Now that my shoulder is pretty much healed, I’d like to get back to doing more yoga. Unfortunately, I have quite a lot of arthritic changes in my wrists and other joints. I met with.paulina on Instagram with her website Chronically Friendly Yoga. I asked her four questions about yoga and arthritis, and she kindly wrote out some answers for me to share with you.
Question #1. What type of yoga is best for arthritis?
“It is really difficult to give a black and white answer as to what types of yoga are best for arthritis. This is because there are so many different types of arthritis which need different things. We all experience them so differently as well, so what my body feels best after might be different to what your body needs. In general I find a slow flow vinyasa is a beautiful practice to get the body moving, oiling up those joints, gently strengthening the muscles which help protect our joints and balancing it all with flexibility work. Then restorative yoga and yoga nidra, are both beautiful relaxing practices. Where we allow the body to tap into the
parasympathetic nervous system, which is the state of healing, digesting, restoring, regenerating. Allowing our bodies to do this you will see great help in your physical body but also mental health.”
Question #2. Which poses can I do if I have arthritis in my wrists and fingers?
“Mostly all of them! With modifications 🙂 there is no such thing as a full pose, or beginner pose, or advanced pose. There are just poses, and you choose which ones feel right for you that help you achieve the intention set. If it is strengthening, relaxing, awareness, balance. Whatever the intention is that a pose is there to help us achieve, you can modify the pose so
that it helps your body achieve the intention. If your intention is relaxation in downward facing dog, but all you feel is pain in your wrists and fingers, then go down to your forearms into a dolphin pose, and if that still doesn’t achieve the desired intention, then go into a tabletop on your forearms. Modifications are so key for everyone, and truly listening to what it is
your body needs.”
Here is a video of Paulina demonstrating these modifications for downward dog pose:
Since this video is pretty quick, you can click on settings on the right below the video to slow it down as needed.
Question #3. How does yoga benefit people with chronic pain?
“In sooooo many ways! Yoga can benefit us mentally, physically and spiritually. Mentally helping us with pain management, peacefulness, relaxation. Physically with strength, mobility, less inflammation. Spiritually with a higher awareness of the self. All of this combined, especially for us chronic pain warriors, we can truly benefit directly from it all. And
because our bodies are so responsive to everything, the moment you start implementing something, you will be able to tell if it is making your body happier or not.”
If you would like to hear more of how yoga has helped Paulina with her rheumatoid arthritis you can listen to this interview below:
Question #4. What changes can I make to prevent or lessen stress on sore joints?
“Definitely modifications within your movement yoga practice, so that your sore joints get some rest. But also finding gentle movement in them can actually help with drainage of toxins and getting them more mobile which helps against that stiffness soreness. Talking to a certified instructor that understands chronic pain, like myself, can also be very helpful. As
each one of us is so different, by talking to an actual person about your specific needs and limitations you can come to a beautiful medium together. This is where my private client sessions are so wonderful, as we truly then dive into what it is your body requires.”
Also, Paulina has made a video about warming up our wrists before starting a yoga routine. You can watch that here:
Finally, if you would like to try Paulina’s 7 day free course, you can start that here:
Wrap-Up of Yoga & Arthritis
So, I hope this post has given you a place to start with yoga if you have arthritis. If you wish to consult with Paulina you can do that here: https://linktr.ee/with.paulina
Health Update: My repeat chest xray on Friday, 10/16/20 was completely clear of pneumonia, and any masses. Woo Hoo! Thank you, Jesus!! I’m still struggling with fatigue, but that’s to be expected after pneumonia.
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