When we suffer from pain in the joints, the first thing we do to relieve pain is to rest the joint completely and avoid any movement of that joint. According to health experts, the solution is far from it—joint pain can only be relieved by making slow and controlled movements of the ailing joint as this makes the joint flexible and strong.
Asanas are of great help here. They increase strength of the muscles, thereby gradually subsiding joint pain. Here are four such simple asanas that will help you keep your joints healthy and moving.
1. SETUBANDHASANA [bridge pose]
- Lie on the back and bend both knees.
- Raise the loins [sides] and the thighs upward.
- Keep the back of the head, the neck and the shoulders firmly on the floor. Breathe normally.
- Remain in this position for 6 – 8 seconds.
- Take some rest and repeat the asana.
Practise it four times a day in the beginning and then gradually increase it to six times a day.
- Cures diseases of the loins and thighs.
- Exercises and strengthens the shoulders, neck, elbows and hands.
- Expels excess gas from the body and cures indigestion.
- Makes the spine flexible and active.
2. MARJARASANA [cat pose]
- Bend on all four limbs. Keep the hands shoulder-width apart and knees hip-width apart. Your hands should be directly under the shoulders.
- Breathe in, take your chin down, forward and up.
- Look up; raise your chin and tail bone towards the sky while pressing your navel towards the ground.
- Breathe out while bringing your chin to the chest.
- Arch your back and press your chin to the chest as you straighten your arms.
- Repeat steps 2, 3, 4 and 5 while breathing in coordination.
Do 5 – 10 rounds of this asana.
- Makes the spine flexible.
- Strengthens the joints at the wrist and shoulders.
- Massages the digestive organs.
- Tones the abdominal muscles.
- Improves digestion.
3. AKARNA DHANURASANA [the bow pose]
Method: There are two ways to do this asana:
- Sit on the ground and stretch your legs in front.
- Hold the toe of the right foot with the left hand.
- Hold the left leg with the right hand and try to stretch the right elbow backwards as far as possible.
- Bend the left leg slowly. Bring the left foot to the chin and the left knee to the left armpit. This position will bring the thigh close to the abdomen.
- Hold your breath and then exhale slowly.
- Repeat the pose on the other leg. Gradually, increase the time duration of holding the posture to a maximum of five minutes.
- Sit on the floor with the legs stretched in front.
- Lift the left leg up and hold it with the left hand behind the neck in such a way that the thumb remains forward near the ankle and the fingers behind the thumb. The weight of the leg falls on the palm.
- Then with the right hand hold the upper part of the left foot with its heel.
- Place the shin on the neck.
- Turn the neck towards the right side.
- Stretch the left arm and hold the right toes. At the same time, lift the right arm up and hold the left toes.
- Look to the right side. Then release the legs slowly.
- Repeat this asana with the other leg. Gradually, increase the time of holding the posture to a maximum of five minutes.
- Exercises the joints of hands and legs.
- Gives a proper workout to the joints and the muscles of the neck and spine.
- Tones chest and the abdominal muscles.
- Provides relief to patients suffering from asthma, tuberculosis and cough.
- Strengthens the lungs and increase its capacity to hold air and oxygen.
- Cures pain in the loins, tonsillitis, indigestion, constipation.
- Treats tumours that form in the armpit and gout.
- Provides relief in irregular menstruation, disorders of the ovary and pain in the lower part of the abdomen.
4. UTKATASANA [chair pose]
- Standing with your feet parallel and hip width apart, shift your weight toward the balls of your feet and press the soles of your feet downward.
- Breathe in and stretch your arms, lengthening the spine to full capacity.
- Breathe out and bend your knees, trying to take your thighs as nearly parallel to the floor as possible.
- Hold the posture and breathe.
- To release the posture, press the soles of your feet downward and allow your legs to straighten, releasing your arms as you return to the starting position.
- Cures digestion problems.
- Treats arthritis of the knees.
- Makes the body more flexible.
- Relieves joint pains.
- Helps efficient functioning of the liver, intestines and pancreas.
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