Arthritis of spine generally affects people with growing age(1), and it can also occur if someone has got an injury to the spine. It also affects people having a family of osteoarthritis, people with some problems in joints and cartilages. Females are at more risk of being affected with arthritis of the spine than males.(2)
Is Yoga Good For Arthritis Of The Spine?
But is yoga good for arthritis of the spine? The answer is “It most certainly is!!!” Regular practice of the recommended yoga poses can not only prevent the occurrence of arthritis of the spine, but can also help in the treatment of patients who are suffering from any form of arthritis.(5)
Yoga is considered a natural way to prevent or reverse the occurrence of arthritis of spine.(4) Yoga prevents the blockage of arteries by keeping the body cholesterol in check. Yoga also helps in maintaining the blood flow and helping remain disease free.(3) Yoga also helps and boosts the circulation and improves the muscular tone of the body.(3) With an improved muscular tone, the ability of the heart to pump oxygenated blood to the entire body increases. Hence, the risk of arthritis of the spine is reduced. Yoga also helps in improving the overall health of an individual and strengthens the body, heart, mind and soul.(6)
Yoga Poses for Arthritis of the Spine:
Tadasana or the Mountain Pose for Arthritis of the Spine
Benefits of Tadasana or The Mountain Pose for Arthritis of the Spine:
- Regular practice of Tadasana improves the blood flow to the organs and helps supply oxygenated blood to the organs by neuromuscular action.
- Practice of this Yoga asana stimulates and changes the lumen size of the arterioles. This again helps in regulating the circulation and helps with arthritis of the spine.
Steps to Practice Tadasana or The Mountain Pose
- To practice Tadasana, adopt a standing position, stand straight and keep your legs slightly apart from each other.
- Raise your hands above your head and look straight while focusing on one point in front of you.
- Interlock the fingers of both the hands and turn them upwards in such a way that the palms are towards the ceiling/sky.
- Take a deep breath and while inhaling, stretch your arms, chest and shoulders upwards.
- While practicing Tadasana, the gaze can be adjusted to look a little above while stretching.
- Raise you heels in such a way that all the weight of your body is on the toes.
- Remain in this position for 20-30 seconds.
Utkatasana or the Chair Pose for Arthritis of the Spine
Benefits of Utkatasana or The Chair Pose for Arthritis of the Spine:
- Practice of Utkatasana or the chair pose helps to widen the blood vessels and cools the system.
- Vasodilation helps in keeping the arteries functioning well and prevents arthritis of the spine from happening.
Steps To Practice Utkatasana Or The Chair Pose:
- To practice Utkatasana or The Chair Pose, the big toes of your feet should touch each other, and your heels should be lying a little apart from each other.
- While practicing Utkatasana or The Chair Pose, you should squeeze your lower abdomen inwards in such a way that it should feel like you are touching your spine from
- inside while taking the lower abdomen inwards.
- Move your shoulder bones and open your chest while practicing Utkatasana or The Chair Pose.
- Take a deep breath and raise your arms over your head.
- While practicing Utkatasana or The Chair Pose, you can keep your arms either parallel to each other or keep your palms joined when your arms are on over your head.
- Keep your arms in front of your ears or at the same level or before your ears.
- Gently and carefully bend your knees and push down your pelvis, such that it seems like you are seated in an imaginary chair while practicing Utkatasana or The Chair Pose.
Vriksasana or the Tree Pose for Arthritis of the Spine
Benefits of Vriksasana or The Tree Pose for Arthritis of the Spine:
- Regular practice of this yoga pose makes the respiration stable and heals both respiratory and cardiac disorders.
- Blood receives larger amount of oxygen and the nerves become calm and purified. All of this in turn makes body and mind healthy which make one stronger prevent or to cope with any disease including arthritis of the spine.
Steps to Practice Vriksasana or The Tree Pose
- Stand straight in Tadasana or The Mountain pose as mentioned above.
- Now, bend your right leg from the knee in such a way that the sole of the foot is resting on the medial side of left thigh.
- Take a deep breath and try to find your balance.
- Take your hands up above the head and join your hands in namaste position.
- Stay in this position for as long as you can.
- Now, repeat the same pose on the left side.
Adho Mukha Svanasana or the Downward Facing Dog for Arthritis of the Spine
Benefits of Adho mukha savanasana or The Downward Facing Dog for Arthritis of the Spine:
- Regular practice of Downward facing dog helps in stretching the abdominal organs and the pelvic region.
- The lungs are fully expanded with the practice and the oxygenation of the blood is done which helps in arthritis of the spine.
Steps to Practice AdhoMukhaSvanasana or The Downward Facing Dog
- To practice Adho Mukha Svanasana, stand on floor or on the yoga mat.
- Kneel on the yoga mat or floor in such a way that the whole body is supported with hands and knees on the floor. Make sure your knees are in straight line with the hips in this position.
- Make your palms spread on the yoga mat make sure that the maximum force is exerted with the index finger on the floor. Your forefingers should turn a little parallel.
- While exhaling, lift your knees far from the floor in such a way that the knees come in line with the thighs and they are not bent.
- In the beginning, if you face any difficulty in keeping the knees straight, you can keep them a little bent and heels lifted from the floor.
- Try to raise your hip bones inside and try to draw your legs into the crotch.
- In this position, make the highest point of the thighs push back and let your heels touch the floor.
- Try to lift your body far from the ground while keeping your arms and legs straight.
- Keep your shoulders very firm and open your chest in this position. Practicing this yoga pose is good for arthritis of the spine.
Paschimottanasana or The Forward Fold for Arthritis of the Spine
Benefits of Paschimottanasana or The Forward Fold for Arthritis of the Spine:
- Regular practice of Paschimottanasana or The Forward Fold improves the blood flow to the organs and helps supply oxygenated blood to the organs by neuromuscular action and in this way helps with arthritis of the spine.
- Practice of this yoga asana stimulates and changes the lumen size of the arterioles. This again helps in regulating the circulation and benefits arthritis of the spine.
Steps To Practice Paschimottanasana Or The Forward Fold:
- To practice Paschimottanasana, sit with your legs outstretched on floor or on yoga mat.
- Keel your feet together and hands on your knees.
- This is the starting position for Paschimottanasana and is also called Dandasana.
- Relax the whole body in this position.
- With a deep inhale, raise your hands above your head and give your arms a stretch.
- With a big and deep exhale, start moving your arms forward towards the foot.
- As you move forward, take your hand on your legs as far as possible towards the big toe.
- If this seems impossible, try to grasp the ankle with your hands or any part of the leg which can be reached by hands comfortably. This yoga pose is beneficial for arthritis of the spine.
Bhujangasana or Cobra Pose for Arthritis of the Spine
Benefits of Bhujangasana or The Cobra Pose for Arthritis of the Spine:
- Regular practice of Bhujangasana extends the spinal region and makes it toned and the chest is fully expanded and this is good for arthritis of the spine.
- Bhujangasana helps in massaging and help expand the lungs and stimulates the abdominal organs.
Steps To Practice Bhujangasana Or The Cobra Pose
- To practice Bhujangasana, lie 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.
Ardha Matsyendrasana or Half Lord of the Fishes Pose for Arthritis of the Spine
Benefits Of Practicing Ardha Matsyendrasana Asana Or Half Lord Of The Fishes Pose For Arthritis Of The Spine
The Sitting Half Spinal Twist yoga pose opens the chest and also helps and improves the supply of oxygen to the lungs and thereby reducing the probability of spinal arthritis.
Steps To Practice Ardha Matsyendrasana Asana Or Half Lord Of The Fishes Pose:
- To practice Ardha Matsyendrasana asana, lift your right leg and place it on the outside of left leg at the height of knee/ besides the left knee.
- Then, bend the left knee and place the heel of left leg to touch the right hip on the side.
- If you find it difficult to stay in this position, keep the left leg straight instead of folding it.
- While inhaling, place your right arm behind your back and the take the left up and straight in such a way that it faces the ceiling. Then, bring your left arm and tuck it in you right knee and try to touch the left knee or the right foot with the palm of the lower arm.
- Now sitting in this position, bend your spine towards right in such a way that you feel stretch in the side and the spine.
- Make sure the sitting bones are touching the floor, the bones should not be raised but rested on the floor.
- While exhaling, twist more towards the right starting from the lower torso to chest and then neck and head.
- Your head will turn and come to the right side after the maximum stretch.
- The shoulders should not be dropped while practicing Ardha Matsyendrasana rather kept straight and leveled.
- Stay in this position for 5-8 breaths.
- Maintain breathing while practicing Ardha Matsyendrasana.
Marjariasana or the Cat Pose for Arthritis of the Spine
Benefits of Marjariasana or the Cat pose for Arthritis of the Spine:
- Regular practice of Marjariasana improves the blood flow to the organs and helps supply oxygenated blood to the organs by neuromuscular action and this is beneficial for arthritis of the spine.
- Practice of this asana stimulates and changes the lumen size of the arterioles. This again helps in regulating the circulation and benefits arthritis of the spine.
Steps To Practice Marjariasana Or The Cat Pose:
- To get into Marjariasana or The Cat Scratch Pose, you must get into Vajrasana or The Thunderbolt Pose first as mentioned above.
- Raise the buttocks and stand on the knees while getting into Marjariasana or The Cat Scratch Pose.
- Inhale deeply while raising the head and depressing the spine in such a way that the back becomes concave while practicing this yoga asana.
- Expand the abdomen fully and fill the lungs with the maximum amount of air while practicing Marjariasana or The Cat Stretch Pose.
- Hold the breath in this position for 3 – 4 seconds.
- Exhale deeply while lowering the head and stretching the spine upward while practicing this asana to avail maximum benefit for arthritis of the spine.
Setu Bandhasana or the Bridge Pose for Arthritis of the Spine
Benefits of Setu Bandhasana or The Bridge Pose for Arthritis of the Spine:
- Regular practice of Setu Bandhasana or The Bridge Posehelps in stretching the abdominal organs and the pelvic region, which in turn is good for arthritis of the spine.
- Practice of this yoga asana stimulates and changes the lumen size of the arterioles. This again helps in regulating the circulation.
Steps To Practice Setu Bandhasana Or The Bridge Pose
- To practice Setu Bandasana, lie on your back on floor or on yoga mat.
- Bend your knees in such a way that the sole of the feet should lie flat on the ground.
- There should be around 6 inches between your feet and your knees.
- The arms should rest on the floor alongside your body in such a way that the palms are lying flat and touching the ground.
- Press your back into the mat or the floor while practicing Setu Badasana.
- While inhaling, lift your lower back, then middle back and the upper back gradually.
- Now press in to the mat with the heels of your feet to balance the body.
- Gently roll in your shoulders and touch your chin to your chest. Make sure that you do not lower your chin while touching the chin to the chest. The chest should be raised in such a way that it touches the chin on its own.
Trikonasana or the Triangle Pose for Arthritis of the Spine
Benefits of Trikonasana or The Triangle Pose for Arthritis of the Spine:
- Yoga helps take care of all the risk factors of arthritis of the spine thereby helps in prevention and controls arthritis of the spine.
- With regular practice of Trikonasana, blood receives larger amount of oxygen and the nerves become calm and purified.
Steps To Practice Trikonasana Or The Triangle Pose
- To practice Trikonasana or The Triangle Pose, you must get in to Tadasana on the floor or on the yoga mat.
- From Tadasana, step the feet just over a leg length apart. Turn the right foot 90 degrees to the right and the left foot slightly toward the right.
- Line the heel of the front foot with the center arch of the back foot. Lengthen and broaden the soles of the feet and spread the toes. The weight should be distributed evenly between the inside edge of the front foot and the outside edge of the rear foot.
- While in this position, make sure that your heels are pressing the ground and the weight of your entire body is balanced and distributed on both of your feet.
- Raise the arms to shoulder height and extend the arms parallel to the floor in such a way that your palms are facing down.
- Inhale deeply while practicing Trikonasana and while exhaling, bend your body towards right while making sure you don not bend forward or backwards. Make sure your waist is straight while you practice this.
- In this position, bend your right knee slightly. Also, lift your left hand up and let your right hand touch the ground. Both your arms should form a straight line while practicing Trikonasana or The Triangle Pose.
- Yoga for Scoliosis: 10 Yoga Poses To Correct Spinal Curvature
- 10 Best Yoga Poses for Osteoporosis – Tree, Triangle, Warrior, Camel, Corpse
- Manage Back Pain With Yoga : 6 Yoga Poses For Back Pain Relief
- Yoga Poses for Stretching and Improving Flexibility
- How Can Yoga Help in Relieving Upper Back Pain?|Yoga Poses to Get Rid of Upper Back Pain
- 9 Different Seated Spinal Twist Yoga Poses & Its Benefits
- Top 7 Supine Spinal Twist Yoga Poses & its Benefits