Current Rheumatology Reports

, 15:387

Yoga in Rheumatic Diseases

  • Susan J. Bartlett
  • Steffany H. Moonaz
  • Christopher Mill
  • Sasha Bernatsky
  • Clifton O. BinghamIII

DOI: 10.1007/s11926-013-0387-2

Cite this article as:
Bartlett, S.J., Moonaz, S.H., Mill, C. et al. Curr Rheumatol Rep (2013) 15: 387. doi:10.1007/s11926-013-0387-2
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. Topical Collection on Complementary and Alternative Medicine


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. Here, we briefly review the literature on yoga for healthy, musculoskeletal, and rheumatic disease populations and offer recommendations for discussing ways to begin yoga with patients.


YogaRheumatic diseasesArthritisOsteoarthritisRheumatoid arthritisSystemic lupus erythematosusHealth benefitsImmune functionMusculoskeletal system

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Susan J. Bartlett
    • 1
    • 2
    • 7
  • Steffany H. Moonaz
    • 3
  • Christopher Mill
    • 4
  • Sasha Bernatsky
    • 5
  • Clifton O. BinghamIII
    • 6
  1. 1.Divisions of Rheumatology and Clinical EpidemiologyMcGill UniversityMontrealCanada
  2. 2.Division of RheumatologyJohns Hopkins UniversityBaltimoreUSA
  3. 3.Maryland University of Integrative HealthLaurelUSA
  4. 4.Division of Clinical EpidemiologyMcGill University Health CentreMontrealCanada
  5. 5.Division of Rheumatology and Division of Clinical EpidemiologyMcGill University Health CentreMontrealCanada
  6. 6.Division of RheumatologyJohns Hopkins UniversityBaltimoreUSA
  7. 7.Division of Clinical EpidemiologyRoyal Victoria HospitalMontrealCanada