9 Yoga Poses for Arthritis – How to Do and Benefits

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Working through the pain is the main part of getting through any arthritic condition. By following the right approach towards yoga for arthritis and choosing the right exercises, one can be significantly relieved in the various symptoms of arthritis such as pain, inflammation, and stiffness. Yoga essentially involves gentle stretching of multiple joints, which works towards improving the flexibility while deep breathing works towards calming down the anxiety and frustration caused due to prolonged pain in the joints. In this article, we will discuss some of the vital yoga for arthritis patients, which will have a positive impact on a reversal of the patients’ condition.

What is Arthritis?

Arthritis is a medical condition in which the patient experiences the inflammation of joints. Either one joint or multiple joints can be affected in this condition. There are more than 100 types of arthritis involving different joints and having a separate line of treatment. However, the two most common types of arthritis are osteoarthritis (OA) and rheumatoid arthritis (RA).

Symptoms of Arthritis

The inflammation of joints is the primary condition in arthritis. The following are the various symptoms of arthritis:

  • Joint pain
  • Stiffness of the joints
  • Swelling
  • The decrease in the range of motion
  • Redness of the skin around the joints
  • Loss of appetite
  • Fatigue and tiredness
  • If left untreated, severe RA may even lead to deformity of the joint altogether

Besides all the above symptoms, it has been observed that the patients’ condition of arthritis is worse in the morning. The joints are stiffer than they usually are during the day, making movement even more difficult.

What Causes Arthritis?

A firm connects the joints in our body, yet flexible tissues called cartilage. They play the role of protecting the joints from shocks and absorbing the pressure put on the joints during movement. In arthritis, there is a reduction in the amount of cartilage in the body. Due to normal wear and tear the body experiences, OA is the most common type of arthritis. While another most common form of arthritis, RA, is an autoimmune disorder. In RA, the synovium, the fluid that nourishes the cartilage is affected, leading to a destruction of both bone as well as the cartilage in the joint.

Yoga as a Cure for Arthritis

As a remedy to arthritis, the primary goal is to reduce the amount of pain one is experiencing while also preventing any further damage to the joints. While heating pads and ice packs are soothing and give temporary relief, yoga acts as the best cure which not only provides comfort from the pain but additionally aids in the reversal of the arthritic condition of the joints.

5 Unique Asanas in Yoga for Arthritis

The following are the five easy yet effective yoga asanas for arthritis that will help in going a long way.

1. Balasana (Child’s Pose):

yoga for arthritis

This is a very simple yet effective yoga for hip arthritis. You can easily and gently stretch the lower back and hip muscles in this asana. A great way of improving the flexibility of the spine and hip flexors. This is how you can do it:


  • Sit on your knees.
  • Spread your knees so that you can sit between your knees and on your big toes.
  • Bend forward and try to touch your head on the floor
  • Stretch your arms out parallel to your ears and stretch them as far as you can.


  • This is an excellent asana through which you can improve the flexibility of your hip flexors as well as the back.

2. Cat to Cow Pose (Marjaryasana – Bitilasana):

yoga for arthritis

If someone is troubled with pain in the back, then this is a must-do exercise to relax the back muscles. It is also the best form of yoga for neck arthritis. This is how you can do it.


  • Get down on all your fours with your hand’s shoulder apart and fingers spread and knees hips apart.
  • Now bring your chest forward up and arch your back in a way that the sitting bones are reaching up.
  • Now round out your spine pulling your navel in and up.
  • Repeat this at least five times.


  • Improves the flexibility of the spine and the hips
  • Helps in improving the posture.
  • Pain caused in the neck is due to arthritis can be significantly relieved in this form.

3. Cow Face Pose (Gomukhasana):

yoga for arthritis

This is an excellent asana for relaxing various joints like knees, wrist, neck, and back. This is the best yoga for knee arthritis.


  • Stack the right knee directly over the left knee, sliding them towards the centerline.
  • Raise the left arm towards the ceiling and bend it from the elbow, taking it towards your back.
  • Take the right arm to the back from the outer right side bending from the elbow.
  • Try to clasp the hands behind your back.
  • Breathe normally.
  • Release and repeat with opposite hand and leg.


  • This is a wholesome exercise that stretches hands, wrists, shoulders, arms, chest, back, and knees.
  • This asana plays a significant role in correcting your posture, which might have deformed due to arthritis. It is an excellent yoga for arthritis in hands.
  • It cures stiff shoulders and often aids in treating sciatica
  • It also helps in treating sexual ailments.

[See More: Home Remedies For Arthritis]

4. Bridge Pose (Setu Bandh Asana):

yoga for arthritis

This is an excellent yoga for neck arthritis. In this posture, the neck is pulled forward and backwards gently, which aids in relaxing and reducing the pain.


  • Lie down flat on your back with hands alongside your body and palms facing downwards.
  • Bend your knees and keep a hip-distance between your feet.
  • Now gently lift your body from your back by taking support from your hands and feet.
  • Move your shoulders in and try touching your neck to your chest.


  • This asana helps in correcting the posture and relieving the muscles and stiffness in the joints.

5. Downward Facing Dog Pose (Adho Mukho Svanasana):

yoga for arthritis

This is a great asana that will help in relieving stiffness in the back and neck caused due to arthritis. It will also correct any postural defects in the body owing to the same.


  • Stand on all your fours with a hip-distance in the feet and shoulder distance in the arms.
  • Now pull up your hips with your knees straight, and arms stretched.
  • Pull in your neck so that the ears are in the line of your arms and eyes looking at the knees. The final posture looks like an inverted V.

Yoga Poses for Arthritis:

1. Surya Namaskar or The Famous Sun Salutation:

Yoga Poses for Arthritis

‘Surya’ in Hindi means sun, and ‘namaskar’ means salutation. Surya Namaskar or sun salutation is an excellent way to begin your routine. It involves a total of 12 steps. The first few steps stretch your back muscles while the last few stretch out the muscles of your calves. The combination of exercises that it contains helps warm up your muscles and also gives you a pleasant feeling of your muscles being used. , but you may want to select the steps that you want to do because a few of them might cause unwanted strain on your wrists and ankles.

[See More: Rheumatoid Arthritis Symptoms And Causes]

2. Vrikshasana or The Tree Pose:

Vrikshasana or The Tree Pose

The tree pose involves you folding your hands in a namaskar position above your head and resting the foot of one leg on the thigh of the other. The outcome gives you the appearance of a tree, hence the name. This pose makes use of your ankles and also stretches out the muscles of your thighs and hips. It helps remove fluid that might have collected in your ankles, leading to swelling.

3. Virabhadrasana or The Warrior Pose:

Virabhadrasana or The Warrior Pose

Virabhadrasana or the warrior pose has three main steps. You stand straight, then jump so that your feet are now apart, then raise both your arms such that they become parallel to the ground, and finally you turn your head to one side and bend that side’s knee. Make sure that your body remains straight. Stay in this position for at least 15 minutes. Then do the other side. This asana is an excellent way to stretch out all your muscles. It removes any stiffness that might have been there previously. This is a unique yoga for seniors with arthritis.

4. Trikonasana or the Triangle Pose:

Trikonasana or the Triangle Pose

‘Trikona’ means three-sided or a triangle. This is a simple exercise that is a standard part of aerobic routines too. You stand straight with your feet at least 4 meters apart. Then turn your right foot out by ninety degrees and your left foot a little in. Stand comfortably and make sure that your weight is balanced on both heels. Then slowly bend towards your right while keeping your back straight. Try touching the ground with your right hand, while you move your left hand up keeping it in a straight line with the right one. This exercise stretches your entire body out.

[See More: Herbal Treatment for Arthritis]

There are a few other asanas like Bridge Posture or Setu Bandhasana, Cat Stretch or Marjariasana and Corpse Pose or Shavasana that you might want to try out. , but before you select any yoga routine for yourself, you must consult your doctor about the restrictions that your arthritis might impose on your body. While yoga does help you overcome difficulties that arthritis presents, you do not want to overtax your body and make your situation worse.

Yoga and arthritis have a direct correlation. If you practice yoga regularly, the chances of you having arthritis are greatly reduced. On the other hand, if you have arthritis, then doing yoga for arthritis can relieve from the same. Do share with us if you experienced relief in your condition after practising the yoga mentioned above.

Frequently Asked Questions & Answers:

Q1. Can Yoga cure arthritis?

Ans: Yoga is an option for people with arthritis. Not only the exercise benefits the person and improves the movement of his joints, but also relaxes the mind of the person and reduces stress. Arthritis can be cured by yoga.

Q2. Does Yoga Prevents Arthritis?

Ans: Yoga improves the physical and psychological condition of a person. It relaxes the muscles, reduces the stress, and hence practising yoga regularly can prevent arthritis.

Q3. List 5 Iyengar Yoga Poses for Arthritis?

Ans: Iyengar yoga is an excellent yoga for arthritis pain. Iyengar yoga uses various props, and the beauty of the accessories is that it can be modified to meet the special needs. The following are the 5 Iyengar Yoga poses for arthritis:

  • Supine Asana or Supported Savasana
  • Supta Baddhakonasana
  • Bharavajasana
  • Salamba Sarvangasana
  • Viparita Dandasana

Q4. What is Baba Ramdev Yoga for Arthritis?

Ans: Baba Ramdev, an ace yoga expert, has suggested some simple and light yoga exercises, practising which can help you eliminate arthritis from your body. That is also known as Baba Ramdev yoga for arthritis. The following are a few poses suggested by Baba Ramdev:

  • Child Pose
  • Knee to Chest Pose
  • Bridge Pose
  • Pigeon Pose
  • Kapal Bhati Pranayam

Q5. Can Yoga Worsen Arthritis?

Ans: It is a myth that as yoga involves so much twisting and bending that it does more harm than good and can worsen a bad condition of joints. Practising yoga regularly improves the muscle strength, flexibility of joints, and also controls stress and boosts your mood. So, no, yoga cannot worsen arthritis. However, it is advisable to do in under proper guidance as a wrong posture can prove to be dangerous.

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