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6 Chair Yoga Poses for Arthritis


By Rachel Baer

Yoga is a practice that comes in many different forms, including poses, breathing techniques and meditation. It has proven to help people with arthritis improve many physical symptoms such as pain and stiffness & psychological issues such as stress and anxiety.

Benefits of Yoga for Arthritis

People with various types of arthritis who practice yoga regularly can:

Chair Yoga for Arthritis: Increase Mobility & Reduce Pain

Poses that can help with arthritis include fluid movements to move the joints, such as hand/finger/knee/hip & shoulders. Movement in the joints is important as it increases the production of synovial fluid. Avoid sudden movements that might bring on pain & exacerbate the problem.

 Start gently & slowly, listening to your body & go from there. Go at your own pace, listen to your body, stop or modify a movement if you feel it isn’t right for you on any given day.  

Great news for seniors and those with disabilities who are unable to easily get up and down from the floor.  Office workers can also benefit and can utilize helpful stretches during their workday whether at the workplace or in their home office. 

Always listen to your body and be sure rest or stop if necessary.

Cat/Cow pose

Inhale and gently arch your back gazing towards to ceiling, exhale drawing your abdominals in and rounding your back, imagine a Halloween cat as you do this, repeat several times.


Warrior 2


Keep the back arm down on your hip whilst still opening up the chest, this option is better for anyone with shoulder issues.  If necessary, keep both arms down. 

This can also be done standing behind the chair, using the chair for balance as needed. 


Note the right hand is resting on the hip for shoulder comfort.  Making the pose fit your body’s ability on each given day.

Seated Spinal Twist


This pose helps to improve digestion whilst relieving backaches, sciatica and stretches the upper body.

Goddess Side Stretch


Seated Pigeon Pose or Ankle to Knee

Important – If you have had a hip replacement, unless told otherwise by your doctor cross the right ankle over the left ankle for a much gentler stretch.


This pose is a great stretch to relieve tension in the hips and glutes, it can also help relieve lower back discomfort for when you are uncomfortable after siting for too long.

Tree Pose

This can be done seated or standing & is probably one of the best-known yoga arthritis poses. 

See picture below, using the chair for support if needed.  I have both feet on the ground here, you can also have your foot resting on the inside of the calf for an extra challenge if you choose.

Note: Poses to do can vary from person to person so it is always best to check in with your doctor or trained yoga instructor before taking a class.  


Rachel is an E-RYT 200 yoga instructor with many years of experience both practicing and teaching yoga.  Amongst many additional trainings she has also completed a 100-hour yoga therapy certification.  Her focus is now on Chair Yoga and Fall Prevention for seniors and those with disabilities.  

Rachel shares how she is constantly amazed at the difference yoga regularly makes in the lives of her senior yogis, many of whom are in their eighties and nineties and are still committed to their yoga practice.  

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