Rheumatoid Arthritis and Yoga
The use of yoga dates back to 2000 years ago. It involves a variety of poses and movements that boost the mind's capacity to concentrate and at the same time promotes physical conditioning. With Yoga, a person's physical and mental well being can be greatly enhanced.
Effect of Yoga on Rheumatoid Arthritis
Yoga poses can help strengthen the joints and improve their function, thus reducing the risk of stiffness.
Side Effects and Warnings
Hatha yoga is generally at least as safe as any other stretching-based exercise program. However there are a few hatha yoga positions, such as the headstand, that can cause injury when they are performed by a person who isn’t yet sufficiently advanced in yoga, or who has certain health problems, such as a detached retina. A properly qualified instructor can help you avoid injury, taking your own individual health status into account.
Seated spinal twist
This yoga pose allows you to stretch the entire length of your spine.
1 Start in a sitting position with your legs extended. Bring your right foot on the outside of your left knee. The right foot must be flat on the floor.
2 Hold your right foot with your right hand. Extend your left arm out in front of you
Swing your left arm to the side and all the way to the back. Place it as close to the center of the back, if possible. Turn your torso to the direction of your left arm, this will engage the spine in a twist. Breathe deeply and relax the muscles.
Side angle pose.
This pose strengthens the thigh area.
1 Stand with feet about 4 ft. apart. Turn the right foot out about 90 degrees and the foot in 45 degrees.
2 Slowly bend your right knee, keeping the knee directly over the toes. Rest your right forearm to the bent right knee and extend your left arm alongside the left ear. The extended arm should not be pointed straight up toward the ceiling. You should focus on keeping a continuous diagonal line from the back left foot to the extended left arm. You may either look down to the mat or gaze upward to the extended fingers.
3 Try not to tense or sink in your lower shoulder. If its to difficult to rest your right forearm on your thigh, you may place it on a stool, this will relieve some weight off your front leg.
4 Hold the pose for one or two breaths during first sessions, you may increase up to 5 full breaths over time.
5 Repeat on the other side.
This yoga exercise helps improve the range of motion of your wrists through stretching and bending.
1 Sit on the floor or yoga mat.
2 Straighten your hand in front of you at shoulder height, parallel to the floor
3 Turn your palm down and extend your fingers and thumb forward and close together.
4 Inhale as you bend your hand at the wrist backward as if you are pressing hard against an object.
5 Exhale as you bend your hand down at the wrist. With this movement, you will feel a slight pull all the way to your forearm.
6 Repeat eight times, then do it with your other hand. After some practice, you will be do wrist bending with both hands at the same time.