Healthy Living

How to Safely Practice Yoga with Rheumatoid Arthritis

Spine twist modifications

Spine twist modifications

Blocks can also help when doing a classic twist of the spine. For this pose, lay flat on your back with your shoulder blades glued to the floor. With the arms stretched out on either side of you, turn your torso so that both your legs come to one side of your body. After a few moments, bring both legs to the other side as well. Have your knees bent so that your hips and knees are protected from the strain. To modify the pose and relieve strain on your legs, you can put a yoga block between them as you settle your legs on the floor beside you.

Another spinal twist is the half spinal twist. For this movement, sit on the floor. Bend one leg, then cross it over the other. Some people might be inclined to grab the knee with their hands to help twist the body. But a simple modification to save your hand joints is to use the elbow instead. To do this, bend the same arm and use the elbow to press against the knee to deepen the twist.

Yet another form of spinal twist uses an armchair to assist you. This pose starts with you sitting in the armchair and placing both your hands on one arm of the chair as you twist towards that side. Hold this for a moment, then switch sides. If you want some extra stretching, try reaching the opposite arm to the side you’re twisting onto the back of the chair rather than the arm.