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Yoga for arthritis

Pain in the joints is a common problem which may vary from a minor discomfort to a disabling chronic problem affecting the quality of life to a great extent. The biomedical inventions have given great mobility and functional ability for damaged joints. It is not unusual to find persons with 10 to 20 joints (small and big) replaced as and when the joints get damaged, which has helped them to live their lives in comfort. Thanks to fascinating advances in medication too, which has definitely saved an arthritic from the devastating side effects of steroids. But, have we hit the nail on its head? Have we been able to cure or prevent joint diseases? The answer is a clear 'No'. Increasing problems of aging changes in the joints are expected as our life expectancy and longevity have increased all round the globe. But what about the other types of arthritis which are hitting younger persons? Rheumatoid arthritis, a disease of temperate climates, is still an enigma as we have not been able to remove the root cause of the disease.


Passive Rotation of Toes

Sthiti: Dandasana or sitting in a chair.


  • Bend the right leg at the knee, place the right foot on the left thigh.
  • Move the individual toes with the left hand (i.e., passive movement) bending them forward & backward, right & left followed by clockwise and anti- clockwise rotation five times each.
  • Then hold all the toes with the left-hand, rotate and bend them forward and backward 5 to 10 rounds.
  • Repeat the same practice with the left foot.


  • While practicing with individual toes, pull them outwards with the hand before moving them.

  • If necessary, the instructor does the passive movement for the patient.


This article has been written by Dr. R. Nagarathna, Dean, Division of Yoga & Life-sciences, SVYASA
This article is published online courtesy
and Arogyadhama

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