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Yoga and Arthritis

Health & Lifestyle
Contributed by : Yoga Centers

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For hundreds of years, Yoga has been used to ameliorate the pain caused by diseases including Osteo and rheumatoid arthritis. Osteoarthritis is the degeneration of the articular cartilage (pertaining to range of motion), overgrowth of bone and spur formation, and bone buildup in the neck, hips, shoulders and spine. Rheumatoid Arthritis is a systematic disease that causes inflammatory changes in the joints and related structures resulting in crippling pain and deformities.  Hundreds of sufferers have found dramatic release and the complete elimination of the symptoms of arthritis by doing yoga, for two main reasons:

1. No other form of exercise has the specific series that are uniquely designed to increase circulation and reduce inflammation.  

2. Yoga is perhaps one of the few forms of healing where the mind and the energies of the physical body are used to create a synergistic healing environment.

Purna Yoga is a unique style of yoga with four pillars which combine to create a complete recipe for wellness. Certified Purna Yoga Instructors have over 2,000 hours of training, as well as specific training in the therapeutic applications for yoga and arthritis. They offer classes and private instruction at Yoga Centers in Bellevue, WA.

Here is the Purna Yoga recipe to help you take care of yourself while dealing with arthritis. You can start with the ingredients that work best for you, and gradually add ingredients as you progress.

  • Pillar 1: Yoga Asana (the physical poses)

    • For Osteoarthritis:  Do poses that open the chest and spread the shoulder blades, like Garudasana; hip openers like the Purna Yoga Hip Series work all 6 movements of the hips gently and safely; and exercises that gently stretch the spine, like the PurnaYoga Morning Series.

    • For Rheumatoid Arthritis: Quiet restorative poses will bring the immune system back into balance and relax the muscles around the joints. When inflammation has been reduced, slowing increase asana (yoga poses) to maintain full range of motion.

  • Pillar 2: Meditation

    • Use the breath to return your awareness inwardly. Sit quietly with no distractions and imagine the breath bringing white healing light into your body.  Imagine the light melts the buildup around the joints and bones.

    • Use the Purna Yoga Energy Snacks to center the mind, bring it to the heart, and expand healing light around your body.

  • Pillar 3: Nutrition and Lifestyle

    • Both types of arthritis respond incredibly well to superior nutrition, especially to Sunrider foods (basics are Fortune Delight and Calli drinks, Sunectar, NuPlus and Quinary), plus Beauty Pearl, Joi, and SportsCaps.

    • Specifically for Osteoarthritis:

      • Apply warm sesame oil or Sunriders' Sunbreeze oil to painful joints, and/or Aloe Vera 3 times per day.

      • Drink homemade organic vegetable juices (green vegetables or beet, carrot, apple, celery)

      • Get plenty of sunlight

      • Eat lots of sprouts in salads

      • Eat plenty of calcium, from organic dates, sesame seeds, and green leafy vegetables.

  • Pillar 4: The Thoughts We Think

    • Work on bringing flexibility to your thoughts, releasing rigidity and the need to always be right. Don't immediately reject new ideas; give them some time so you can see all perspectives.

The body has an amazing wisdom and knows what to do to heal itself - if it is supplied with the correct raw materials, mental attitude, and exercise. Just as your body can heal a cut on the skin, your body can also heal arthritis.


Q:    Is my arthritis too advanced to do yoga?

A:    Yoga can benefit everyone, no matter the level of their mobility. General classes may not be the best fit for some. Private instruction addressing the sp



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