Yoga for Rheumatoid Arthritis

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edited August 2016 in Exercise

Rheumatoid Arthritis article: Yoga for Rheumatoid ArthritisYoga for Rheumatoid Arthritis

Yoga can increase your flexibility and range of motion without taxing your joints, but it's vital to choose the right kind of yoga for rheumatoid arthritis.

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  • I have done yoga for more than 35 years and it helps greatly with the RA.
    Even when a flare is at its worst, I can still manage to get on the mat for at least five to ten minutes.
    I do yoga almost every night for fifteen to twenty minutes. It really does help on a mental and spiritual level as well.
  • I have been teaching an adaptive yoga class for years now. It's a "come as you are with the body you woke up with today" kind of class. Having had RA for decades (though only diagnosed about 10 years ago) I know that I can only teach if I warm up thoroughly and my class members, with widely varying backgrounds and conditions, seem to do well with the same approach. We use chairs as optional support. The poses look different on each person and we look for the essence of each pose rather than trying to be a model of "perfect form". Sometimes a person focuses just on their breath if movement is too painful. We practice for ourselves and for each other. Most yoga teachers are able and willing to provide modifications for painful poses. If not, keep looking. Yoga can provide the deep rest that we need to deal with chronic pain. I don't have the experience to teach restorative yoga, but it is almost magical in how it can move you out of your pain - even if only for a half hour.

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