Those of us involved in yoga are quite clear the impact it can have on our lives. Yoga brings a positive support system and a lot of health benefits into our lives. If you have arthritis you know that it is taking a toll on your body. When working with someone that has extensive knowledge through a yoga teacher training program you may be able to use yoga to your advantage and start to feel better.
The key to arthritis and yoga is always listen to your body so that you can avoid injury and let your body lead you the way to the movements that seem to be the most healing. Take classes with someone that went through yoga teacher training and let them know you suffer from this illness. If you are a beginner it may be best to begin with private instruction or a smaller class size where you can move at your own pace.
We now can look at yoga and know that using it as an alternative therapy for arthritis sufferers it has been shown to help with flexibility and increase your mobility. Adding yoga into your lifestyle and normal routine may give you some much needed relief from your stiffness and pain caused by the arthritis. Your body will only see benefits by practicing yoga. With any yoga teacher training the class can be any level of expertise but will still help you. One of the best styles of yoga for arthritis therapy is Iyengar Yoga, which will concentrate on your alignment and form and holding poses for longer periods to build your strength. Find a class, go on a yoga vacation, just start to make the changes so that you gain control over your arthritic body.
While working with a yoga teacher there are some guidelines to follow. You should always respect your pain. All students that practice yoga must be aware of the difference between a stretching muscle and muscle pain that is causing your body harm. We must be able to identify the difference of normal discomfort and a destructive movement that we expect our bodies to manage. If there is ever a severe or sudden jolt of pain that is a big warning sign for you to stop what you are doing immediately before causing damage.
During yoga certification a good teacher will learn that there is a set balance for your body between work and rest. We should never work our bodies into a complete point of exhaustion. Weak and fatigued muscles open a door for injury and joint damage. While practicing your yoga make sure that you balance your active yoga exercise along with more relaxing and restorative poses. If you are tired, stop and practice the restorative poses.
Yoga teacher training will help your instruction focus on your awareness and breathing so that it will benefit you the most. While doing yoga you should try to avoid mechanical repeats and never count when you are practicing. Make sure that your breathing is deep and that the flow of your breath is not too fast. If you do not fully expand your lungs the oxygen you are bringing into your body will not adequately reach your muscles with the oxygen supply they will need.
During your yoga teaching you may be asked to use props to help support your poses. If you are suffering from arthritis you may already feel stiff in your joints before you even get started. With the use of props your body will be able to continue through poses with less stress and your breathing will help your blood circulation. Your props will allow your body and your muscle to lengthen in a less strenuous way. The props will also help you conserve energy and give you more time to practice without hurting or exhausting yourself.
For the beginner here are some poses:
- Cat Pose which gently stretches back muscles
- Stretch Triangle Pose stretches leg muscles and helps back pain
- Stretch Side Angle Pose stretches back and leg muscles relieve sciatic pain issues
- Warrior Poses strengthen the back and legs giving better posture
- seated Forward bend- stretches the spine
- Standing Forward Bend- Stretches the spine
- Locust Pose-increases elasticity in lumbar region helps lessen pain
- Revolved Triangle Pose strengthens hips and back
- Revolved Side Angle Pose increases circulation to spine and stretches area
- Camel Pose stretches spine, strengthens buttocks and hamstrings
All of these poses are a good starting point to help elevate some of the aches and pains that your body is having. During yoga teacher training a good instructor will be able to pull you aside and give you certain poses to work on at home so that you can add flexibility and strength into parts of your body that is giving you issues.