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. In an article published in the journal ‘Current Rheumatology Reports’, the researchers discuss the literature on yoga for healthy, musculoskeletal, and rheumatic disease populations and offer recommendations for discussing ways to begin yoga with patients.