Chronic pain from arthritis affects one in five people over the age of 65, and it is the leading cause of disability in the U.S. Can yoga help prevent arthritis, or help people already suffering from arthritis reduce the pain and afflictions from the condition?
In this free download, yoga therapist and researcher Dr. Steffany Moonaz explores these questions in the light of her experiences teaching yoga to people suffering from either osteoarthritis or rheumatoid arthritis at John S Hopkins.
More than 75 scientific trials have been published on the therapeutic applications of yoga in major medical journals. These studies indicate that yoga offers unique benefits for people suffering from arthritis. Yoga not only provides a safe way to increase physical activity and fitness, but also offers important benefits for a person’s mental and emotional well-being, particularly reducing the depressive symptoms that often accompany arthritis conditions.
Regular physical activity is especially important for people with arthritis, who often suffer from decreased muscle strength, physical energy, and endurance in part due to their arthritis and the tendency to be sedentary. Yoga can help prevent the downward spiral that many arthritis sufferers can get trapped in, where pain increases, leading to more inactivity which leads to greater pain and disability. The right type of exercise, such as yoga, can may also help prevent or slow the onset of arthritis, by promoting joint health..
Steffany discusses her own research and work teaching yoga for arthritis and reflections on the ways in which yoga offers an approach to mindful exercise not found in other therapeutic interventions. She finally touches on special considerations when teaching yoga to people with arthritis based on her own experiences working with the population.
Also, check out Steffany’s YogaUOnline course: Yoga for Arthritis – The Evidence and the Promise