Yoga for Your Joints
Yoga is an exercise that can be practiced at a variety of intensities, and this makes it perfect for those who need low-impact exercises to soothe sore joints. If you suffer from joint pain but have never tried yoga before, now might be a great time to start. Here are some of the main benefits that yoga has in store for your joints.
Yoga is particularly low-impact because so much of it is centered around stretching and slow movement. And for those who still hope to bring some major exercise into their daily regimen, yoga burns an average of about 400 calories per hour. So even if injury or joint pain might make it difficult for you to walk, yoga can help keep you surprisingly lean, strong, and fit.
Prevents joint pain
Certain poses in yoga can actually heal your joints and strengthen them, preventing future joint pain. The warrior pose, for example, strengthens the knees and can also help those suffering from frozen shoulder as it releases stress. Similarly, the bow pose opens up the shoulders and helps you to build flexibility in the back. It also works to release stress and fatigue from the body. Other strengthening poses include the bridge pose, which is great for the knees; the triangle pose, which is great for the legs, knees, and ankles; the camel pose, which is especially effective on the back; and the dolphin plank pose, which helps to prevent osteoporosis and can strengthen the wrists, arms, and legs.
Soothes existing joint pain
In addition to strengthening the joints, certain yoga poses you can practice will actually work to soothe existing joint pain. The cobra, for example, is great for back pain and is one of the easiest yoga poses to perform. The butterfly is perfect for hip pain; the wall plank is great for elbow and shoulder pain; and the supported warrior is particularly good for knee pain. The slow movements involved between poses will help painful joints glide smoothly over one another, and the poses and stretches you do will actually increase mobility.
Even though yoga is a gentle form of exercise, you should still take some measures to prevent hard surfaces and certain poses from hurting your joints. Be sure to use yoga blocks, cushions, and support in your poses to help prevent pain aggravation. It also helps to regularly consume anti-inflammatory foods such as dark leafy greens and foods with omega-3 fatty acids.