Yoga for Arthritis

e are sometimes quick to assume that seniors are the only ones who are afflicted with arthritis. However, according to research studies conducted in the US, 40% of people who suffer from arthritis are under 64, while the remaining 60% are 65 and older. Many physicians recognize that moderate exercise can be helpful in alleviating arthritic pain without causing damage to the joints. More and more health care professionals are therefore recommending that patients do some form of regular exercise to help manage their arthritis.

[post-img]Yoga has long been considered a gentle alternative to the more stressful exercises that can exacerbate the already fragile joints and muscles of arthritis patients. Many of the symptoms, such as inflammation of the joints, decreased mobility, and muscle tone, can be improved with a regular yoga practice.

[tip-fact]Before proceeding with any exercise program, patients should first check with their physicians to determine their physical capability level. Once that has been established, they can then begin with a gentle yoga practice. After a period of time, when they have increased their range of motion and balance, they can consider other, slightly more strenuous yoga styles.[b-quote]The Johns Hopkins Arthritis Center website has designated a special section that introduces yoga as a resource for arthritis management. On the website, Steffany Haaz, who has a Master of Fine Arts (MFA) in choreography and is a Registered Yoga Teacher (RYT), has written an article entitled “Yoga for people with Arthritis.” In the article, Steffany points out that “physical activity is an essential part of the effective treatment of osteoarthritis (OA) and rheumatoid arthritis (RA), according to treatment guidelines published by the American College of Rheumatology.” In the article, she also refers to the added psychological benefits that yoga can provide because of its “meditative nature” and the “positive effect on quality of life.”

For more information on the restorative benefits of yoga for people with arthritis, go to the Johns Hopkins Arthritis Center website at