People everywhere are gripped with different diseases and ailments pertaining to factors like a sedentary lifestyle and aging. The most common conditions that people are diagnosed with are hypertension, arthritis and diabetes among others. In the case of arthritis, patients suffer from symptoms like extreme pain in the joints pain, swelling of the limbs and even stiffness, reduced range of motion etc.
While there are medications for arthritis, it is known to be a chronic ailment and cannot be completely cured. However, a proper lifestyle, healthy eating habits, exercise, and yoga can help a patient continue to live a normal life and reduce the effects of the ailment to a large extent.
While performing yoga, the body moves and stretches itself, thus giving the body flexibility and increased motion. It is however, known to be important that people practice the postures carefully, because if a pose causes pain in any manner, it should not be continued with. In addition, practicing yoga also comprises of deep breathing, known to be beneficial to the body as well as the mind. Deep breathing expands the chest and also helps in correcting one’s posture.
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On this World Arthritis Day, here are five yoga postures that can help alleviate pain in the muscles and joints.
Sun Salutation or Surya Namaskar
Stand with both feet touching, and then bring your hands together, palm-to-palm, and place them in front of the chest in prayer position. Exhale and raise your arms upward. Slowly bend backward and stretch your arms above the head. Slowly bend forward from the waist and keep your spine erect. Bring the hands down to touch the floor, right beside the feet. Breathing in, push your right leg back, as far back as possible. Slowly bring the left knee to the floor and look upwards. Now, take the left leg back and bring the whole body in a straight line. Gently bring your knees down to the floor and exhale. Take the hips back slightly, slide forward, rest your chest and chin on the floor. Raise your posterior a little bit.
Repeat the same process for the right knee as well. Slowly bring the left foot forward. Keep your palms on the floor. Raise yourself, bend backwards with your hands raised up. Slowly bring the arms down and straighten the body and relax for a while.
Surya Namaskar improves flexibility and stretches the spine. It provides a cardiovascular workout and keeps the mind and the body healthy.
Cat to Cow Pose
Get on all fours by keeping your hands shoulder width apart, your wrists should be right under the shoulders, and fingers must be spread wide. Your knees should be hips’ width apart. Slowly bring your chest forward and then upwards. Arch your back, let your belly relax and go loose. Your shoulder blades must press down toward your waist, and tip your pelvis up and back such that your sitting bones are reaching up.
Cat to cow pose improves one’s balance and posture, strengthens and stretches the neck muscles, the spine, hips, abdomen, and the back.
Lie on your back, draw your knees toward your chest, and wrap your arms around your legs, hold your legs like you are giving yourself a little hug. Rock a bit side to side or back and forth.
Extend both legs straight up in the air and reach your arms out to the sides at shoulder-height, palms down. Keep both legs straight as you drop them to the left. Turn your head to the right.
Supine twisting is known to relax and realign the spine, and massages the back and hips.
Downward-Facing Dog or Adho Mukha Svanasana
Stand on all fours, with your knees directly below your hips and your hands slightly in front of your shoulders. Spread your palms and turn your toes under. Exhale and push your knees away from the floor. Now, lift your sitting bones toward the ceiling, and draw your inner legs up into your groin area from your ankles.
Downward-facing dog pose stretches the shoulders, hamstrings, arches, hands and calves. It strengthens and stretches the arms and legs.
Anjaneyasana or Crescent Lunge
Take a lunge position, drop your right knee to the floor. Bring it closer, so your left leg presses more to the floor. Raise your arms above your head in such a way that it is in line with your ears. Breathe into the stretch ad you lift your arms.
Repeat with the left knee.
Anjaneyasana releases tension in the hips and stretches the joints. The pose is most beneficial for strengthening the knees, provided care is taken while doing it.