How to Use Yoga for Pain Relief from Rheumatoid Arthritis

Updated: May 10

Believe it or not- yoga is for everyone. Yoga for pain relief from Rheumatoid Arthritis strengthens your muscles (providing joint support) and lowers stress.

About 1.3 million Americans suffer from rheumatoid arthritis. Additionally, out of every 100,000 people, 41 are diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis each year.


If you suffer from rheumatoid arthritis, then you know how difficult it can be to go about your daily life.


While medication can certainly help with rheumatoid arthritis, another thing that can help a lot is yoga. But, how do you use yoga for rheumatoid arthritis?


Check out this guide to discover how to use yoga for pain relief from rheumatoid arthritis.


Best Poses for RA


When it comes to doing yoga for pain relief from RA, you need to make sure you're going the right poses.


While yoga is a gentle exercise in general, there are some poses that may end up doing more harm than good. Here are some of the top poses you should incorporate into your practice:


Cobra


For this pose, you need to lay down on your stomach with the tops of your feet resting on the floor. Then, place your palms alongside your chest and flat on the floor, and keep your elbows close to your body.


If you're not able to place your palms on the floor, you can use your elbows or fists. Then, lift your chest, neck, and head off the floor and gaze forward, making sure to keep your legs and feet down and your upper back muscles engaged.


Seated Spinal Twist


For this pose, you'll need to sit with your legs extended and your back straight. If you feel your back rounding, you can use a cushion to keep you propped up straight.


Then, pull one knee in and lift your foot over to the outside of your extended leg. If you can, plant your foot on the floor as if making a footprint. Keep your foot as close to the hip as possible, and wrap your opposite arm around the knee that's bent.


Side Angle Pose


For the side angle pose, you'll want to spread your feet a few feet apart and then turn your right foot at a 90-degree angle and your left foot at a 45-degree angle.


Then, bend your right knee, keeping it directly above your toes. Next, bring your right elbow to your right bent knee and allow your left arm to extend past your left ear.


Basically, you're trying to create a continuous diagonal line from your left foot to your extended left arm. Make sure to keep your hips and shoulders aligned and release any tension that's in your body.


Tips for Practicing Yoga with RA


Additionally, here are some general tips to follow for those practicing yoga for their RA:


  • Practice gentle types of yoga such as Anusara, Hatha, and or Lyengar

  • If you're new to yoga, avoid Ashtanga, Kundalini, hot yoga, power yoga, and Bikram yoga

  • When practicing yoga, remember to listen to your body and to focus on quieting and calming your body


Additionally, if you're new to the practice, we suggest attending some classes so you can get a better hang of it. Once you get a routine down, you can start practicing on your own.


Yoga for Rheumatoid Arthritis: Are You Ready to Start Your Practice?


Now that you know how to use yoga for pain relief from rheumatoid arthritis, it's time to start your practice.


Additionally, if you're looking to lose weight, be sure to check out this guide to learn how to create a workout plan that helps with weight loss.

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