Can Arthritis Patients Do Surya Namaskar?

Arthritis patients are advised to exercise or practice yoga This helps with the joints moving and keeps them active. Patients suffering from Arthritis are advised to practice Yoga poses which keep their joints flexible and Surya namaskar is one of the best asanas, which helps them keep the joints moving.

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Surya namaskar or The Sun Salutation is a group or combination of 12 different yoga poses that involves stretching of the entire body and every pose has a special role to play for people suffering with arthritis. The joints remain active and flexed while practicing these poses, which keep the arthritis patients active and help them get rid of the pain when practiced regularly. But it is essential to determine the reason for knee pain before practicing these yoga poses.

Consulting a physician to determine the cause of pain is essential as knowing the severity of condition is essential before starting the practice of surya namaskar. As the arthritic pain might get aggravated with the practice of certain asanas.

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Can Arthritis Patients Do Surya Namaskar

Benefits Of Practicing Surya Namaskar For People Suffering From Arthritis

  • The Stretching exercises in surya namaskar generally help improve range of motion of people suffering from arthritis.
  • Stretching in yoga will help with flexibility and in return help the person suffering from Arthritis.
  • It helps the joints remain active and moving which is essential for arthritis patients.
  • Yoga not only help in keeping the body fit but also to help ease mental stress.
  • If you feel pain and discomfort while practicing the sun salutation or surya namaskar the entire purpose of practicing the asana is defeated.
  • In this case consult your doctor in case of joints pain and the physician will be able to advise you on what form of exercises will be good for you.
  • And always inform the yoga instructor of your problem and discomfort and always practice under expert supervision. And the instructor will be able to advise you of the yoga exercises that can be done.

Steps To Practice Surya Namaskar

  • Before starting the Surya Namaskar practice, stand with your feet slightly apart and arms on the sides.
  • And, close your eyes and bring the awareness to the center of eyes and relieve yourself of all the tensions.
  • Try to stand calm and not move while standing in this position.

Surya Namaskar Step 1: Pranamasana Or The Prayer Pose

  • Stand straight with your feet held together.
  • Bring your palms to touch each other at the chest level.
  • Look straight and focus on the eye center.
  • Pranamasana is done at the beginning and end of Surya Namaskar.

Benefits Of Practicing Pranamasana in Surya Namaskar For Arthritis Patients

  • Pranamasana relaxes the whole body and helps in concentrating.
  • It gives mental peace and stillness when practiced after a tiring day.

Surya Namaskar Step 2: Hasta Uttahanasana Or Raised Arms Pose

  • Stand straight and raise both the arms above the head.
  • Keep the shoulders wide apart and arms stretched while doing Hasta Uttahanasana.
  • Take your arms behind the head in a way that arches your back. Tilt your head backwards.
  • While stretching, bend the arms head and upper trunk backwards.
  • Maintain this position for a few seconds.
  • Inhale while raising the arms and exhale while bringing the body to starting position.

Benefits Of Hasta Uttahanasana Or Raised Arms Pose in Surya Namaskar For Arthritis Patients

  • Hasta Uttahanasana stretches the back and arm muscles
  • Helps in shedding extra weight by giving an optimal stretch to the body.
  • Along with the joints, regular practice of Hasta Uttahanasana improves digestion.

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Surya Namaskar Step 3: Padahastasana Or Intense Forward-Bending Pose

  • Stand erect and bend forward while practicing Padahastasana.
  • Get into Tadasana on the floor or on the yoga mat.
  • Bring your arms towards hips in make your hands rest on your hips.
  • Take deep breath or inhale deeply and expand your chest while inhaling.
  • While exhaling, fold your body starting from the hips and move forward. In this position, your upper body or torso will be perpendicular to the legs.
  • Keep bending your body further forward and make your hands touch the floor on the side of your legs. This would require flexibility in the body.
  • It will loosen your hamstring muscles over a period with practice. And, if you are not able to touch the floor with the hands, do not strain. Just go as far as you can without pain.
  • With constant practice, you will be able to touch the floor with your hands. Also, make sure that you do not bend your knees while practicing Padahastasana.
  • Advanced level practitioners can touch their forehead to the knees or can make their head rest between the thighs and their hands can also clasp the ankles.
  • This would be asana’s final position. Stay in this position for a few breaths or for as long as your body feels comfortable.
  • Stop practicing Padahastasana as soon as you start feeling pain in back, hips or the groin region.
  • While inhaling, release the pose and come back to the standing position and place your hands on the hips.

Benefits Of Padahastasana Or Intense Forward-Bending Pose in Surya Namaskar For Arthritis Patient

  • Padahastasana stretches the back and leg muscles thus increasing the flexibility of the body.
  • Regular practice of Padahastasana helps in relieving constipation.
  • Helps in eliminating excess belly fat.
  • It improves blood circulation and make spine flexible.
  • Padahastasana also helps in lowering High blood pressure.
  • It also helps in treating lung disorders like Asthma.
  • With regular practice Padahastasana helps in getting rid of Constipation.
  • When practiced regularly, Padahastasana keeps the reproductive system of both males and females healthy.

Surya Namaskar Step 4: Ashwa Sanchalansana Or The Equestrian Pose

  • Get on the floor or on the yoga mat.
  • After you are in the final Uttanasana position, stand straight up in the Uttanasana beginning position.
  • From the above-mentioned position, take one foot three to four feet away from another backwards while placing the ball of the foot on the mat.
  • Bend the knee of leg in front while creating a right angle in the knee, foot pointing forward, and knee above the ankle.
  • All this while the back leg should be straight while pressing the knee upward and the heel backward.
  • Now, tuck the back toes under and straighten the back leg.
  • At the same time, press the palms, fingers or fists into the floor to lift the crown of the head up towards the ceiling.
  • Bring the shoulders down and back and press the chest forward while practicing this asana.
  • Look straight with your gaze fixed at a point in front and in this position, your chin must be parallel to the floor.
  • Extend the back leg by pressing the heel towards the floor and by pressing the back of the knee up towards the ceiling.
  • Relax the hips and let them go down towards the floor while practicing Ashwa Sanchalanasana or High Lunge Pose.
  • This is the final position of asana.
  • Keep breathing deeply while practicing the asana.

Benefits Of Ashwa Sanchalanasana Or The Equestrian Pose in Surya Namaskar For Arthritis

  • Ashwa Sanchalanasana balances the nervous system
  • It tones the Abdominal Muscles
  • Leg muscles are also strengthened with the regular practice of Ashwa Sanchalanasana.
  • This pose strengthens the muscles of the neck, back, and shoulders.
  • This pose also opens your rib cage and muscles of the back
  • It also improves the alignment of the spine with regular practice.
  • This pose stimulates your abdominal organs and eases flatulence and acid reflux.
  • It also helps in increasing concentration and memory with regular practice.
  • This pose helps in relieving constipation when practiced regularly.
  • It helps relieve you of all the back problems when practiced regularly.
  • It also helps in lengthening your spine and opens your shoulders.

Suryanamaskar Step 5: Parvatasana Or The Mountain Pose

  • After the Ashwa Sanchalanasana, while exhaling take your left foot near the right foot.
  • While taking the left foot behind, raise your hips and Lower your hands as much as possible between the arms in such a way that the arms and legs form two sides of a triangle.
  • In the final position of Parvatasana, the arms and legs should be straight.
  • Always try to keep your heel on the floor and bring your head between the knees.
  • Go as far as your body allows. Do not overstretch yourself while practicing Parvatasana.

Benefits Of Parvatasana Or The Mountain Pose in Surya Namaskar For Arthritis

  • Regular practice of Parvatasana helps get rid of respiratory disorders.
  • It can help grow height if children below 18 years practice Parvatasana.
  • It also helps in increasing concentration and memory with regular practice.
  • This pose helps in relieving constipation when practiced regularly.
  • It helps relieve you of all the back problems when practiced regularly.

Surya Namaskar Step 6: Ashtanga Namaskara Or Eight Limbed Salutation

  • To practice Ashtanga Namaskara, lower and touch your chin, chest and knees to the floor.
  • All other body parts will be above the ground.
  • Chin, chest and knees should touch the ground at the same time.
  • Stay in this position for a few breaths.
  • If it is not possible for you to practice, lower the knees first, then the chest and chin in the end.
  • The abdomen and hips will be raised a little from the ground while practicing Ashtanga Namaskara.

Benefits Of Ashtanga Namaskara Or Eight Limbed Salutation In Surya Namaskar For Arthritis Patients

  • Ashtanga Namaskara strengthens the arm and leg muscles.
  • It helps in developing the chest muscles and strengthens them.
  • Leg muscles are also strengthened with the regular practice of Ashwa Sanchalanasana.
  • This pose strengthens the muscles of the neck, back, and shoulders.
  • This pose also opens your rib cage and muscles of the back
  • It also improves the alignment of the spine with regular practice.
  • This pose stimulates your abdominal organs and eases flatulence and acid reflux.

Surya Namaskar Step 7: Bhujangasana Or The Cobra Pose

  • After Ashtanga Namaskara, lower the hips to the floor.
  • In this position you are lying prone on the floor or the yoga mat i.e. on your stomach with the top of your feet and chin resting on the floor.
  • Legs should be kept close together with the heels and feet lightly touching each other.
  • Place your palms facing downwards i.e. facing ground and below the shoulders with the fingers of your hand outwards i.e. other side of the body.
  • While practicing Bhujangasana, the elbows should be kept parallel to each other and close to the body.
  • While inhaling deeply, gently raise your head, chest, and abdomen up while keeping the navel and pelvis touching the floor.
  • Take your shoulders back and down in such a way that the head is tilted backwards, and the chest is opened forward while practicing Bhujangasana.
  • Focus your gaze forward or upwards depending upon the flexibility of your neck and spine or till where you can bend backwards.
  • Raise your body upwards till your arms become straight on the ground.
  • Keep pressing the ground with your pelvis. Also, make sure that you are not putting a lot of tension in your arms.
  • At a point where you are comfortable, hold the pose for 20-30 seconds.
  • Straighten yourself to a point where you are comfortable. Do not overstretch or exert yourself.
  • While exhaling, gently take your body downwards to rest on the floor.
  • Relax with your hand stretched outwards and chin touching the floor.

Benefits Of Bhujangasana Or The Cobra Pose in Surya Namaskar For Arthritis Patients

  • Bhujangasana improves the blood circulation in the back region and makes the spine supple.
  • It massages the adrenal glands and liver and stimulates digestion and relieve constipation.
  • It opens the chest and strengthens the core.
  • Bhujangasana helps in treatment of respiratory disorders like Asthma.
  • It helps in the treatment of Sciatica.
  • Helps relieve Stress and Fatigue.
  • Regular practice of Bhujangasana helps relieve constipation and improves digestion.
  • Bhujanagasana helps get rid of menstrual irregularities.
  • Helps in strengthening of shoulders and arms.
  • Bhujanagasana increases the flexibility of the body.
  • Helps in relieving stiffness of the lower back.

Surya Namaskar Step 8: Parvatasana Or The Mountain Pose

  • This Surya Namaskar pose is same as Position 5.
  • From Bhujangasana go directly in to Parvatasana or The Mountain pose.
  • While exhaling, raise the buttocks from the floor and lower the heels on the floor.
  • This pose helps in relieving constipation when practiced regularly.
  • It helps relieve you of all the back problems when practiced regularly.

Surya Namaskar Step 9: Ashwa Sanchalanasana Or The Equestrian Pose

  • This Surya Namaskar position is same as Position 4.
  • Keep the palms on the floor while practicing this pose.
  • Bend the left leg and bring it between the hands lying on the floor.
  • Lower the right knee on the ground and push the pelvis forward.
  • Arch the back a little and look upwards. Also tilt your head backwards and focus on the eye center.

Surya Namaskar Step 10: Padahastasana Or Intense Forward-Bending Pose

  • This position resembles position 3 of the Surya Namaskar group of asanas.
  • Bring the right foot forward besides the left foot from Ashwa Sanchalanasana.
  • Straighten both the knees and try to touch the forehead to the knees.
  • Do not over exert while practicing the asanas. Stop when you feel discomfort.

Surya Namaskar Step 11: Hasta Uttahanasana Or Raised Arms Pose

  • This position is a repeat of Surya Namaskara position 2.
  • While inhaling, bend the head, arms and upper trunk backward while keeping the arms separated from each other and shoulders wide apart.

Surya Namaskar Step 12: Pranamasana

  • This is the last and final Surya Namaskara Position.
  • Bring the folded palms together in front of the chest.
  • Rest for a few seconds in this pose and start the practice again.

Also Read:

Pramod Kerkar

Written, Edited or Reviewed By:

, MD,FFARCSI

Pain Assist Inc.

Last Modified On: January 10, 2019

This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer

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