Yoga Poses

Best Yoga For Arthritis


Meaning, Types, Causes, and Yoga Poses For Arthritis

Arthritis Meaning

Arthritis is the term used to cover a wide range of joint inflammation, infection, and trauma. The word arthritis comes from the Greek arthron which means “confined to joints”. There are more than 100 different types of arthritis, with different causes and treatment methods. The two most common forms of Arthritis are – Rheumatoid arthritis and Osteoarthritis.

Rheumatoid Arthritis Meaning

Rheumatoid arthritis is a chronic, long-term disease that is characterized by inflammation, pain, redness, and swelling, resulting in destruction, deformity, and immobility of the joints. The joint damage that Rheumatoid Arthritis causes usually happens on both sides of the body.

Osteoarthritis Meaning

Osteoarthritis is a degenerative disease most common in older persons and characterized by degeneration of cartilage in the joint leading to pain and stiffness. It is not inflammatory and is associated with excess weight on the weight-bearing joints.  It causes pain and stiffness, especially in the hip, knee, and thumb joints.

Causes of Arthritis

There are a lot of factors that could cause arthritis in people. While a few causes contribute to the progression of this disease actively, there are passive reasons that could result in the onset of this condition. A few causes include:

  • Physical injuries: Injuries near joints can either damage the joint or act as an entrance for disease-causing bacteria and viruses through the open wound, thereby causing arthritis.
  • Family history: When a person’s immediate family member or his close relatives have a history of arthritis, this can lead to arthritis in that person. Psoriatic arthritis is a classic example of such a cause.
  • Alcohol and tobacco: The consumption of alcohol and tobacco can become one of the reasons for a person being affected by Arthritis. 
  • Obesity: Excess Bodyweight can result in the body exerting more pressure on the joints, thereby acting as a catalyst in the wear and tear of the protective cartilage between the joints and hence increasing the chances of arthritis.
  • Age: Many forms of arthritis has been observed in different age groups. JIA affects children under 16 years of age. Reactive arthritis affects people between 20-40 years of age. Old age people suffer most from different forms of this disease.
  • Lifestyle: We must exercise more and learn to move correctly, to feel and become aware of every move that we make, so that we can maintain health and vitality and prevent such diseases as arthritis from occurring. Yoga is the best way for this all to accomplish.

Best Yoga Poses for Arthritis

There are many yogic kriyas that can be very useful for the treatment of all forms of Arthritis. Asanas that are especially helpful and advisable here – Pawanmuktasana series part 1, Paschimottanasana, Janushirasana, Halasana, Ardha Matsyendrasana, Trikonasana, Gomukhasana, and Dhanurasana. Pranayama such as Nadi Shodhana, Kapal Bhati, and Bhastrika is equally important as these increase the positive regenerative forces of the body. Treatment of Arthritis through Shatkarma Kriyas of Hatha Yoga can bring in miraculous results in a short time. 

How Pawanmuktasana part 1 Plays its Part In Arthritis Treatment

Of all the asanas, Pawanmuktasana Series part 1, also called Sukshma Vyayam in Sanskrit, and Sharir Sanchalan in simple language makes the ideal set of exercises for the prevention and elimination of arthritis. It systematically influences all the joints of the body as well as the internal organs, commencing from the feet up. Though seemingly simple, these exercises have subtle effects on the mind-body complex.

Sharir Sanchalan (Pawanmuktasana Series part 1) is very useful in cases of arthritis because it releases the excess wind from the joints. Each joint and part of the body is massaged and relaxed in turn, increasing the blood flow to that joint and washing out the toxins and chemicals. Sharir Sanchalan stretches even the nerves and purifies them of stress-related chemicals such as adrenalin. It helps the flow of nervous energy from the brain to the joints and back. The venous and lymphatic return is made more efficient. Internal organs are massaged gently so that they receive a flush of pure blood with a sufficient supply of oxygen. In this way, Sharir Sanchalan helps to eliminate arthritis from the physical body by breaking down the stiff and fibrosed tissues which have built up because of degeneration and inflammation and freeing up joints that have become stiff and immobile.

While practicing Sharir Sanchalan (Pawanmuktasana Series part 1) the mind is concentrated and had the awareness of the joint being massaged. This awareness focuses prana into the joint, relaxing and revitalizing that joint, eliminating impurities on both the physical and pranic levels, helping in the breakdown of damaged tissues, and replacing them with new and healthy tissues. 

The slow rhythmic movement of Sharir Sanchalan (Pawanmuktasana Series part 1) has a relaxing effect on the mind. With increased body awareness the mind and thoughts slow down. There is an integral relationship between body and mind. The tensions are eliminated from the mind and body at the same time. As soon as tensions drop away the rejuvenating process deal more effectively with eliminating the problem of arthritis.

Combine Sharir Sanchalan with a change in your lifestyle including diet and you will witness the reversal of the process that caused arthritis by removing the cause. 

For Pawanmuktasana Series Part 1 –

Pawanmuktasana Series part 1 -Toes & Ankle Bending

Pawanmuktasana Series 1 – Part 2 – Ankle & Knee Exercises

Pawanmuktasana Series 1 – Part 3 – Butterfly Yoga Asana & Hip Rotation

Pawanmuktasana Series 1 – Part 4 – Hand & Wrist Asanas

Pawanmuktasana Series 1 – Part 5 – Shoulder & Elbow Asanas

Pawanmuktasana Series 1 – Part 6 – Neck Movements

About the author

Mahendra Kumar Vyas

Mahendra Vyas, with parental home at Jodhpur and born to Late Shri Goverdhan Lal Vyas and Shrimati Sharda Vyas, did Civil Engineering from M.B.M.Engineering College, Jodhpur. Shifted to Mumbai after completing engineering and worked with Sanjay Narang's Mars Group and Aditya Birla Group. With an inclination to spirituality and service, joined the Yoga stream and became a part of Yoga Niketan, Goregaon (west) in 2002 and since then practicing and imparting Yoga knowledge at Yoga Niketan and different corporates.

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