Arthritis is the inflammation of the synovial joints of the body and is one of the most common of all disabling diseases. Arthritis is a crippling degenerative process which can eventuate in irreversible destruction of the joint. The condition is characterized by pain, swelling, redness and heat and loss of function in one or more joints. Those most affected are knees, hips, and ankles, which are large weight bearing joints and small joints such as fingers too.
In science of Yoga the arthritis is considered as one symptom of a pranic malfunction which begins early in person's life.
Yoga offers a way to arrest this process. In fact in the later stages yogic practices can reduce drug dependency, maximize mobility and make the life more tolerable and acceptable. Remarkable restorations of functions and vastly improved outlook on life have been obtained in severely crippled patients who follow daily yoga program with determination.
Forms of Arthritis:
Acute Arthritis: It is a common symptom of many illnesses and infections, such as cold, flu, fever, diarrhea as viral or bacterial toxins liberated into the blood stream during the illness ready to accumulate in the joints. This symptom diminishes after the infection is gone.
It's an acute arthritis which seems to be due to dietary self poisoning. Diet plays a major role in this type.
It's a kind of joint degeneration occurs in young and middle age people.
It's frequently triggered by emotional shock or sudden introduction of foreign substances in the circulation due to may be powerful drug or acute infection.
Osteoarthritis This is seen in middle and old age especially those who are overweight, have a heavy diet and avoid exercise.
A number of factors including mental, emotional stress and faulty lifestyle and diet are jointly responsible for upsetting the balance central controlling mechanisms in the brain and endocrine system.
Asanas: Before commencing on Asana the person should dip his leg in warm saline water to encourage circulation.
Since the person affected can't or shouldn't stand for long hours, so he should not hold the posture for long counts. He can hold or maintain the posture for not more than 10 secs each and repeat more times and in a day too. One thing arthritic patients should remember that they have to keep their joints active so repetitions in day are important.
Karma yoga is as much a part of sadhana of the arthritic individual as asana and pranayama. This will help the individual to keep moving all his joints and independent throughout their life.
1. Greeva sanchalan(Neck movements)
· While inhaling gently take your neck back and while exhaling let your neck come to the initial position. Don’t take chin down. Then turn toward right then left, this makes one round. Hold each posture for not more than 5 secs. Repeat 3 times
2. Skanda sanchalan(Shoulder movements)
· Place your fingers on your shoulders and rotate your arms slowly. Inhale while raising your arms up and arms touching your ears and exhale while getting it down. Repeat it 3 times each side.
· Legs near to each other, while inhaling raise your arms above your head.
Exhale your breathe and interlock your fingers, palm facing upward direction and then inhale and raise your feet up on your toes exhale and practice normal breathing.
· Stand with your legs near to each other. While inhaling raise your left arm and keep it straight beside your ear exhale your breath and bend right side. Repeat the same with the other side.
5. Uthita Trikonasana(extended triangle)
· Keep your legs 2 feet away from each other. While inhaling raise your arms up in line with the shoulder, while exhaling your breathe, touch your right ankle with your right hand, don’t bend your knees. Place your left hand around your waist so as to relax your neck and shoulders. Repeat the same with the other side.
6. Santula asana (balance)
· Stand with your legs near to each other. Inhale and while exhaling bend your left leg such that your left heel is near your buttocks, exhale and hold the left ankle with your left hand and inhale and raise your right arm up. Do normal breathing.
7. Ankle movements
· Maintain the same sitting pose on the floor (Dandasana) or on chair.Move your ankles slowly clock and anti-clock wise 10 times, and stretch your feet up and down. Feel the stretch and maintain the complete awareness on your legs esp. on knees, ankles, and thigh.
8. Wrist movements Keep your arm forward at the shoulder level.
- Make a fist of your right hand and rotate the wrist, ensure that palm faces downward direction throughout the rotation. Make as large circle as possible.Move your wrist clock and anticlockwise 10 times.
9. Fingers stretching
- Close and open your fingers for 10 times and maintain and feel the stretch in elbows as well as in carpal area.
10. Marjari asana(cat pose)
· Stand on your knees slightly separated and place your arms vertically in line with the shoulder palm touching the floor. As you inhale raise your head up and get an arch on your back and stomach down, maintain it for a while. As you exhale you take your chin towards you collar bone get a hunch back on your back and contract the abdomen and pull in the buttocks. If you are suffering from cervical pain the avoid chin down.
11. Variation of Janusirshasana
· Sit on floor with legs outstretched. Bend the right knee and place the right heel touching the left upper thigh. Keep the left leg straight. While inhaling raise your arms up and exhaling bend side and reach your left leg with left hand and right hand around your waist such a way that shoulders are out ,back straight and twisted. Hold and repeat the same with the other leg.
12. Hasta sanchalan(Movement of arms)
· Lie down on your back legs near to each other. While inhaling rotate your arms sideways without touching it on the floor and take it above your head and place your left palm over the right palm. Stretch your arms upward direction and legs downward direction.
13. Janu sanchalan(Movement of knees)
· Lie down on your back legs near to each other. While inhaling take your arms over your head, hold the opposite elbows and place it on the floor. Squat your legs and press your left knee over your left right foot. Same way repeat it with the other leg.
14. Paad sanchalan(Leg movements)
· Raise your arms keep it in line with the shoulders. Raise your left leg straight and cross it over the right leg try to keep both your legs straight. Repeat the same with the other leg.
15. Sahaj Hasta Bhujang asana(simple cobra pose)
· Lie down in Makarasana. Place your elbows in front of your chest. Raise your arms vertically upward, placing your palm under your chin and look upward. Hold it for a min.
16. Sarpasana( Snake)
· Lie down in Makarasana. Release this pose; place your elbows in front of your chest, arms parallel to each other. Inhale and straighten your arms and try to look towards upward direction.
Once you feel improvement in your joints then you can add on more Asanas and Pranayama. You shouldn’t try any new postures without consulting the experts. You should feel better within 15 days if practiced religiously twice a day 3 hrs after light meal or in an empty stomach. You shouldn't stop practicing just because there is no pain or there is no time. You must understand that this is the way of life and should practice throughout your life.
HARI OM TAT SAT