About Yoga

Yoga is an ancient practice which not only enhances flexibility but also increases body strength.1 Many people find yoga a useful, enjoyable exercise.2

Joint pain may arise from conditions, injuries, or inflammation, while muscular pain may be a result of stress, tension or physical strain. Understanding your pain will help you to know your limits and understand which areas of your body may need a bit of extra strength.3

Yoga is a great way to enhance your flexibility and range of motion. Yoga asanas, or postures, gently stretch the muscles, ligaments, and tendons surrounding the joints. This increased flexibility helps to alleviate stiffness and may improve overall joint mobility. 4

Studies suggest that reducing inflammation5 and local circulation6 are other benefits often found when practicing yoga on a regular basis. Specific yoga poses, such as twists and inversions, stimulate local blood flow, promoting the delivery of nutrients and oxygen to certain areas of the body.7

Many people use yoga as a method to strengthen muscles and support joints. Engaging in various yoga poses involves activating different muscle groups, which lead to muscle strength and stability. Stronger muscles provide better support for joints, reducing strain and helping to minimise pain.8,9

Pose #1 – Bridge Pose

For the bridge pose, lay back on your yoga mat, bend your knees and place your feet flat on the floor. Slowly lift your body whilst keeping your head, neck, shoulders and arms pressed into the yoga mat. This pose is often used for strengthening the knee joints.10

Pose #2 – Warrior Pose

The warrior pose is helpful for strengthening knee joints and increasing balance. Stand with your legs wide apart, then with your knees bent and shoulders elevated, create a 90 degree angle with your front leg. 11

Pose #3 – Plank Pose

To achieve the plank pose, start by lying on your stomach and place your lower arms on the mat. Bend your elbows to 90 degrees. Lift your body off the mat and balance your weight on your lower arms and toes. This pose is great for increasing body strength.12

When you experience joint and muscular pain over an extended period of time, this can lead to heightened stress levels, which may intensify discomfort. 13 Yoga incorporates deep breathing exercises, meditation and mindfulness, which induce relaxation, calming the mind.

Finding time for yoga amidst your busy schedule may seem challenging, but with a few adjustments, it can be achieved. We recommend starting with shorter sessions and gradually increasing the duration as your body adapts. Even a 15-20 minute practice can yield significant benefits.14 It is important that you find a convenient time for your yoga practice, one where you are least likely to be interrupted or distracted. Many people find mornings beneficial, as yoga can help to energise your body and start the day off with a positive exercise. Where possible, create a dedicated space for practicing yoga. This should be a quiet, clutter free area which will enhance your focus and make it easier to stay motivated.

While yoga provides great benefits, it is essential to complement your practice with a healthy lifestyle. In particular, you should consider;

  • Maintaining a balanced diet, opting for nutrient-rich foods
  • Stay hydrated
  • Try low-impact exercises such as swimming or walking
  • Get plenty of rest
  • Listen to your body and take breaks when you need to

In addition to the above benefits, yoga also has the potential to bring about positive changes within communities. Yoga classes provide a space where individuals from diverse backgrounds can come together to practice and connect. This sense of community and belonging helps to improve overall well-being.

By promoting relaxation, improving flexibility, strengthening muscles and introducing mindfulness, yoga can be a great practice for those suffering from joint and muscular pain. If you are unsure about getting started or are not sure where to begin, we recommend talking to your GP and a qualified yoga instructor.

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  1. https://www.yogi-bare.co.uk/blogs/news/what-is-yoga-for-how-does-it-help-you-and-your-body#:~:text=Yoga%20is%20an%20ancient%20form,strength%20and%20flexibility)%20and%20breathing.
  2. https://economictimes.indiatimes.com/magazines/panache/yes-yoga-can-alleviate-joint-pain-gentle-asanas-that-will-ensure-a-comfortable-life/articleshow/92208248.cms
  3. https://ada.com/conditions/muscle-joint-pain/
  4. https://www.issaonline.com/blog/post/how-to-use-yoga-for-flexibility-and-improved-range-of-motion
  5. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6700894/#:~:text=Thus%2C%20yoga%20may%20be%20particularly,inflammatory%20biomarkers%20as%20outcome%20measures.
  6. https://www.healthline.com/health/yoga-for-blood-circulation
  7. https://www.mindbodygreen.com/articles/these-are-the-best-yoga-poses-for-circulation
  8. https://www.webmd.com/balance/the-health-benefits-of-yoga#:~:text=Many%20of%20the%20poses%2C%20such,dog%20and%20the%20chair%20pose.
  9. https://www.osteobiflex.com/blogs/news/strengthening-muscles-for-joint-health#:~:text=Strengthening%20your%20muscles%20is%20one,helps%20properly%20align%20your%20bones.
  10. https://www.tricitymed.org/2016/12/yoga-poses-joint-health/#:~:text=Bridge%20Pose&text=Slowly%20lift%20your%20body%20while,helpful%20to%20those%20with%20osteoporosis.
  11. https://www.cnyhealingarts.com/the-health-benefits-of-virabhadrasana-i-warrior-i-pose/
  12. https://www.healthline.com/health/fitness/what-muscles-do-planks-work#bottom-line
  13. https://www.arthritis.org/health-wellness/healthy-living/emotional-well-being/stress-management/how-stress-affects-arthritis
  14. https://www.bio-kult.com/lifestyle-hints-and-tips/358-the-benefits-of-daily-yoga