Yoga for joint pain in monsoon: Exercises to ease stiffness, ensure relief | Health - Hindustan Times

Yoga for joint pain in monsoon: Exercises to ease stiffness, ensure relief

ByZarafshan Shiraz, New Delhi
Jul 06, 2024 06:44 PM IST

Here's how to improve joint health with Yoga during cold and rainy weather

Many people experience increased joint pain and stiffness during damp, cold or rainy weather but while the exact mechanisms aren't fully understood, changes in barometric pressure and temperature can affect joint fluid viscosity and tissue expansion, potentially leading to discomfort. Fortunately, Yoga offers a gentle yet effective way to alleviate these symptoms and improve overall joint health or so the experts claim.

Yoga for joint pain in monsoon: Exercises to ease stiffness, ensure relief (Image by teksomolika on Freepik)
Yoga for joint pain in monsoon: Exercises to ease stiffness, ensure relief (Image by teksomolika on Freepik)

Gentle Movement and Circulation

Himalayan Siddhaa Akshar, Founder of Akshar Yoga Kendraa, shared, “One of the primary benefits of Yoga for weather-related joint pain is its emphasis on gentle, controlled movement. When joints are stiff and painful, the natural tendency is to avoid motion. However, this can actually exacerbate the problem by reducing circulation and allowing joints to become even stiffer.” According to him, Yoga encourages practitioners to move through a range of motions slowly and mindfully, which helps to -

1. Increase blood flow to affected areas, delivering oxygen and nutrients

2. Promote synovial fluid circulation within the joints, improving lubrication

3. Gently stretch surrounding muscles and connective tissues, reducing tension

Poses like Cat-Cow, gentle Sun Salutations and slow joint rotations can be particularly beneficial for maintaining mobility without putting excessive stress on sensitive joints.

Strengthening Supporting Muscles

Himalayan Siddhaa Akshar said, “While it may not seem as intense as weightlifting or high-impact exercises, Yoga can significantly strengthen the muscles that support and stabilise joints. This is crucial for reducing strain on the joints themselves and improving overall function.” Poses that focus on building strength include -

1. Plank and its variations for core and shoulder stability

2. Warrior poses for leg and hip strength

3. Chair pose for strengthening the knees and ankles

By developing stronger supporting muscles, practitioners can better manage joint stress during daily activities and changes in weather conditions.

Improving Flexibility and Range of Motion

Stiffness is a common complaint during damp weather and Yoga excels at improving flexibility and range of motion. Through a combination of static holds and dynamic movements, Yoga helps to:

1. Lengthen muscles and fascia surrounding joints

2. Reduce adhesions in connective tissues

3. Improve overall body awareness and proprioception

Poses like Forward Folds, Pigeon pose, and gentle twists can be particularly effective for addressing areas prone to weather-related stiffness, such as the lower back, hips, and shoulders.

Stress Reduction and Pain Management

The mind-body connection in Yoga plays a crucial role in managing joint pain. Chronic pain can lead to increased stress and tension, which in turn can exacerbate physical symptoms. Yoga's focus on breathwork, meditation and mindfulness helps to:

1. Reduce overall stress levels and muscle tension

2. Improve pain tolerance and management

3. Promote a more positive outlook on dealing with chronic conditions

Incorporating relaxation techniques like Savasana (Corpse pose) and guided body scans can be particularly beneficial for those dealing with weather-related flare-ups.

Consistency and Long-Term Benefits

While yoga can provide immediate relief for weather-related joint discomfort, its true power lies in consistent practice. Regular Yoga sessions can lead to:

1. Improved overall joint health and function

2. Better body awareness and posture

3. Increased resilience to weather-related symptoms over time

By incorporating Yoga into their routine, individuals can develop a toolkit of poses and techniques to manage joint pain and stiffness, regardless of the weather outside.

Himalayan Siddhaa Akshar concluded, “Yoga offers a holistic approach to alleviating joint pain and stiffness aggravated by damp weather. Through a combination of gentle movement, strengthening, flexibility work, and stress reduction, Yoga provides both immediate relief and long-term benefits for those dealing with weather-sensitive joints. As with any exercise program, it's important to consult with a healthcare provider before starting, especially for those with pre-existing joint conditions. With proper guidance and consistent practice, Yoga can be a powerful tool in maintaining joint health and comfort throughout changing seasons and weather patterns.”

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