Through research conducted at the Johns Hopkins Arthritis Center and elsewhere, yoga has shown promise for improving arthritis symptoms, physical fitness, mental health and quality of life. However, in order to be safe and effective, yoga must also be appropriate for people living with arthritis. While there are many ways that yoga poses can be adapted, a chair is a readily available tool that makes yoga more accessible.
Dr. Steffany Moonaz will guide you through these videos, which can be used one at a time or in sequence, depending on how much time you have and what you want to practice. It includes information on posture, breathing, movement, yoga poses that are done seated and standing, and a relaxation.
Yoga for Arthritis: An Introduction
Yoga for Arthritis: Healthy Alignment for Sitting and Standing
Did you know that the very first yoga pose was just about how to sit properly? And standing upright with healthy alignment is called Mountain Pose? We may not think of sitting and standing as yoga, but the way we sit and stand can affect the pressure on our joints, the way we breathe, and even our mood. In this video, Dr. Moonaz guides you through considerations for healthy alignment while sitting and standing, so you can practice yoga all day long!
Yoga for Arthritis: Reduce Stress Through Deep Breathing
We might think of breathing as automatic, and in some ways it is. But we can change the way we breathe and even use it as a tool for better health. Breath is connected to the way our nervous system functions and can therefore change the way we experience pain. Breath can also be a tool for managing pain, as anyone who has given birth can tell you! In this video, you will learn more about the importance of breath and how to change your breathing for the better.
Yoga for Arthritis: Chair Yoga for Improved Mobility
In this yoga sequence, Dr. Moonaz takes you through the movement of all major joints of the body. This can be a great activity for mornings to reduce stiffness or as a warm-up to any kind of exercise or a longer yoga practice. You can also use any of these movements throughout the day if you are starting to feel stiff or just need a little bit of movement in your day.
Yoga for Arthritis: Seated Yoga Postures
This video contains a few yoga poses that can be done seated in a chair. You’ll want one chair to sit on and another in front of you to put your feet on. Alternatively, these poses can also be done sitting on the floor if you feel comfortable doing so. You may also want something like a strap, a belt, or a necktie to hold into in some of the poses. These gentle poses can help to stretch the back of the legs and bring more movement into the spine.
Yoga for Arthritis: 5 Classic Yoga Poses Modified for Arthritis Patients
This sequence of five classic standing yoga poses can help to improve strength, stability, and balance. These poses might also help you to feel more confident and self-assured. You’ll want a chair or a wall nearby to hold onto, especially during the balancing poses.
Yoga for Arthritis: Reduce Stress Through Focused Relaxation
This short relaxation practice can be done at bedtime to help you prepare for sleep, or anytime for relaxation and stress management. It can be done seated in a chair against a wall or lying down. You might want a second chair to place your feet on, and maybe something soft to support your head and neck. Try to do this in a quiet place at a time when you know you won’t be disturbed.