Through research conducted at the Johns Hopkins Arthritis Center and elsewhere, yoga has shown promise for improving arthritis symptoms, physical fitness, mental health and quality of life. However, in order to be safe and effective, yoga must also be appropriate for people living with arthritis. While there are many ways that yoga poses can be adapted, a chair is a readily available tool that makes yoga more accessible. Dr. Steffany Moonaz will guide you through these videos, which can be used one at a time or in sequence, depending on how much time you have and what you want to practice. It includes information on posture, breathing, movement, yoga poses that are done seated and standing, and a relaxation.
In this yoga sequence, Dr. Moonaz takes you through the movement of all major joints of the body. This can be a great activity for mornings to reduce stiffness or as a warm-up to any kind of exercise or a longer yoga practice. You can also use any of these movements throughout the day if you are starting to feel stiff or just need a little bit of movement in your day.
This video contains a few yoga poses that can be done seated in a chair. You’ll want one chair to sit on and another in front of you to put your feet on. Alternatively, these poses can also be done sitting on the floor if you feel comfortable doing so. You may also want something like a strap, a belt, or a necktie to hold into in some of the poses. These gentle poses can help to stretch the back of the legs and bring more movement into the spine.
Did you know that the very first yoga pose was just about how to sit properly? And standing upright with healthy alignment is called Mountain Pose? We may not think of sitting and standing as yoga, but the way we sit and stand can affect the pressure on our joints, the way we breathe, and even our mood. In this video, Dr. Moonaz guides you through considerations for healthy alignment while sitting and standing, so you can practice yoga all day long!
This short relaxation practice can be done at bedtime to help you prepare for sleep, or anytime for relaxation and stress management. It can be done seated in a chair against a wall or lying down. You might want a second chair to place your feet on, and maybe something soft to support your head and neck. Try to do this in a quiet place at a time when you know you won’t be disturbed.