How to teach Yin Yoga to people with Arthritis

This discussion group is for questions about Yin Yoga and other body parts, such as shoulders, feet, wrists, etc.... Also, this is the place to discuss various conditions such as arthritis, osteoporosis, etc.
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Bernie
Posts: 1176
Joined: Sat Sep 23, 2006 2:25 am
Location: Vancouver

How to teach Yin Yoga to people with Arthritis

Post by Bernie »

I recently received this question:
  • I have two questions for you. Do you have good articles on the subject that could help us be well prepared for this event. Also, which poses would you recommend to focus on? I thank you for your time and your help.
Hi A

First, there are a few posts on the Forum on this topic already. You may want to read these:
As for resources, the best I can think of is Loren Fishman and his books and web site. His book Yoga for Arthritis is great. You can also visit his web site to learn much more. Finally, you asked for an article: check out Loren’s article Complementary Osteoarthritis Treatment: What Works, What Doesn’t

From my own perspective, offering Yin Yoga to people with osteoarthritis can be great, as long as you do not overdo it. Arthritis arises due to too much stress in a joint over time, wearing away the tissues. But the solution to too much stress is not no stress - that leads to osteoporosis and further degeneration. The trick is to find the happy medium between too much and too little. I explain this further in two articles: one on fragility and antifragility and in another one contrasting yin yoga and restorative yoga.

For people with arthritis I would suggest that do not go so deep into a pose, and do not hold very long. 1 ~ 3 minutes should be plenty. Of course, which poses to choose depends on where they have their arthritis: in the hips, the spine, the hands? For a general flow, start with the easier postures: Butterfly, Half Butterfly, Sphinx, Reclining Twists. Short holds with good rests between postures. Feel free to revisit a pose after a rest. Better to do two Sphinxes for 2 minutes than one Sphinx for 4 minutes. This flow will work the spine mostly but there is some gentle stress to the hips. For the hands, see the second post cited above.

I hope this helps.
Bernie
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