Sometimes people living with arthritis can feel intimidated from approaching a yoga practice especially when yoga classes are often geared toward people who are physically fit and more mobile than the arthritis population I’m going to show you a few ways that you can modify a yoga practice to make it more accessible safer and more comfortable for people living with arthritis that includes safe ways to get up and down from the floor ways to modify the poses for both wrists and knees and yoga poses that you can do seated in a chair.
To get down to the floor safely and comfortably we’re going to use a chair on some questioning on the mat so something like a full that out blanket or pillow and then the mat you want to make sure that your chair is on the mat all four legs so that it’s not likely to move when you put your weight into the chair so we’re gonna start standing facing the chair and then we banned the hips and knees just slightly keeping a nice long spine so that we can bring the hands down to the chair you can hold on to the chair arms bring the hands to the chair seat or you could have the chair turned around the other way and hold on to the back, either way, we’re gonna bring the weight of our hands into the chair and then lower it one need down and you’re gonna put the knee on that question so that it’s a little bit of support for that any lower than me down you bring your hands to the floor and take a hip down and then you’re seated for yoga proposes that happen on the floor so of course to come up to standing you can do the reverse.
Bring yourself on to that cushion for the knees the hands go on the chair step one foot up and planted put weight into the hands and then come to standing take a nice long spine.
And walk yourself up to stand.
A lot of yoga poses require putting weight into the hands which can be uncomfortable for people who have arthritis in the rest in the hands or in the fingers so there are a few modifications that can be used in order to make the poses more comfortable I actually have risked painting use these modifications myself so one of the options instead of bringing the wrists right underneath the shoulders is just to take they have a little bit forward which reduces the angle at the rest another is to fold the front of them that so that it provides a little bit of cushioning and put the rest on the map while the fingers come over the front.
Additionally, you contend the fingers so that the fingertips are on the map but the poems are not you can also use yes so that the wrists are straight if that’s comfortable for the hands last week these are yoga blocks and yoga blocks have three different heights so they can be at the lowest height at the medium height or at the highest type and in any of these positions you can bring the forearms to the block and have the hands-on the outside it’s most stable if they’re at the lowest setting.
Forms arresting here and then the hands can be in whatever position is comfortable for you.
Sitting cross legged on the floor is common in yoga practice and it’s not necessarily comfortable for people who have arthritis or knee pain which is the most common joint to be affected by arthritis there are a few ways that we can just a seated position in order to make it more comfortable one is to take some yoga blocks and placed them underneath the knees to lift up the knees a little bit and as I showed you earlier there are several different orientations for the block so that you can raise them up a little bit higher if that feels better this might be uncomfortable for some people’s heads so you want to find that place that feels good for both your needs and your hips another is that your feet don’t necessarily need to be so close to the body so one way to make it more comfortable for the knees is just to take the feet a little bit further away and it’s not important that their tight into the body you can even have the legs extended more and have the soles of the feet together is also fine if you’re sitting in this position for a long time to extend one legs have you noticed that one of your needs is getting uncomfortable it’s fine to extend the leg out to the side for a little bit even give them a little bit of a massage and then bring it back into position when you feel comfortable another option is to come into an entirely different seated position so you can come on to the knees.
And while it may seem like putting weight on the knees wouldn’t be comfortable for knee arthritis you can put down a blanket or pillow underneath the needs for support and then set up on something.
And that can actually also feel a little bit better for the hips because it’s not so much X. tornal rotation and the haps so this is another option and then of course lastly you can do all of the yoga poses seated in a chair so none of these positions are comfortable for the knees everything can be adapted to sitting in a chair which might feel better for your joints.
I’m going to demonstrate three different yoga poses that can be done seated in a chair you can think of these as a nice break from your workday if you’re sitting at a chair at a desk for a long period of time you can use these when you stop at a rest stop and you need a little break or stretch or any time you find that you’re sitting for long periods and you could use a little bit more movement when we’re seated in the chair we want to be mindful of the angle of the joints so you want to make sure that your knees and hips are aligned and for some people, you might want to sit upon a little hello or question so that it’s more comfortable for the help and then take a look at the ankles make sure that the ankles are lined up right under and meet the needs of the ankles are not to the inside or to the outside of the knees and that has a more even distribution of weight for all of the joints.
This is what we might call ceded to Dawson out or seeded mountain pose we’re tipping to the front of the pelvis drawing the shoulders back and down letting the shoulder blade slide in and down the back as opposed to the position that we might often find ourselves and we want to reverse that so that the chest and heart is open chance parallel to the floor not forward not back not up or down I straight-ahead full deep even breaths then as you breathe you should notice that the abdomen expands as you inhale and then retreats as you exhale so that you are getting the full benefit of deep breathing which we know is associated with a lot of health effects as well.
So in this position, we’re gonna start mobilizing the spine in what we call cat how sequence in this is oftentimes down on my hands and knees but it can also be done seated so we start moving into cat by drying the belly button in toward the spine rounding the back letting the head curl chin lowers toward the chest rolling back on to the back of the pelvis and then reversing that bringing the abdomen forward arching the back you might draw the elbows back in.
And feel expansiveness than the longs for listening to the breath and you can move through that sequence exhale as you round into cat.
In hell, as you arch into cow you might find that it feels good to have the arms sliding forward and back on the thighs as you execute that sequence.
And then after a few rounds bring yourself back to center maybe a role the shoulders feel the length and the spine and noticed the effects of that sequence.
Another pose that can be done seated is and at side stretch, so we’re gonna start by creating length in the spine and you can bring your hand either to your shoulder to your head into what we call cactus pose war right alongside the ear if this doesn’t feel comfortable for your shoulder it then be sure to choose one of the other options from here we’re going to take a side stretch and you can put your other hand on the seat of the chair or the arm of the chair or in your lap whatever feel stable and you’re gonna feel the pelvis really grounding into the chair as you lanes in through this fine and take a little side bend and feel that side stretch all the way through the whole spine from the cervical spine down to the lumbar spine and your Feelin opening in this whole side body here really reaching out through the finger tips and it doesn’t matter how far the arm reaches just that you’re feeling and I stretch in the side body and that you continue to breathe slowly and deeply in this position.
And then come up