Most of us spend our lives looking for ways we can stay healthy and keep problems at bay. Unfortunately, no one has been able to find an elixir that helps you stay young and fit forever. However, there is something which doesn’t just keep you healthy, but also helps in eliminating joint pains and general body aches — this special something is yoga.

Yes, even though you must have heard that yoga and meditation keep you relaxed and stress-free, the truth is that this is also something which will help relieve joint pains and other aches. If you’re struggling to complete daily chores because of joint pain and are frustrated with the number of pills you have to pop merely to keep it at bay, yoga is the answer to all your problems.

Because yoga uses unique positions to get rid of tension throughout the body, it also helps in increasing mobility and allows swollen or painful joints to glide over one another. According to several studies conducted at the Duke University Medical Center, yoga and a few specific positions are useful when you want to treat problems such as chronic pain like osteoarthritis, fibromyalgia and carpal tunnel syndrome. The researchers who conducted the study found that patients who did yoga experienced a reduction in muscle stiffness, joint pain, and overall physical discomfort.

However, for yoga to work, you need to make sure that you first consult an expert and find out about the positions that are ideal for your type of pain. Because this form of meditation is vast in the number of poses, you need to ensure that you’re doing the ones which suit you best. It will also be essential to seek out professional services and receive a nerve test for carpal tunnel to best determine your next course of action on your road to wellness. Having a proper diagnosis will ensure that you are caring for your body in the most productive way.

So, if you’re experiencing left side pain, try out these yoga positions, and with consistency, you’re sure to improve the symptoms. The following are the recommended poses for relieving joint, knee and back pain along with a few others.

Joint pain

According to stats, 54 million adults have doctor-diagnosed arthritis, the most common form of a joint pain disease. Though this illness is mostly evident in senior citizens above the age of 60, it is something that may arise in someone younger. The condition has many contributing factors like lack of exercise, unhealthy diet, genetics and weak bones. People ailed with arthritis often complain of pain in the knees, hips, wrists, and shoulders. With yoga, you can reduce the stiffness in your joints and strengthen them for greater freedom of movement.

Some poses you can try are:

  • The triangle pose: To get the triangle pose right, stand straight with your feet apart, turn your right foot out to 90 degrees and left in by about 15 degrees. Next, align the center of your right heel with the arch of your left foot and inhale. As you exhale, bend your body to the right towards the hip and keep your waist strong. Allow your left hand to come up while your right hand rests on your shin, ankle or floor. Hold this pose for a few breaths and then repeat on the other side. Make sure you get the pose right to gain maximum benefit.
  • The warrior II pose: For this pose, you need to make sure that your knees are bent as close to a 90 degree angle as possible and are perfectly aligned, so you get the right position. Also, make sure that your back foot is pointing forward and maintain the balance for 10-20 seconds before you switch sides. The warrior II or supported warrior pose may look easy but is challenging to keep for first-timers.
  • Bow Pose: Lie on the floor on your stomach and bend both knees and reach for them using your arms. Make sure to grab your ankles and not your leg because this would defeat the purpose of the pose. Once you’ve mastered bringing your arms to your ankles, use your core and back muscles to lift off the floor. Hold this position for 5-10 seconds or a few long breaths and release.

Knee pain

Another common alignment that plagues people, especially in the later years, is knee pain. Though this type of pain can be either from natural causes or due to previous injuries, it is something that can significantly hamper the quality of your life. Contrary to common belief, knee pain isn’t just centered at the kneecaps and surrounding muscles, but affects the quadriceps muscles too. The pain that you experience is usually because of misalignments that lead to the wear and tear of the knee. The yoga positions that can help you correct the alignments are as follows.

  • Supported warrior: As mentioned above
  • Butterfly/Bound angle: For the butterfly pose, sit as straight as possible with your feet in front of you. Clasp both feet with hands and bring them together for the correct position. Concentrate on your glutes to help bring the knees closer to the ground as you get comfortable.

Back pain

If you wonder what the most common complaint that an orthopaedic doctor hears almost every day, it would be back pain. Back pain, mainly that which is centered at the lower back is something that is experienced by nearly everyone above the age of 30. Whether it be because of pregnancy, age, weight or other factors, it is just one of those things that happen to all of us. Unfortunately, chronic back pain can disrupt your lifestyle and may even make you sedentary for a while. If back pain isn’t checked and corrected in time, it can lead to further complications which can sometimes be life-threatening too.

The following poses may significantly help to reduce lower back problems:

  • Cobra pose: For the cobra pose, lie on your stomach and place both your hands about 1 foot from your face, shoulders apart. Lift yourself up using your back and core muscles and avoid using your hands. Remember, you might not be able to achieve this pose at first go, and you shouldn’t try to strain yourself in the process.
  • Half lord of the fishes: Sit with your back as straight as possible and bend one knee over the other outstretched. You either have the choice to hold this position or place your right elbow outside of your left knee to boost the twist. Take your other arm behind you and allow your body to twist as you move. Also, move your head at the same time as your arm, so your neck doesn’t end up getting strained.
  • Seated forward fold: Sit down on a yoga mat with your legs stretched in front of you and just try to grab your feet with your hands. Don’t bend your knees but try to bring your foot’s finger towards your body, so it becomes more comfortable for you. But bear in mind that it’s perfectly okay if you can’t grab your feet because even without that, the pose will help in easing your back pain.

Before you start practicing yoga, make sure that you talk to a professional about your condition and keep a proper diet and exercise schedule to get the most out of the routine.