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The practice of yoga helps to increase mobility in joints, while stretching and strengthening the muscles and connective tissues around the joints. A regular yoga practice also reduces arthritic pain.
If you don't have time to read my full online article, then just read the short section How Yoga Helps to Relieve Arthritis Symptoms.
UPDATE -- When I first wrote this post, I didn't have a Yoga for Arthritis class on my schedule. I've since decided that I WILL offer a Yoga for Arthritis class on a trial basis. It'll be an hour-long class and it will last for four weeks. The class will be geared toward people who are new to yoga and who want to come to a gentle, slow-paced class to help them develop more mobility and strength.
My students with arthritis all agree that yoga has helped to increase their flexibility and strength, while reducing their arthritis pain. They notice that if they take a break from practicing yoga, they experience more stiffness and pain.
If you're new to yoga, or have been away from the practice of yoga for some time, you may want to try a Gentle yoga class to start with. In the Gentle Yoga Class and the 4 week Yoga for Arthritis class at Harmony Yoga of Ann Arbor, you'll learn to safely stretch and strengthen your body with yoga poses, within a friendly, non-judgmental atmosphere. If you're already relatively active, but starting to notice arthritic stiffness and pain, a general Beginning Yoga class may be a good place to start.
If the class you try just does not work for you, try another class. "Gentle Yoga" or "Beginning Yoga" can mean different things at different studios. Some styles of yoga are more active than others, while some are very quiet and slow-moving. Don't give up if your first class doesn't suit you! Search around and ask for recommendations from friends. Talk to different yoga teachers.
With the assistance of a competent yoga teacher, all of the yoga poses can be modified as needed to help with stiffness, weakness, and lack of balance.
If you'd like to see if a yoga class at Harmony Yoga of Ann Arbor is suitable for you, take a look at our Yoga Class Schedule and Yoga Class Descriptions, and contact me if you have questions! I'm happy to talk to you!