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How it helps: Beginner yoga classes' simple, gentle movements gradually build strength, balance and flexibility - "all elements that may be especially beneficial for people with arthritis," says Steffany Haaz, MFA, a certified movement analyst, registered yoga teacher and research coordinator with the Johns Hopkins Arthritis Center.
For someone who is very overweight, ...
For someone who is very overweight, as little as a 15-pound weight loss over 16 weeks can result in decreased discomfort, increased quality of life, and motivation for staying active and healthy, explains Steffany Haaz, Project Director, Johns Hopkins Arthritis Center, Baltimore, Maryland; doctoral candidate, Department of Health, Behavior and Society, Johns Hopkins School of Public Health; and an investigator in the study.
Arthritis Today Magazine l Yoga l Chair Yoga
"If done correctly, modified yoga brings the same physical, mental and spiritual health benefits as regular yoga - helping to prevent muscle loss, improve joint stability and diminish pain and stiffness," says Steffany Haaz, a research associate and certified movement analyst with Johns Hopkins Arthritis Center, Baltimore.
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Steffany HaazSteffany Haaz, is a Registered Yoga Teacher (RYT), Certified Movement Analyst (CMA), and dancer/choreographer.She has a BA in Biology and Dance from Oberlin College and an MFA in choreography from the University of MD and has a career in clinical research of mind/body therapies.Steffany has taught somatic studies in colleges and universities, workplaces, and private studios.Currently, she is Project Director in the Johns Hopkins Arthritis Center and a doctoral candidate in Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.Her research interests focus on the role of physical activity, diet, stress management, and other lifestyle changes in the overall management of chronic conditions.
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"The adage of 'no pain, no gain' doesn't apply to arthritis," says Steffany Haaz, a Baltimore yoga teacher who conducted research on yoga for arthritis at Johns Hopkins School of Public Health.
Anytime you begin a new exercise program, your muscles will feel sore, but sharp pain in the joints is a red flag, says Haaz.
"Yoga includes deep relaxation, breath-control techniques, and self-awareness," says Haaz
, "all of which can lessen the effects of living with chronic pain."