Arthritis-Friendly Yoga Poses
Increase your flexibility and mobility with these simple arthritis-friendly yoga moves. We'll give you step-by-step instructions for Cat Cow Pose, Standing Side Bend, Seated Spinal Twist and more.
- Stand up tall and place your hands on your abdomen at about the level of your navel, just below your ribs.
- Take a deep breath in. You should feel your hands rise as you breathe in.
- Exhale for the same length of time that you inhaled.
- Don’t force the breath; take a smaller breath if needed.
Cat Cow Pose
Keeps spine mobile
- Begin on your hands and knees, knees under hips, hands under shoulders.
- Round your back up toward the ceiling, drop your head slightly, tuck in your buttocks.
- Come back to neutral position.
- Let your belly lower toward the floor creating an arch in your back.
- Keep your head up slightly, with your eyes looking straight ahead.
- Alternate between poses.
- Make it easier: For painful knees, fold a towel or blanket under the knees. For painful wrists, place fists instead of palms on the floor.
Improves balance and lower extremity strength
- Stand with your feet facing forward, shoulder-width apart.
- Raise your arms over head and take a deep breath in.
- Lower your arms halfway down, and squat as if you were sitting in a chair.
- Make sure your feet are facing forward, knees over the ankles.
- Make it easier: If shoulder range of motion is limited, keep your arms by your side to modify.
Stretches groin and hips
- Sitting up straight and tall, bring the soles of your feet together as your knees open out.
- Looking forward, keep your chest and chin up, and slowly bend forward from the hips.
- Push your elbows into your thighs for a good stretch.
- Return to your original position and repeat.
Seated Spinal Twist
Improves posture and spinal mobility
- Sit with your legs extended and bend your right knee up.
- Place your right foot on the outside of your left leg and sit up straight and tall.
- Hug your right knee in toward your chest.
- Gently twist to the right from the hips, looking over your right shoulder.
- Hold for five breaths.
- Relax, then repeat on the other side.
Stretches hamstrings, while improving balance and leg strength
- Standing with your feet slightly apart, take a big step back with one foot.
- With your arms together behind your back, bend forward at the waist and relax your head.
- Hold for a good stretch.
- Straighten up and step forward.
Standing Forward Bend
Improves flexibility in back and legs
- Stand with knees slightly bent.
- Bend forward from the waist as far as you can comfortably go.
- Let your arms hang down toward the floor.
- Keep weight evenly distributed. (For an extended stretch, hold pose for five deep breaths).
- Come back up one vertebra at a time.
Standing Side Bend
- Raise your left hand overhead as you bend at the trunk to the right, creating a crescent shape.
- Keep your head and neck midline or neutral.
- Straighten trunk, then raise your right hand and bend to the left.
- Repeat several times on each side.
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