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April Newsletter: Yoga Poses to Reduce Inflammation

Group of men and women practice yoga.

Keep Inflammation Under Control with These Simple Yoga Poses

Chronic inflammation can have a serious impact on your health, causing symptoms ranging from pain and fatigue to depression and frequent illnesses. Improving your diet, reducing stress, and practicing yoga could help you keep inflammation in check.

How Inflammation Affects the Body

Short-term inflammation helps your body heal from cuts and infections. Inflammation can also occur even if you haven't hurt yourself or been ill. This type of inflammation develops inside your body and can cause health issues if it becomes a chronic problem. Anyone can develop chronic inflammation, although you're more likely to develop long-term inflammation if you're stressed, abuse alcohol, have an unhealthy diet, smoke, are overweight, or have an autoimmune condition like lupus or rheumatoid arthritis.

Symptoms of chronic inflammation include:

  • Muscle and Joint Pain and Stiffness
  • Fatigue
  • Diarrhea, Constipation, or Other Gastrointestinal Problems
  • Frequent Illnesses
  • Abdominal or Chest Pain
  • Fever
  • Rashes
  • Headaches and Migraines
  • Sores in the Mouth
  • Depression

5 Yoga Poses That Decrease Inflammation

Yoga reduces inflammation by lowering a person's level of cortisol and regulating the body's inflammatory markers, proteins, and substances that react to the presence of inflammation. Yoga offers an effective way to control inflammation, as evidenced by a study published in Nature in 2023. Researchers reported that yoga reduced the severity of rheumatoid arthritis symptoms, helped regulate the immune system, and had a beneficial effect on inflammatory markers.

Practicing yoga is an excellent way to lower inflammation and your risk for diseases and conditions that may be caused or worsened by inflammation, such as cancer, heart disease, asthma, Type 2 diabetes, autoimmune diseases, and depression.

Add these yoga poses to your daily routine to reduce inflammation:

  • Warrior II Pose. This standing lunge pose is performed with your feet about hip-width distance apart. Move your left leg back about three feet and bend your right knee. Keep your knee in line with your right ankle. Extend your right arm over your right leg and your left arm over your left leg. Hold the pose as you inhale and exhale slowly five to 10 times, then switch sides.
  • Legs Up the Wall Pose. Sit on the floor with the left side of your body against the wall. Lie on your back. As you do so, swing your legs up and rest them against the wall fully extended. Move forward so that your tailbone is close to the wall. Place your arms at your side, palm-side up. Inhale and exhale as you hold the pose for several minutes.
  • Reclining Bound Angle Pose. Start this pose by lying on your mat. Bend your knees, then let each knee drop to the side. Your knees don't need to touch the mat when performing this pose. Extend your arms and place them close to your knees with your palms up. You may only be able to hold the pose for 30 seconds to one minute initially but can extend the time with practice. If you feel strain in your inner thighs or groin, Yoga Journal recommends placing blocks under your feet.
  • Wide-Legged Forward Bend. Stand with your feet about three feet apart. Bend forward and place your palms on the floor, keeping your elbows bent. Place your hands on blocks if you can't quite reach the floor. Hold the pose for 5 to 10 breaths.
  • Child's Pose. The relaxing child's pose is the perfect way to end your yoga session. Get down on your hands and knees in the tabletop position. Keep your shoulders over your wrists and your hips over your knees. Sit back on your heels while extending your torso forward. Try to touch your forehead to the mat. Extend your arms in front of you with the palms down. Place a pillow or cushion under your head if you can't touch the floor with your head. Inhale and exhale slowly for five to 10 breaths.

Improve your health and reduce inflammation with one of our popular yoga classes. Contact us to find the ideal yoga class for you.


Nature: Yoga Maintains Th17/Treg Cell Homeostasis and Reduces the Rate of T Cell Aging in Rheumatoid Arthritis: A Randomized Controlled Trial, 9/11/2023

NCBI: Brain, Behavior & Immunity Health: The Role of Yoga in Inflammatory Markers, 3/2022

Harvard Health Publishing: Yoga Could Slow the Harmful Effects of Stress and Inflammation, 8/10/2020

Mayo Clinic: Child’s Pose, 3/1/2023

Yoga Journal: Reclining Bound Angle Pose, 12/30/2022