Physical Activity

Seated and standing chair yoga

Whether you are new to yoga or have been practicing for years, its many benefits are undeniable. This age-old practice includes physical postures, breathing techniques and meditation, and can be done regardless of your fitness level.

In this episode of our Yoga for Arthritis video series, certified chair yoga instructor Julia McNally (The RA Yogi) guides viewers through a seated and standing chair yoga practice. “No matter your physical condition, anyone can practice yoga and benefit from it,” says Julia. “In addition to boosting strength, flexibility and mental well-being, this yoga practice can help build endurance for movements we do daily, like transfers from a seated position to a standing position and back down.

Anna Marie Sneath, Director of Clinical Impact and Performance at Arthritis Society Canada’s Arthritis Rehabilitation and Education Program, offers this advice to anyone beginning a new activity such as yoga for arthritis: “When exercising, it is important to know your own body and its limits, as some exercises might not be appropriate for all. While some discomfort can be expected both during and after physical activity, it should remain at an acceptable level and should be relieved within one to two hours after you stop. And most importantly, pace yourself, take breaks as needed and modify the task or position if it causes pain.”