Arthritis pain may get worse in the winter season due to stiffness and reduced blood flow. Practise these 7 yoga poses for arthritis regularly and keep pain and discomfort at bay!
Joint and bone issues tend to get overlooked with time. Even if joints hurt, the best we do is apply oil, give it a good massage and that’s it. However, for conditions such as arthritis, it is crucial to make extra efforts to address daily discomfort and pain, particularly during the cold weather. Managing joint pain involves strategies such as consuming anti-inflammatory foods and staying warm. Additionally, incorporating yoga into your daily routine can also help improve flexibility and blood flow to your bones. Here are some yoga poses for arthritis that you can try to keep your bones strong and healthy.
Why does arthritis hurt more in the winter?
Cold weather can affect arthritis pain due to a drop in temperature. In colder conditions, joint fluid may thicken, leading to stiffness and discomfort. Additionally, cold weather can cause muscles to contract, intensifying the pain. The body may also divert blood flow away from extremities to maintain core temperature, further aggravating joint pain. While not everyone with arthritis experiences worsened symptoms in winter, these factors play a role in why arthritis tends to hurt more during colder months. Health Shots spoke to yoga and spiritual leader Himalayan Siddhaa Akshar to know the best yoga poses to reduce arthritis pain.
7 yoga poses for arthritis in winter
1. Child’s pose (Balasana)
This pose offers soothing relief for arthritis pain in winter. By improving blood circulation, it eases joint stiffness and promotes flexibility, reducing the discomfort associated with arthritis. To perform the child’s pose:
- Start on your hands and knees in a tabletop position.
- Sit back on your heels, lowering your torso toward the ground.
- Extend your arms in front of you or rest them alongside your body.
- Rest your forehead on the mat and relax your neck.
- Keep your hips over your heels and gently press your chest toward the floor.
- Breathe deeply and hold the pose for as long as you are comfortable.
- To release, slowly come back to the starting position.
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2. Downward-facing dog pose (Adho Mukha Svanasana)
This yoga pose helps increase the range of motion in your shoulders, wrists, hips, and ankles, promoting joint flexibility. It also enhances blood circulation, delivering more oxygen and nutrients to the joints and promoting overall joint health. To perform the downward-facing dog pose:
- Start on your hands and knees in a tabletop position.
- Tuck your toes, lift your hips toward the ceiling, and straighten your legs.
- Spread your fingers wide, press your palms into the mat, and keep your head between your arms.
- Lengthen your spine and straighten your arms and legs as much as possible.
Relax your neck and let your heels sink toward the floor.
3. Cat-cow stretch (Marjaryasana)
The cat-cow pose involves moving between two poses: the cat and the cow pose, which helps enhance flexibility and strength in the spine. Stretching the spine can alleviate stiffness and reduce the discomfort associated with arthritis. To perform the cat-cow pose:
- Start on your hands and knees in a tabletop position, with your wrists under your shoulders and your knees under your hips.
- Inhale, arch your back, and lift your head and tailbone toward the ceiling (cow pose).
- Exhale, round your spine, and tuck your chin to your chest (cat pose).
- Repeat, flowing smoothly between the two poses.
4. Warrior pose (Virabhadrasana)
This yoga pose targets hips, knees, and shoulders, promoting flexibility without excessive strain. It strengthens the muscles around the joints, providing better support and stability. To perform the warrior pose:
- Stand with feet hip-width apart, arms by your sides.
- Step one foot back, keeping the front knee bent directly over the ankle.
- Rotate the back foot slightly outward, aligning the front heel with the back arch.
- Square your hips and shoulders to the front.
- Raise your arms overhead, your palms facing each other, or your hands together.
- Look straight ahead or up toward your hands.
5. Bridge pose (Setu Bandhasana)
Bridge pose helps improve flexibility in the spine, hips, and knees, promoting better joint mobility, which can be beneficial for people with arthritis. To perform the bridge pose:
- Lie on your back with your knees bent and your feet hip-width apart.
- Place your arms alongside your body, with your palms facing down.
- Inhale, press through your feet, and lift your hips toward the ceiling.
- Roll your shoulders under and clasp your hands, or keep your arms straight with your palms on the mat.
6. Seated forward bend (Paschimottanasana)
This pose promotes flexibility and relieves stiffness, a common issue with arthritis. By enhancing blood flow to joints, it can aid in reducing inflammation. To perform the seated forward bend pose:
- Sit on the floor with your legs extended straight in front of you.
- Inhale, lengthen your spine, and engage your core.
- Exhale, hinge at your hips, and reach forward toward your feet.
- Hold onto your shins, ankles, or feet, keeping your back straight.
- Keep your neck in line with your spine and gaze forward.
7. Corpse pose (Savasana)
This pose can be beneficial for arthritis as it promotes relaxation, reduces stress, and may alleviate joint pain associated with arthritis. To perform the corpse pose:
- Lie on your back and close your eyes.
- Keep your legs extended and your feet relaxed.
- Let your arms rest alongside your body, palms facing up.
- Relax your entire body, allowing tension to release.
While these yoga asanas can help improve flexibility and reduce inflammation, consult with a healthcare professional to better deal with your problem!