Arthritis: Sure to vanish with Yoga

Practice Yoga and Adieu Pain

Yes, it is all a temporary phase’ still leading to ever possible change. Joys and sorrows, ups and downs, sickness and fitness, pleasures and pains, losses and gains, pride and shames. The main thing is ‘Karma’ which is fine and still better is ‘Nishkam Karma’ that is divine. It adds colour to our life and equip us with a vision to stay above all these conflicts – ups and downs. A yoga seeker is sure to come out of both of them. Thorns are still thorns, may it be the thorn of pleasure or thorn of pains, both lead us to suffering, one the suffering of expectations and other the suffering of repentance. Yoga the true spiritualism bless us with a power to throw both the thorns away, stay unaffected and stay above and aloof.

Kshne kshne navtam upaiti, Tadaiv rupam ramneyataya.

Change is the beauty. Even this human body looks beautiful because it is always new with continuous changes. Do you know, within three and a half year every tissue of our body gets changed and is replaced with new one? Scientific findings reveal the all living bones are subject to chemical changes within the body but regular Yogabhyas prevents such rapid changes and detritions. Yogabhyas is essential to keep the joints flexible, so that they do not grow stiffened and deformed as in arthritis and osteoporosis even when you grow older.

What is Arthritis?

Arthritis in true sense is inflammation of the joints. Generally in early stage the whole body is involved but later one or two joints get completely deformed and the patient feels handicapped and weakened. When we ignore arthritis it may grow into rheumatoid arthritis with swelling, pain and tenderness in the joints of fingers, wrists, knees and feet. In such case muscle spasm causes real problems as it pulls the joints out of shape. Later the bones in the problem area get thinned because of growing osteoporosis. Chronic arthritis may take shape of osteoarthritis and may involve hardworking joints such as knee and fingers. Women following the menopause are more often found affected with this problem. Osteoarthritis is a degenerative condition in which the cartilage within the joints is destroyed and the bone surface becomes rough and enlarged. This disease comes on gradually, usually with some pain in the joints but muscles are less frequently involved than in rheumatoid arthritis.

Yogic Remedy

In different types of arthritis exercises of Yoga are always important. These are specific exercises for different type of arthritis followed by gentle massage / rubbing of the affected muscles will help to check wasting of muscles and stiffness of joints. It will relieve spasm and increase the blood supply to ailing parts. We may select different special courses for arthritis of different joints of body such as toes, knee, spine, shoulder and arms. In this article we shall deal with a few exercises of Yoga that prevent arthritis in general and especially treats the arthritis of lower back.

Preparations before starting

Get up early morning, clear your bowl and take bath, wear clean loose fit cotton dress preferably of saffron, maroon, white, yellow or cream color, occupy your asana spread in an airy room, sit in comfortable position with straight spinal column and cool mind while facing East, come out of the traffic of thoughts to be with yourself to relax, join your mind with breathing rhythm and feel soothing chant of holy ‘OM’ in each breath, lie down on your yoga mat / asana to give gentle stretch to tone up your entire muscular, nervous, skeletal, digestive & respiratory systems and allow you to perform well. Lift the palms resting on floor beside your thighs while inhaling and raise them to touch the floor above your head. Hold the entire body in stretched position as long as you hold the breath. Come to starting point again while exhaling. Now turn the palms to sky and relax deep to allow proper flow of blood and energy in each part of body. Repeat such stretches just five times.

Asanas

Sarvang pushti

Stand with your feet wide open just double of your shoulder width. Close your fists with thumb inside and raise your arms over your head touching your ears and crossing each other at wrists. Pull the upper part of your body upward while inhaling and bend forward while exhaling allowing over all back to be stretched and toned up. Move to your left side, rise up then bend back moving to right side and coming to starting point in between your feet giving your waistline a circular movement. Now move to your right side to take the same circular movement but perform this Sarvangpushti very slow. Continue the same process and repeat about 10 rounds each side.

Benefits

As clear by its name Sarvangpushti this kriya tones up and strengthens all parts of our body and adds glow to our face. The back pain even caused by chronic arthritis can be cured with dedicated and guided practice of this kriya. It is a great relief even to the patients of tuberculosis. Patient can enjoy a speedy recovery.

Dwipadahasta chaalan

Continue to lie on your back on you asana, lift your head up, move your arms and legs as if you are running fast, allow your back to be round like crescent moon and legs to rotate freely like cycling, Breathe freely during the movement. Relax to regain and repeat again. Take three to five rounds of this lying race called Dwipadahasta Chaalan. Ensure that you are not fatigued.

Benefits

It helps making our joints more mobile and limbs flexible. It improves calorie consumption and checks obesity.

Ushtrasana

Lie down on your stomach, fold the legs at knees and grip right ankle with right arm and left ankle with left, contract the perennial, inhale and pull the legs to lift the face, chest, shoulder, diaphragm and over all upper body and hold it firm. Keep the eyes and mouth closed. Lie down again, exhale, withdraw all efforts and relax.

Benefits

Ushtrasana keeps the aging factor away with healthy flexible & disease free spine. It relieves arthritis especially of shoulder, back, pelvis and knee joints. It cures constipation which is the root of several gastric diseases. Besides maintaining the naval balance it sheds fat from our body and helps us lose weight. It is also a wonderful cure in case of diabetes.

Chakrasana

Lie flat on your back at yoga mat, fold the legs at knees, bring the heels closer to hips with feet resting on floor and place the palms beside ears with fingers facing shoulder. Keep the palms and feet firm of floor inhale deep and lift entire body up as high as you can. Hold the final position to chakrasana for as long duration as you feel comfortable and maintain normal breathing. Inhale again before you attempt to come back. Rest your head on floor first followed by upper back, lower back and hips. Grip your knees with both of your hands; pull them towards your chest to relax your back and wrist. Spread your legs on floor and refresh again.

Benefits

It gives ample blood supply to all 72,000 nerves of human body, brings the navel to normalcy, improves flexibility in spine and removes arthritis of spine, knee, shoulder & arms and back pain and keeps aging factor at bay. People with stiff back are strongly advised to try this wonderful posture. You may begin it with very moderate effort.

Matsyasana

Lie down on your back, grip right toe with left hand to bring the leg on left thigh joint. Now grip the left toe with right hand and bring left leg on right thigh joint. Rest both knees on ground and rest both palms beside your ears with fingers facing your shoulders as you did in Chakrasana. Press the palms against floor lifting your chest and stomach up to bring top of your head on ground allowing a pull on your neck. Hold the balance, grip both the toes with your hands and touch your elbows on ground. Balance your body balance on your head and knees only. With regular practice you will be able to touch your forehead on ground. Breathe rhythmically during Matsyasana. Bring your hands again closer to your ears to balance, inhale, remove your head gently, rest your back side of head chest and stomach and spread your legs to relax.

Benefits

It is a wonderful asana to combat arthritis of back, knees, arms and shoulder. It also cures diabetes, constipation, tonsils, asthma and discomforts in uterus. It regulates the menstruation period, removes pimples and adds beauty to your personality.

Supta padmasana

Continue to lie on your asana, rest your left ankle on joint of right thigh to bring your heel closer to your navel and rest your right ankle on your left thigh joint in the same way. Hold your knees with your arms maintaining a right angle on your pelvis. Your lower back, upper back, neck and head will continue to rest on floor. Hold this position for long and enjoy a rhythmic breathing through entire duration. One should practice with alternate position also to bring perfection in the posture. Those who fail to put both legs on their thighs they may begin with single leg alternately in form of Ardhpadmasana. They will improve within a couple of week’s time. Rest your knees on floor giving a wonderful exercise to thighs and thigh joints and spread the legs to relax.

Benefits

Vaatroga (All ailments related to wind) get cured with the dedicated practice of Padmasana. This is the posture suggested for all men & women of all age groups alike. It is the asana specially recommended for pranayama and meditation. This is the asana that can be practiced for longer duration.

Precautions

The practitioner should always begin yoga session under the supervision of competent guru so that yogic kriyas of the course could be altered or remodeled in accordance with other possible health problems and exact requirement of the practitioner. The patient and the family must have patience as this is a chronic disease that may last for months and even for years. Don’t insist him to struggle beyond his capacity but still ensure that exercise must be continued even in bed otherwise lying passive in the bed will aggravate the muscle wasting. During painful conditions patient must have some rest periods during the day but he must not be in bed for longer period.

An Advise

Generally the patients of osteoarthritis go on putting weight as they do not find comfort in physical exercises. Such obese should certainly strive to lose weight as it will reduce the pressure on the suffering joint. Physicians generally advise intake of aspirin twice or thrice a day to reduce pain and inflammation but moderate Yoga Exercises and hot and cold pack on such joints will also reduce inflammation. Put hot pack on the affected joint for 4 minutes and then put cold pack for 4 minutes. Then alternate this hot and cold pack for about 20 minutes and repeat this easy and effective treatment twice or thrice a day.

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Swami Bharat Bhushan Ji

Padmashri award honored | Two times Life time Achievement award honored | D. Lit (Doctor of Letters) honored

Mokshayatan International Yogashram, Saharanpur

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