Yoga for Osteoarthritis – With more than 3 million Canadians coping with Osteoarthritis, this condition is on the rise as it increases with ones age. Studies show that more than 80% of the Canadian population aged 75 and over is affected and is most common in women. Genetic factors, stress, trauma and obesity are also risk factors in both men and women.
Osteoarthritis is caused by regular improper wear and tear of the weight bearing joints such as the knees, hips, feet and spine. Obesity, lack of exercise, a rich fatty diet, stress, emotional issues and tension are also risk factors and develops over time with age. Diet and exercise play a huge roll in prevention of this condition. The body needs exercise and proper nutrition to repair, build and heal itself. Improper nutrition combined with improper wear and tear of the joints and age will affect the protein makeup of the cartilage that cushions the bones, which results in cartilage degeneration. When cartilage begins to degenerate it causes friction between the bones which leads to pain, inflammation and limitation of the mobility of the joint.
Though prevention is key in this condition, those coping with Osteoarthritis must also take the same preventative action at a level that feels good to their body uniquely. This includes living a healthy lifestyle with a balance of proper nutrition and exercise, including Meditation and Yoga for Osteoarthritis. It is recommended that you consult your doctor/physician before beginning any new diet and exercise regime. When choosing an appropriate Yoga class to suit your needs it is a good idea to choose a class specific to Osteoarthritis or a very gentle and therapeutic Yoga class. Yoga styles such as Anusara, Ashtanga, Vinyasa Flow and Bikram are not recommended.
Yoga for Osteoarthritis consists of gentle range of motion exercises, breathing techniques, healing meditations/visualizations and positive affirmations. The Yoga postures help to preserve function of the joints, release tension and stress in the joints and surrounding muscles, strengthen the muscles surrounding the joints and help with pain and inflammation. For existing sufferers with Osteoarthritis Yoga can be an excellent practice to cope with pain and regenerate healing. As well, Yoga can also be an excellent preventative practice to keep the joints flexible, strong and lubricated.
The Meditation techniques help to keep the mind in a positive state as you deal with emotional issues that cross your path. They aid the body in releasing tension and stress, help to keep the immune and nervous systems healthy and can help initiate physical and emotional healing.
If you love yourself you take pride in taking action to keep the body and mind in the healthiest state possible. You feed your body foods that cleanse, nourish and support the bodies systems allowing your body to efficiently fight off infections, diseases and help with faster physical healing. You exercise to keep your muscles strong to support you as you get older with fewer injuries so you can live an active, fun and happy lifestyle, enabling you to enjoy life to its fullest after you retire.
If you take care of your body and soul now, then your body and soul will take care of you when you get older. It’s up to you to make the choice! Prevention is key, but it all starts with you.