yoga, body ache, body pain, arthritis, yoga poses, pain relief, health, healthy living

Yoga for Arthritis/body aches

Arthritis is one of the disorders that affect the joints. The healthy cartilage that cushions bones at the joints breaks down due to wear and tear. There are many different types of arthritis and usually the symptoms are stiffness, redness, pain, swelling and restricted motion. Sedentary lifestyle can lead to increase in pain level, decreased muscle strength, and endurance.

Yoga can help change our relationship with pain and help us get through our daily activities with ease. It improves blood circulation, help with joint lubrication and nourishment. For good joint nourishment, it is important that we compress and decompress the joints regularly to stimulate and repair the joints.

Listed here few simple poses to manage arthritis -  Almost all poses have variations and can be modified depending on the each one’s strength and intensity level.

Vrukshasana (tree pose)
Stand on your left leg, bring your right foot up and place it on your left inner thigh. Extend your hands over head. A steady gaze will help you to balance while in the pose. Repeat with the other leg.

Trikonasana (triangle pose)  
Stand with your feet 4 feet apart. Turn your right foot to the right side. Spread your arms in line with your shoulder. Bend to the right side bringing your right hand closer to the right shin. Repeat on the other side.

Veerabadrasana (warrior pose)
Stand with your legs apart (3-4 feet), extend your hands in line with shoulder, turn your right foot to the right side and left foot slightly inward. Bend your right knee. See to it that the right knee is on top of the right ankle. Press your left outer foot and bring your hips down to be in line with your knee. Repeat on the left side.

Arda matsyendrasan (seated twist)  
Sit on the floor with your legs extended in front of you. Bend your right knee and bring it closer to your chest. Place your right foot outside your left thigh. Place your right finger tips behind your tailbone. Wrap your left arm around your right knee as you slowly twist towards right. Turn your chin to your right shoulder. Repeat on the other side.

Marjariasana (cat and cow pose)
Come on to your hands and knees (animal pose). Bring your hands under your shoulders and knees under your hips. As you Inhale, drop your stomach to the floor and look up with your chest and chin (cow pose). As you Exhale, round your upper back and bring your chin towards your chest (cat pose). As you do this alternatively, you stretch and contract your abdomen to facilitate a good blood supply in your abdominal organs.

Bhujangsana (cobra pose)  

Lie face down on the floor. Place your palms on the floor under your shoulders. On an inhalation, lift your chest and face off the floor. Exhale and lower your chest and face.

Shalabasana (locust pose) 

Lie face down on the floor and interlace your fingers behind your back. On an inhalation, lift your chest off the floor. You can either lift your legs off the floor or keep it pressed on the floor.

Sethubandasna (bridge pose)   

Lie on your back with your knees bent. Keep your arms by the side of your body. Lift your hips off the floor. Lift your hips as high as you can and bring your chest towards your chin. Press your feet down and your arms into the floor.

Viparita karni (legs up on the wall)
Sit closer to the wall so that the right side of the body is touching the wall. Slowly lower your back on the mat and Swing your legs up on the wall. You can elevate your hips by keeping a pillow underneath.


Sit in a comfortable position. Relax your body and keep your eyes closed. Keep your spine erect. Exhale actively and inhale passively. In this practice, focus only on exhalation and it is done forcefully and abdomen flaps inward with exhalation and let the inhalation happen on its own passively. Practice for 3 rounds and in each round 60 strokes of exhalation approximately.

Deep breathing     

Sit in a Comfortable position with your eyes closed. Bring your attention on your breath. Inhale and exhale very slowly and deeply for 5 minutes.

Nadi Shodana (alternate nostril breathing) 

Sit upright in a comfortable position. Rest your left hand on your left thigh. Use your right hand thumb and ring finger for this practice. Close your right nostril with your right thumb, exhale slowly through your left nostril and inhale through left nostril. Now close your left nostril with you ring finger and exhale slowly through your right nostril and Inhale through your right nostril. Close right nostril and exhale through your left nostril. Repeat this alternate breathing for 5 minutes.

Complete the practice with few minutes of Meditation and OM chanting which will relax your mind.

few simple poses to heal arthritis and body achesAdvice/suggestion - Consult your physician first and then your yoga instructor before you start practicing yoga. If you are a beginner, remember to start slow and go slow and the general rule is that if it hurts, stop. Be gentle with your practice and do what your body can tolerate. It is always better to go with an experienced yoga instructor who can understand your condition and suggest you do the poses with modification for safety and comfort. Learn the correct form of breathing while practicing Pranayama. Yoga asanas practiced with breathing technique and adding pranayama, meditation can give you immense relaxation.

Yoga practice increases your energy level, lessens body aches/ pains and boosts positive feelings in you.

Stay healthy.

Comments (1)

Gowri Ramesh Posted on Oct 17, 2018

Great information. These are simple yet effective asanas. Continuous practice of yoga can really bring about physical and mental health well-being. Thanks vidhya


Vidhya Kripashankar

Mother of two lovely daughters, I am a certified Yoga Alliance(USA) yoga instructor. I have been teaching yoga for almost seven years. I am trained in Hatha Yoga, Vinayasa Yoga, Yoga Therapy, Prenat

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