Your joints hold up your skeletal tissue and make sure that you can move your body with ease. Joints like the ankles, hips and knees bear most of your body weight and the spinal joints provide support to your body.
Wear and tear with age and conditions like arthritis may deteriorate joint health and lead to pain and swelling. Yoga can help work out your joints and improve their overall health. In some cases, it could also reduce joint pain in certain conditions but should only be pursued after approval from your doctor.
Here are three yoga poses that can help you keep your joints healthy:
1. Bridge pose (Setu bandhasana)
Setu bandhasana or bridge pose is said to help in strengthening the knee joints and is also helpful in stretching the spine. Here is how you can do this asana:
Lie down on your back on a yoga mat or on the floor.
Bend your knees so your feet are planted firmly on the ground hip-width apart.
Place your palms flat on the floor on either side of your body.
With an inhalation, push your hips off the floor until your thighs are as parallel to the ground and to each other as possible.
Roll in your shoulder, trying to touch your chest to your chin and interlace your fingers behind your back.
Try to hold the pose for 30 seconds to a minute.
Return to the starting position and relax.
2. Standing forward bend (Uttanasana)
Uttanasana is said to be beneficial for both the hips and knees and it improves flexibility in legs. It also aids in stretching and strengthening the spine and reducing stress. Here is how you can practice uttanasana:
Stand straight on a yoga mat or floor with both your hands on either side of your thighs.
As you inhale, bend from your hips while keeping your knees straight.
If you can, try and touch the floor or your ankles with your hands. Do not push yourself too much if you can't.
Stay in the pose for about 30 seconds. Make sure to keep breathing evenly throughout.
Inhale and slowly raise your torso to come back to the starting position.
3. Shoulder socket rotation (Skanda chakra)
Skanda chakra is usually done as a warm-up for other intense asanas. However, it helps improve the flexibility of the shoulder joints. Here is how you can do skanda chakra:
Sit in on a chair or on the floor in a cross-legged position.
Place your left palm on your left shoulder and right palm on your right shoulder.
Now, rotate your shoulder joints in big circles so that your elbows meet in the front and touch your ears on both sides.
Do this 10 times clockwise and 10 times anticlockwise.
Make sure to inhale as you move your elbow upwards and exhale as you move your elbow downwards.
If you have never practised yoga before, make sure to talk to an experienced yoga teacher before performing any asana. This will help you reduce the risk of injury and make sure that you get the most out of the practice.
For more information, read our article on Joint mobility exercises.
Health articles in Firstpost are written by myUpchar.com, India's first and biggest resource for verified medical information. At myUpchar, researchers and journalists work with doctors to bring you information on all things health.