YogaAndBackCare - Arthritis


She was a very attractive young doctor. "What do you expect at your age? It's arthritis" Ah well! It gets us all sooner or later. But the good news is that Hatha Yoga does seem to help arthritic joints.

There are several types of arthritis. If you are seriously interested in the subject and do some research you will discover that several is an understatement. However the most common one I see in my pupils is osteoarthritis.

This will send shivers down any medical readers ( sorry ) but think of your joints as having honey separating them and that the honey can be cold, very thick and viscous or it can be warm and runny. It's bound to be easier to move the joints with the warm runny honey between them. It isn't honey, it's synovial fluid between the joints and its purpose is to reduce the friction between the joints.

When there are several pupils in my class with arthritis, we take longer on the warm-up session and very, very gradually increase the range of motion in the joints we will be using in the postures.

The mainways of practising a yoga posture are:-

  1. The posture can be held for several minutes and as the student relaxes into the posture, the body begins to yield and flow into the position.
  2. The student makes the best attempt possible at the posture, holds it for a very short time. Comes out of the posture, relaxes for a few moments and then tries the posture again

Both work. Students can choose which ever way works for them. Either way, will have the effect of warming up that honey like synovial fluid and the joint feels easier afterwards.

Dr Frank Chandra used to talk about the yoga postures bringing extra oxygenated blood into the areas being worked on in the posture and that this extra supply of oxygenated blood has a healing effect.