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Yoga for Arthritis of the Knees

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Exercises for Osteoarthritis in Knee Joints and Shoulders

Many yoga poses focus on the knees and shoulders, and are used to help relieve arthritis pain.

Often, when arthritis of the knee flares up, a person compensates with poor posture that can lead to hip pain, and lower back pain. Shoulder pain may radiate throughout the back.

Many things may cause knee pain and shoulder pain, so a doctor’s advice is critical before attempting poses.

Benefits of Balancing Poses

These balancing poses for the knees focus on strengthening the muscles of the legs and proper alignment. For the most benefit in these poses, balance evenly on both feet. Spreading the toes is an excellent way to achieve balance. When weight is evenly balanced, then proper alignment of the knees will follow.

Take deep breaths in the poses. These should be done slowly and held for 20 to 30 seconds, or as long as balance can be maintained. Repeat each pose two or three times.

Yoga Poses for the Knees

  • Garudasana, Eagle Pose. This pose strengthens the ankles, knees, and also removes stiffness in the shoulders. The pose should be done on both sides of the body.
  • Vrksasana, Tree Pose. This pose strengthens the leg muscles and develops balance. Do this pose on both sides of the body.
  • UtkatasanaPowerful Pose. This pose builds strength in the leg muscles and stretches the shoulders. It is like sitting in an imaginary chair.

Yoga Poses for the Shoulders

  • Gomukhasana, Cow Face Pose. This pose stretches the triceps and shoulders. If the hands cannot be clasped, a strap may be used. The pose should be repeated on both sides.
  • Urdhva Mukha Svanasana, Upward Facing Dog. This pose strengthens the spine and relieves backaches that occur from the shoulders down through the lower back.
  • Adho Mukha Svanasana, Downward Facing Dog. This invigorating pose relieves stiffness in the muscles around the shoulder blades and helps relieve symptoms of arthritis of the shoulder joints.

According to Yoga, The Iyengar Way, by Silva, Mira, and Shyam Mehta, good health cannot be taken for granted but must be worked for. The yoga asanas should be practiced on a regular, systematic basis to reap the most benefits. Paying attention to accuracy and alignment in the poses is important. Progress and practice will bring improvement in health.

Taking a yoga class from a certified yoga teacher can help to learn the proper forms, and to deepen the practice. However, many people find yoga at home to be convenient and helpful. Many books are available that explain how to practice yoga at home.