Yoga in rheumatic diseases

Current Rheumatology Reports, 11/04/2013

The authors briefly review the literature on yoga for healthy, musculoskeletal, and rheumatic disease populations and offer recommendations for discussing ways to begin yoga with patients.

  • Yoga is a popular activity which may be well suited to some individuals with specific rheumatic disorders.
  • Regular yoga practice can increase muscle strength and endurance, proprioception, and balance, with emphasis on movement through a full range of motion to increase flexibility and mobility.
  • Additional beneficial elements of yoga include breathing, relaxation, body awareness, and meditation, which can reduce stress and anxiety and promote a sense of calmness, general well-being, and improved quality of life.
  • Yoga also encourages a meditative focus, increased body awareness and mindfulness; some evidence suggests yoga may help reduce inflammatory mediators including C-reactive protein and interleukin-6.
  • Yoga is best learned under the supervision of qualified teachers who are well informed about the potential musculoskeletal needs of each individual.

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