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Yoga & Arthritis

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Yoga can be very beneficial for those who suffer from the painful and sometimes debilitating symptoms of arthritis, as Yoga offers both slow and gentle movement that can reduce stiffness in the joints. Optimizing overall joint health and reducing flare-ups, Yoga poses are designed to rebalance our physical body and strengthen the muscles that surround our joints. The result is less pressure in the joints and therefore less pain, more mobility.

What is Arthritis?
Arthritis is a condition that causes inflammation of the joints. There are many types of arthritis, but the two most common are: Osteoarthritis & Rheumatoid Arthritis. Osteoarthritis occurs when the protective cartilage surrounding the joint becomes damaged or worn down and bones begin to rub against one another. Causes can be genetics, old injuries and poor postural habits. Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune inflammatory disease that causes swelling and redness of the joint causing joint deformities particularly in the hands and feet.

Often those with arthritis feel weak and vulnerable. This can also be accompanied by exhaustion or even depression from the day-to-day life of chronic pain, leading to a decrease in overall health and even a decrease in immune system functioning.

Ensuring that our clients with arthritis are moving in a pain free range of motion is the best way to keep them safe.When working with arthritic clients, props such as chairs, straps and bolsters or pillows are helpful. Props in general give individuals with hesitancy, stiffness or balance issues to practice with confidence and safety. Always ensure clients have a long warm-up with large range movement. YogaFit's Sunflowers + Moonflowers are ideal. Key poses once warm are: Chair Pose, Warrior Poses, Gentle Twists and Meditation. For more information, YogaFit Seniors one-day workshop teaches Chair Yoga and how to work effectively with this population.

Namasté,
Lisa Greenbaum

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