Yoga for Arthritis : 5 Classic Yoga Poses Modified for Arthritis Patients : Johns Hopkins


(soft music) – We’re gonna do a few standing postures that help to build strength in the body and facilitate better balance. So we’ll start with what’s
called a warrior pose. Stepping the feet wide and you want to have something
here for support to hold onto just in case you need it. The front foot is gonna turn out so that’s pointed toward
the front of your mat so that the knee is going
right over the ankle. You want to make sure
that you’re not leaning in or leaning out on that foot but the weight is evenly
distributed on the foot, and the back leg has this back foot at whatever angle feels
comfortable to you. So depending on what’s happening in your foot and your ankle, you might want to angle it in more, you might want to angle
it out, and that’s fine. This stance can be as wide
as feels comfortable to you. The wider your stance is, the deeper your bend can be and the more challenging
the pose is gonna be. When you bend this front knee, you want to make sure that the knee doesn’t go past the ankle. So if you’re standing very
narrow and you try to bend, the knee is gonna go past
the ankle right away. So you want to step wide enough that you have room to be able to bend and avoid putting too much
pressure in that knee. From here, bring the
shoulders over the hips, so the torso is facing one way even though the legs are
facing a different way. And roll the shoulders back and down. Protect the low back by engaging the core. Separate the ribs and the hips. And from here, you’re gonna turn and look over that right
shoulder or the front leg. You can bring one or
both hands to the hips if that feels comfortable. You can also take the
arms out to the side. They can be shoulder height or lower, whatever feels comfortable to you. And in this pose you want
to take a few deep breathes and feel the intensity and strength of the warrior in this pose. From here, we’re going
to take this front hand and put it on the front leg. Take the other arm and
either put it on the shoulder in a cactus pose or up over the head, whatever feels comfortable to you, and then lower down onto the leg. So you can take the forearm here, you can do any sort of position
that you want with your hand or just let it relax. You’re gonna stack one
shoulder on top of the other, and then if it feels comfortable, look up toward the ceiling. If that doesn’t work for your neck, it’s fine to look forward,
or you can even look down. But make sure that this shoulder is still staying lined up over the other so that as you’re looking down you’re not rotating and facing that leg. Again, put the arm into whatever
position feels good to you. And the idea here is to
feel one long line of energy from that back leg all the way out the crown of the head on that diagonal. Coming up we’re gonna
straighten the front leg and now move into something
that’s called triangle pose. So again, place the front hand wherever it feels comfortable to you. It can be up high on
the leg or further down. You want to make sure that you’re not putting
the hand on the knee where it applies a lot of
pressure to that joint. So either above or below the knee and it can rest very gently. And again here, you’re
rotating the shoulders, and then the arm can come
up toward the ceiling if that feels okay or you
can put the hand on the hip. Again, you can be looking up
toward the ceiling or down. And in this posture, you want to feel the
alignment of the triangle, so imagine a triangle where both feet and the head are making a triangle. And then come up, bend the knee, and bring the legs back together. We’ll do the same thing on the other side. So stepping wide again, this
time the other foot turns out, and whatever angle works
for that back leg is fine. Rolling the shoulders back and down, standing up nice and tall, turn and look over your other shoulder. Bending into the knee, make sure that the knee
is aligned over the ankle, and you can take the arms out
if that feels comfortable. Take a few deep breaths here. And then from here, lower
the front arm to the thigh. Look up toward the ceiling
if that’s available or straight ahead or down
keeping shoulder over shoulder. And feel that long line of energy from the back foot pressing into the floor out the crown of the head. And then come up. Straighten the front leg
finding the triangle pose. Let the front hand slide down the leg to wherever it feels comfortable. Stack shoulder over shoulder. Look up toward the ceiling with whatever arm position
is available to you today. Make sure you’re still
breathing fully and deeply, that you feel the alignment
of the triangle pose. And then come back up and
walk the feet together. Shake the legs out, shake
the arms out, the whole body. And now we’ll do a little bit of balancing holding onto the chair. So we’ll start with a tree pose. And here you’re gonna shift
the weight side to side, and notice how the body moves
from one side to the other as you do that. So you’re gonna settle the
weight into the left foot so that the right leg
is available to lift up. Rotate outward at the hip, and you can make a little kickstand so that the ball of the
foot is on the floor and the heel is against the opposite leg. If this doesn’t work for your foot, then you can bring the
foot a little bit higher so that it’s resting on the calf, or if you really want to go for it, you can bring the leg up so that it’s on the inside
of the opposite thigh. Again, make sure that the
foot isn’t on the knee so that it’s not pressing
against that joint. You can stay here or you can play around with lifting an arm, maybe even lifting both. You can take the arms
all the way up over head, or you can bring the hands to the hips. Make sure that you’re
breathing fully and deeply. If you’re wobbling, that’s fine. That means that your body is making constant micro
adjustments to help you balance. That actually is helping
to train your body to balance more efficiently. And then when you’re
ready, lower that down. And then shift side to side. Now we’re gonna take the
weight into the right foot. Make sure that you’re
not sinking into this hip but that you’re lifting up out of the hip creating space in that joint. Rotate the other hip
out making the kickstand or bringing the foot a little bit higher. And then if you’d like to play around with your balance with one or both hands, you can do so. Make sure the shoulders are back and down. Imagine that the head is just
floating on top of the spine. You can find a focal point
out ahead of you to focus on that’s eye height or higher
not looking down at the floor. And then as you’re ready
release that and shake it out. We’ll do one more balancing pose. So moving into another balancing pose, this is the extension of the leg backward instead of out to the side. So here we’re gonna take the
weight into the left foot and extend the right leg back. You can bring the toes to
touch the floor behind you as you find your alignment here. And then if you feel comfortable, you can play with lifting
the toes up off the floor to the extent that feels comfortable. You can also play with
extending the opposite arm or even both arms if you’re
feeling stable enough. You can stay here, or you can start to tip this forward as much as feels comfortable to you. This is a variation on warrior three. So you can play with
extending the other arm, or you can stay holding
firmly onto the chair. You want to make sure that
this right hip is down so that it’s not lifting up this way but that the two hips are
aligned with each other. And then lower that down
and shake the legs out. Shift the weight over to the right foot so that the left leg can extend, taking the toes to touch
the floor behind you. Now it’s the right arm that extends out, and you can try lifting
the toes up off the floor. You can also try hinging forward so that as the torso lowers the leg comes higher up behind you. So again you’re feeling
that long line of energy from the foot all the way
out the crown of the head, one long line. And then come up and shake it out. (soft music)

1 Comment

  1. You are the best i was looking for such posses which can be done with my bad bad artritis.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *