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.

Belly Breathing
Want to relax and get in shape? Yoga breathing techniques relieve stress. Check out this yoga video to learn the proper technique for belly or diaphragmatic breathing.  

Relieves stress
  • 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
Want to try different yoga poses? Check out this exercise video to learn the popular cat-cow pose technique and to keep your spine mobile.  

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.
Chair Pose
Improve balance and lower extremity strength with this yoga chair pose video. 

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.
Cobbler's Pose
Learn the yoga cobbler pose for stretching the groin and hips.  

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
The seated spinal twist is one of the 12 basic yoga poses. This exercise video shows you the proper way to stretch your spine and increase your flexibility.  

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.
Side Stretch
Stretch hamstrings, while improving balance and leg strength with this intense side stretch yoga pose. 

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
Get step-by-step instructions to stretch your upper and lower back with the standing forward bend yoga pose. 

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
Use these instructions to stretch your spine and torso with the standing side bend yoga pose.  

Improves flexibility
  • 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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