Physical Activity

Yoga for arthritis: introduction to breathing

Julia McNally, instructrice de yoga adapté à l’arthrite

Julia McNally (creator of The RA Yogi Youtube channel), a certified yoga instructor and chair yoga instructor living with rheumatoid arthritis, has partnered with Arthritis Society Canada to bring you Yoga for Arthritis, a 6-episode yoga series adapted for people living with arthritis or other mobility issues.

“The classes are based on my personal yoga practice living with the ups and downs of arthritis and consist of simple, gentle movements that gradually build strength, balance, and flexibility.” In the series, participants will be introduced to a variety of accessible yoga practices including fully seated chair yoga, seated and standing chair yoga, standing yoga with supportive props, a floor series and, lastly, bed yoga. “I find bed yoga perfect for those flare days/high pain days or days when you just don’t have as much energy.”, adds Julia. “Even a short yoga for arthritis practice goes a long way.”

In the first episode, Julia guides participants through various breathing exercises which can help gather energy, increase focus, and allow the nervous system to relax. She also introduces the various props that can be used to make a yoga practice more accessible and enjoyable. Watch the first episode of the series:

Yoga for arthritis is a great complementary health approach to managing your arthritis and living well. Including yoga as a physical activity on a regular basis can help reduce pain and improve physical function for some people.

The Canadian 24-Hour Movement Guidelines recommend that adults 18 and older aim for “muscle strengthening activities using major muscle groups at least twice a week” as well as “several hours of light physical activity, such as standing.” Before starting any new exercise program, please speak with your doctor to make sure it’s safe for you. Everyone will have a different level of ability, so some exercises might not be appropriate for all. Go slowly to determine what’s right for your body. With practice, physical activity and exercise will get easier over time.