HomeHealth articlesarthritisHow Can Yoga Help Arthritis?

Arthritis is a disease of the joint and musculoskeletal system. Yoga helps treat arthritis by improving the body’s strength, flexibility, and balance.

Written by

Dr. Dheeksha. R

Medically reviewed by

Shakti Mishra

Published At December 21, 2022
Reviewed AtJune 27, 2023


Arthritis is a disease that includes more than 100 conditions that affect the joints and the musculoskeletal system. The most widespread is osteoarthritis, which causes the breakdown of the cartilage, the cushioning material between the bones. When the cartilage tears off, the bones rub each other, causing pain. For a long time, exercises have been considered one of the best ways to treat arthritis which helps in increasing flexibility and strengthening muscles around the joints. In addition, yoga can enhance flexibility, strength, and balance, which helps in improving arthritis conditions.

What Are the Yoga Poses That Improve Arthritis?

Six yoga poses improve arthritis condition:

  • Veerbhadrasana - Also called the warrior pose. This yoga pose is beneficial for frozen shoulders. In addition, it helps to strengthen the arms, legs, and lower back.

  • Vrikshasana - It is called the tree pose. This pose is not recommended for those with high blood pressure and migraine. However, it helps strengthen the legs and back and improves balance.

  • Marjariasana - It is also called a cat pose. It helps the whole body to improve strength and flexibility, including the spine, wrist, and shoulder. In addition, it helps to improve blood circulation.

  • Setubandhasana - It is known as the bridge pose. It stretches the neck, spine, and chest and helps to strengthen the back muscles. It instantly relaxes back pain and works well for osteoarthritis.

  • Trikonasana - It is called a triangle pose, which strengthens the spine, back, and chest through stretches. It enhances physical equilibrium.

  • Shavasana - It is called a corpse pose. It releases stress and repairs tissues and cells. This pose helps eliminate Vata (air element), which aggravates joint pain. It relaxes the body completely.

Why Can Yoga Be Good for Arthritis?

Regular practice of exercise or yoga makes a huge difference in arthritic conditions. It helps strengthen muscles supporting the joints, and movements are essential to reduce stiffness. Yoga helps individuals maintain a healthy weight, which removes the pressure from the joints. It makes them less likely to get heart disease or diabetes, as they most commonly affect people with arthritis. Traditional yoga poses, breathing, and relaxation, helps with joint pain and swelling.

Yoga boosts positive energy and eases anxiety. It is challenging for people with an ongoing chronic illness to stay positive with all the pain. Yoga helps boost positive energy and helps in dealing with stress. Arthritis deals with high levels of stress, which worsens the mental and physical health of the person. So it is crucial to deal with stress and to listen to the body. Practicing yoga helps us understand and respect our body and also helps to calm and relax the body, reducing the tension in the joints.

What Are the Benefits of Yoga for Arthritis?

Yoga can help people with arthritis in various ways, such as

  • Manages pain.

  • Improves mood.

  • Enhances better mobility.

Yoga is not a complete cure for arthritis. The practice helps reduce pain, improving the mood of individuals with arthritis. However, gentle yoga is advised for people with pain and limited movements, as it is safe, and following certain poses may be difficult and too risky.

How Does Yoga Help With Arthritic Pain?

If a person has arthritis, it does not mean they are off limits of all exercise and physical activity. Regular practice of certain forms of yoga after proper consultation with doctors will help improve physical and mental health. Yoga helps muscular strength, flexibility, functional mobility, physical function, and disease progress in people with knee osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. The complexity of the pain and being the primary factor of arthritis, many people practice yoga. Yoga helps strengthen painful joint muscles. Yoga can help with joint muscle strengthening. Yoga poses can help reduce pain and irritation. Nerve pain may be caused by the spine pressing on a nerve - which causes sciatica, where yoga helps to ease it. It regulates the pain between the body and the brain, where the sensations are interrupted. Yoga helps to reduce these activities.

Does Yoga Help With Mental Health?

The arthritic condition affects one or multiple joints. Specific arthritis is associated with depressive symptoms. Arthritis causes chronic pain, which leads to frustration, stress, and depression. Yoga helps to calm the mind, reduce stress, and helps in the betterment of the mental state of mind. Simple breathing done during yoga helps to calm the mind.

What’s the Best Way to Start Yoga for Arthritis?

Check With the Doctor:

The doctor should instruct the person with arthritis on the dos and don’ts to be done while practicing yoga.

To Find a Yoga Instructor Familiar With Arthritis:

Some yoga therapists are trained to work with the clinical population. These instructors are trained to develop treatment plans and should be consulted to treat chronic pain or limited movements. In addition, they also instruct on specifically modified yoga practices which are different from the usual poses.

Pick the Suitable Class:

Let the instructor know about the condition. There are various yoga classes: gentle, beginners, therapeutic, restorative, adaptive, accessible, and for seniors. Appropriate yoga classes should be chosen where the yoga practice is modified based on the issue.

Take It Easy:

Yoga may sometimes be challenging, but it should not worsen the arthritis condition at any cost. Instructions given by the instructor are optional. Only instructions that are comfortable and do not worsen the condition can be practiced.

How Long Will It Take To Feel Better?

There is no specific time for the practice of yoga. It should become a lifestyle rather than an activity to be done daily. Proper postures, deep breathing, and stretches are to be done daily, which give tremendous results and cause better changes in physical and mental health.


Arthritis is a disease that causes chronic pain in the joints. Yoga practice helps reduce the pain and discomfort in the joints due to the tear of cartilage between the joints. The yoga postures and exercises can be modified for arthritic individuals, as they cannot perform all the exercises. Arthritis causes a huge mental barrier due to chronic pain, one of the significant depressing factors that can be reduced by yoga, enhancing the mental state in the long run.

Frequently Asked Questions


Is Yoga Safe for Individuals With Arthritis?

Yes absolutely. Yoga is extremely safe and effective for individuals with arthritis. It improves the flexibility and range of motion, limits pain and improves joint function. In addition it also promotes relaxation and reduces stress which greatly aids in recovering.


Which Type of Yoga Is Best Suited for Arthritis?

Yoga is best suited to relieve the joint pain and stiffness associated with arthritis. People with arthritis can largely benefit from the following yoga styles:
- Hatha Yoga: It includes all yoga poses with a few breathing exercises and meditation.
- Iyengar Yoga: It is most often recommended to individuals with arthritis. Iyengar yoga emphasizes proper body alignment and postures.
- Hot Yoga and Bikram Yoga: hot yoga can help loosen the stiff joints and also relieve pain. Bikram yoga is a trademark type of hot yoga that features 26 postures and 2 breathing exercises in a 105-degree heated room.
- Yin Yoga: This type mainly focuses on stretching and breathing. It is a good option to reduce arthritis pain by decreasing stress, anxiety, and muscle tension in the body.
- Vinyasa Yoga: Vinyasa yoga is a type of athletic yoga and forms the base for power yoga. It helps in building and maintaining muscle that will help support arthritis joints.


Which Exercises Are Best Recommended in Arthritis?

Low impact exercises that are gentle on joints and do not cause much stress are recommended in arthritis. The following physical activities may largely benefit individuals with arthritic pain:
- Swimming.
- Cycling.
- Yoga.
- Brisk walking.
- Water aerobics.
- Dancing
- Balance exercises.
- Flexibility exercises.


Is Yoga Indicated in Osteoarthritis?

Studies have shown that yoga is extremely safe, effective, and feasible in patients with osteoarthritis. It is effective in relieving the symptoms associated with osteoarthritis such as pain, limited range of motion and reduced flexibility. Incorporating yoga along with other conservative treatments has significantly improved the joint flexibility, strength and function in osteoarthritic patients and thus enhanced the quality of life.


Is Yoga Recommended for Individuals With Knee Arthritis?

Yoga is definitely beneficial in individuals with knee arthritis. It focuses on pain relief, knee strengthening, and functional restoration. The most commonly followed yoga poses in knee arthritis are:
- Child pose.
- Chair pose.
- Bridge pose.
- Tree pose.


Can Yoga Help Relieve Osteoarthritis Pain?

Yoga is an excellent therapeutic choice for chronic pain. It helps relieve arthritic pain by reducing inflammation, increasing the range of motion and flexibility. Yoga decreases the pain perception by severing the negative pain emotions or stress thus promoting a positive approach that helps manage pain better.


What Are the Benefits of Yoga for Arthritis?

Individuals with different types of arthritis can greatly benefit from yoga asanas that help improve their quality of life. Yoga helps relieve pain by increasing the flexibility or range of motion, reducing inflammation, decreasing stress and tension, thus strengthening the joints and restoring their functional abilities.


Is Yoga Beneficial for Arthritis of the Spine?

Yes yoga and regular gentle exercises can greatly ease the pain associated with spinal arthritis. A supported type of child’s pose can help ease the spinal joints and relieve pain. Legs up the wall and lying on one side against a soft support are other poses that can help in spinal arthritis.


Can Yoga Cure Arthritis?

Yoga is an excellent therapeutic alternative that has positively helped arthritic patients. Yoga has proven to improve pain, function and other symptoms, alleviate stress and tension and thus significantly improve the quality of life.


Is Yoga Good for Arthritis in Feet?

Studies have proven that yoga can help relieve the symptoms of various types of arthritis. They can ease the pain, build strength and improve the function of the affected joints and thus boost the physical and mental health of the patients.


What Are the Recommended Yoga Poses for Osteoarthritis?

The four commonly recommended yoga poses for osteoarthritis are:
- Mountain pose.
- Warrior II.
- Bound angle.
- Staff pose.
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Shakti Mishra
Shakti Mishra


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