than the asanas (movement or poses). The most marked improvement is in feelings of well-being.
A very brief description of how Yoga can help different types of Arthritis
Osteoarthritis (OA) is when the smooth cartilage of the joint surfaces wears out. “ “it’s wear and tear” doctors may say but "It’s not your age it’s arthritis". (check out the versus arthritis website - it is great)
Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) and other types of Arthritis, such as Lupus or Psoriatic are autoimmune diseases, which means the immune system malfunctions and attacks the body instead.
Joint pain, stiffness and decreased range of motion are common to both RA and OA to all types of Arthritis, so there will be movement or poses helpful to both, for example joint loosening.
In OA weight bearing joints are usually affected and swelling is localised but in RA swelling can occur in pairs and there is systemic swelling fatigue and flares.
In general people with OA need a warming practise; a more dynamic (moving) practice and to be wrapped for relaxation. Those with RA need a cooling practise to prevent over-heating, slower movements, and a cooling breath.
But everyone is different and the expert on your body is you!
For more information on arthritis and some helpful exercises to manage pain try:
Yoga Therapy for Arthritis starts on Thursday 20th May at the Amiyoga Studio. New people there is a pre-class one to one session which can be done face to face or over zoom. £6 a session or £45 for 8 weeks plus the initial one-to-one session. Prices should really be double this but it is a brand new course in an area I am passionate about.
You get a 30 minute one to one session to help personalise the Yoga Therapy
8 lessons of one and a half hours that include breathwork, relaxation and meditation. Plus joint releasing work for mobility and to ease pain. Asanas (the poses) to build strength in the muscles to help support the joints, help with balance, agility as well as improving flexibility and mobility. Small class work to allow for indiviualisation.
Oh, and homework sheets and/or recordings