Yoga for Arthritis Resources

Dr. Moonaz's Books


by Dr. Steffany Moonaz and Erin Byron

Yoga therapy is commonly used for the management of arthritis, but often focuses exclusively on adaptation of the physical poses and on structural solutions. This book moves beyond the traditional routines to present yoga as a lifestyle designed to improve quality of life and overall well-being for individuals living with arthritis and rheumatic conditions. By incorporating the ancient practices of yoga as both physical and mental exercises involving a model of 5-koshas or sheaths (physical, energetic, mental/emotional, wisdom, and spiritual), the yoga therapy practice presented here will help reduce pain and shift the perspective of the individual living with arthritis.

This therapy uses a whole-person approach that employs a broad range of tools to address the biopsychosocial effects of arthritis through the application of yoga practices and philosophy. Useful as a guide for people living with arthritis, this book is full of inspiration for self care along with instructions for yoga teachers and medical professionals to guide their clients using this whole-person perspective. ORDER HERE


Edited by Beth Berila, Melanie Klein and Chelsea Jackson Roberts

Yoga, the Body, and Embodied Social Change examines the cultural phenomenon of yoga in the United States through an intersectional feminist lens. The essays in this collection address media portrayals as well as yoga spaces themselves,analyzing who has been centered and who has been marginalized by racial, gender,sexual, economic, and dis/ability power dynamics. By analyzing contemporary body politics in the US yoga sphere, this book looks at both the limitations and possibilities of yoga for feminist social justice.  This book was just released.  You can purchase a copy on Amazon HERE.

Principles and Practice of Yoga in Health Care

by Sat Bir Singh Khalsa, Lorenzo Cohen and Timothy McCall

Dr. Moonaz has contributed to a chapter in the FIRST comprehensive textbook compiling yoga therapy research across various conditions! This book is geared toward yoga professionals and other health professionals, and would be of interest to anyone seeking greater understanding of the current research evidence in yoga therapy.

The editors include three eminent yoga therapy researchers and one renowned practitioner in the field. They have brought together an experienced team of researchers and yoga therapist contributors.

This book:

  • brings together the science and the practice of yoga therapy
  • supports the emergence of yoga therapy as a credible profession
  • comprehensively summarizes research findings and their practical implications for professionals who use yoga or refer patients for yoga practice
  • includes chapter contributions by 60 leading biomedical researchers of yoga
  • reviews the scientific evidence base for yoga for a wide variety of medical conditions
  • provides brief contributions by 30 expert yoga therapists describing practical implementation issues relevant to yoga for specific conditions

You can purchase the book through Amazon HERE.

Handbook of Research on Evidence-Based Perspectives on the Psychophysiology of Yoga and Its Applications

Dr. Moonaz has contributed to the chapter Standards in Yoga Research and Reporting. 

While yoga was originally intended to be practiced for spiritual growth, there is an increasing interest in applying yoga in all areas of life. It is important to understand this ancient science and way of life through as many perspectives as possible (e.g., based on biomedical engineering). As its popularity and interest grows, more practitioners want to know about the proven physiological effects and uses in healthcare.

The Handbook of Research on Evidence-Based Perspectives on the Psychophysiology of Yoga and Its Applications provides research exploring the theoretical and practical aspects of yoga therapy and its physiological effects from diverse, evidence-based viewpoints. The book adds in-depth information regarding the (1) physiological effects of yoga; (2) neurobiological effects of yoga meditation; (3) psychological benefits related to yoga, such as mental wellbeing; (4) molecular changes associated with yoga practice; and (5) therapeutic applications (for lymphedema, mental health disorders, non-communicable diseases, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, and trauma, among other conditions). Featuring coverage on a broad range of topics such as pain management, psychotherapy, and trauma treatment, this book is ideally designed for yoga practitioners, physicians, medical professionals, health experts, mental health professionals, therapists, counselors, psychologists, spiritual leaders, academicians, researchers, and students.

Recommended Yoga Books & Resources

Yoga Therapy as a Creative Response to Pain

by Matthew J.

Science of Yoga: Understand the Anatomy and Physiology to Perfect Your Practice

by Ann Swanson

Yoga for the Rest of Us: A Step-By-Step Yoga Workout

with Peggy Cappy

Yoga as Medicine: The Yogic Prescription for Health and Healing

by T. McCall 

Chapter 9 with contributions from Marian Garfinkel, known for her clinical studies published in 1998 in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

Moving Toward Balance: 8 Weeks of Yoga with Rodney Yee

by Rodney Yee 

Shows demo with clear descriptive photos with different modifications for all types of levels.

The Key Muscles of Yoga: Scientific Keys, Volume I

y Ray Long



There are several other volumes and each provides anatomical information for activation during asanas.

Clinical Trials

Trials underway regarding the latest approaches to arthritis management

Trials underway regarding current research on yoga for people with arthritis

Research Articles About Knee Arthritis

What Do People with Knee or Hip Osteoarthritis Need to Know? An International consensus List of Essential Statements for Osteoarthritis, French et al., Arthritis Care and Research, 5, 2015, 67(6)

The Mediating Effect of Leptin on the Relationship Between Body Weight and Knee Osteoarthritis in Older Adults.
Fowler-Brown, A., Kim, D., Shi, L., et al., Arthritis & Rehumatology, 1,2015 67(1); 169–175

Association of Exercise Therapy and Reduction of Pain Sensitivity in Patients With Knee Osteoarthritis: A Randomized Controlled Trial.
Henriksen, M., Klokker, L., Graven-Nielsen, T., et al., Arthritis Care & Research 12,2014 66(12); 1836–1843

Factors Associated with Pain Experience in Knee Osteoarthrtitis.
Rayahin, J. E., Chmiel, J. S., Hayes, K. W., et al., Arthritis Care & Research 12,2014 66(12); 1828–1835

Association of Thigh Muscle Strength With Knee Symptoms and Radiographic Disease Stage of Osteoarthritis: Data From the Osteoarthritis Initiative
Ruhdorfer, A., Wolfgang, W., Wolfgang, H., et al., Arthritis Care & Research 10,2014 66(9);1344-1353

Factors Associated With Pain Experience Outcome in Knee Osteoarthritis
Rayahin, J., Chmiel, J.S., Hayes, K. W., et al. Arthritis Care & Research 10,2014; 66(12): 1828-35

Is There a Dose-Response Relationship Between Weight Loss and Symptom Improvement in Persons With Knee Osteoarthritis?

Atukorala, Makovey, Lawler, et al. Arthritis Care & Research Vol. 68, No. 8, August 2016, pp 1106–1114

Yoga for managing knee osteoarthritis in older women: a pilot randomized controlled trial
Cheung C1, Wyman JF, Resnick B, Savik K., BMC Complement Altern Med. 2014; 14: 160. 2014; 14: 160.

Other Research Articles

Characteristics of Clients Seeking Yoga Therapy in a University-Based Student Clinic

Evidence based Nonpharm Strategies Comprehensive Pain Care White Paper 12.2017.pdf

Trends in the Use of Complementary Health Approaches Among Adults: United States 

2002-2012  Clarke, T. C., Black, L. I., Stussman, B. J., Barnes, P. M., & Nahin, R.L.  National Health Statistics Report, 2, 2015, 67

Yoga in Sedentary Adults with Arthritis: Effects of a Randomized Controlled Pragmatic Trial   
Moonaz, S.H., Bingham, C.O., Wissow, L., Bartlett, S.J., Journal of Rheumatology, 4, 2015, 42(7)

Pain, Anxiety, and Negative Outcome Expectations for Activity: Do Negative Psychological Profiles Differ Between the Inactive and Active?
Gyurcsik, N. C., Cary, M. A., Sessford, J. D., et al., Arthritis Care & Research 1,2015 67(1); 58–64

Rheumatoid Arthritis:A Case for Personalized Healthcare?

Karsdal1, M. A., Bay-Jensen, A-C., Henriksen1, K., et al., Arthritis Care & Research 09,2014 66(9);1273-1280

Stiffness Has Different Meanings, I Think, to Everyone”: Examining Stiffness From the Perspective of People Living With Rheumatoid Arthritis
Orbai, A. M., Smith, K.C., Bartlett, S. J., et al., Arthritis Care & Research 2014; 66(11): 1662-1672

Listening to the body and talking to myself – the impact of chronic lower back pain: A qualitative study
Crowe, M., Whitehead, L., Gagan, M. J., et al., International Journal of Nursing 2014; 47: 586-592

Association of Exercise Therapy and Reduction of Pain Sensitivity in Patients With Knee Osteoarthritis: A Randomized Controlled Trial
Henriksen, M., Klokker, L., Graven-Nielsen, T., et al., Arthritis Care & Research 10,2014; 66(12): 1836-43

Yoga for Young Adults with Rheumatoid Arthritis: Results From a Mixed-Methods Pilot Study
Evans S, Moieni M, Taub, Subramanian S, et al. Iyengar, Journal of Pain and Symptom Management 2010; 39(5), 2010, 904-91

The benefits of yoga for rheumatoid arthritis: results of a preliminary, structured 8-week program
Badsha H, Chhabra, V, Leibman, C. et al., Rheumatology International, 29(12), 2009, 1417-1421.

Improvement in hand grip strength in normal volunteers and rheumatoid arthritis patients following yoga training.
Dash M, Telles S., Indian J Physiol Pharmacol 2001; 45(3):355-360.

The Suitability of Yoga as a Potential Therapeutic Intervention for Rheumatoid Arthritis: A Focus Group approach
Ward L, Treharne GJ, Stebbings S., Musculoskeletal Care. 2011 Jul 29.

Effect of one week of yoga on function and severity in rheumatoid arthritis
Telles S, Naveen KV, Gaur V, Balkrishna A., BMC Res Notes. 2011 Apr 12;4:118.

Neuroprotective effects of yoga practice: age-, experience-, and frequency-dependent plasticity

Villemure C1, Čeko M2, Cotton VA2, Bushnell MC3, Front Hum Neurosci. 2015 May 12;9:281

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