Although yoga guru Swami Ramdev's name is often associated with protest, his style of yoga still offers physical exercise and rehabilitation by completing poses and breath work. If you’re experiencing joint pain, doing some of Ramdev’s recommended poses, including gentle stretching and strength-building, might provide relief.
1. Bridge Pose for Knees, Shoulders and Wrists
Getting into Bridge pose can help you stretch and strengthen your knees, shoulders and wrists. Complete the movements gently if you’re working on decreasing pain; if you’re able, you can push a bit harder to develop strength and better protect these joints in the future.
HOW TO DO IT: Start Bridge pose by lying on your back with your knees bent and feet pressing into the mat. To loosen your knees and hips, let your knees gently “windshield wiper” to the left and right. Press your hips up while pressing your shoulders into the ground.
You can choose to keep your arms alongside your body, with your palms pressing into the mat or interlace your fingers and press your wrists together on the ground beneath your back. You can rise up to your toes, lifting and sinking the heels, for some ankle stretches.
2. Hug Your Knees
This easy Ramdev yoga pose helps your knee and hip joints. If the stretch feels too intense through your knee, hug the joint a bit more loosely so it doesn’t draw as deeply into your chest.
HOW TO DO IT: Lie on your back and hug both knees into your chest, rocking gently from side to side. Allow your left leg to drop down to the mat, keeping the knee bent to make the pose slightly easier if desired. Continue hugging your right knee into your chest, relaxing to give the joint time to release. Then, switch to stretch the other side.
3. Cobra Pose for Your Wrists
Cobra prose not only strengthens your back and core, but can help relieve pressure in your wrists.
HOW TO DO IT: Lie on your belly with your legs extended and pressed together. Place your palms on the mat directly beneath your shoulders, exhale, and then lift your torso on an inhale, extending your arms completely. Keep your shoulders straight and dropping away from your neck, and continue to press your palms into the mat.
Your arm muscles should be engaged, allowing some pressure to build through your wrists for strength. If the pressure is excessive, lower the torso until your wrists feel more comfortable.
4. Child’s Pose for Shoulders
You can relax your shoulders, Ramdev-style, by taking a restorative Child’s pose. If this creates too much pressure through your knees, place a cushion or bolster beneath your hips.
HOW TO DO IT: Kneel on the mat with your knees lining up with the mat’s edge. Slowly crawl forward until your torso rests lightly on your thighs, and then relax your shoulders down into the mat.
To access your shoulders more deeply, lift your right arm and allow it to drape across your back, with your right hand resting near your left hip. Switch sides to stretch your left shoulder, too.