Chronic joint pain—ncluding such common joint problems as TMJ, tennis elbow, and carpal tunnel syndrome—can be seriously debilitating. If you suffer from arthritis in particular or joint pain in general, relaxation is key to easing your distress. Yoga can be a great help, but if you have arthritis, it's important not to push yourself beyond what your body can do. Don't exercise joints that are inflamed.
However, many people with arthritis drastically decrease activity due to pain. Your joints should periodically be mobilized to keep them limber and clean. Yoga encourages you to keep moving, gently. As long as the following postures don't hurt, include them in your regular practice:
> Vinyasa routines (Chapter 16), such as a slow sun salutation, are excellent for maintaining your mobility.
> Try self-massage to bring warmth and circulation to painful areas.
> Pranayama (Chapter 7) increases your circulation and helps with pain.
Was this article helpful?