Yoga for Joint Health

Yoga for Joint Health: 3 Perspectives

1. As a dedicated yogi for the past 30 years or more, I have suffered my share of joint pain and stiffness over the years like many of us. But it wasn’t until I had tendonitis in my wrists, and later a frozen shoulder, that I really understood how Yoga for joint health can empower my overall well-being and everyday comfort.

The tendonitis in my wrist came from too much computer use and not using the proper mechanics when I was on my computer regarding my mouse, hand and shoulder. This kept getting worse over time and caused pain and discomfort during simple everyday tasks and eventually even when I was not using that wrist at all.

yoga for joint health 300 hour yoga teacher training module - wrists

So, of course, this affected my yoga practice significantly in any pose where I had to put weight on my hands and wrists. It took several years of trial and error to learn what helped my wrists and what did not… now I practice pain-free and I am able to do pretty much anything, as long as I follow certain protocols which I will be sharing with you in our upcoming 300 hour Yoga Teacher Training (YTT) module Yoga for Joint Health!

My frozen shoulder problem took about the same amount of time to heal and get better and the hardest part for me was finding the right balance in my yoga practice that helped keep my mobility but did not aggravate or exacerbate my symptoms of pain and limited range of motion in my shoulder.

The trick was not to give up my yoga practice entirely, but to adapt and change my practice in a way that served me better while I was healing and figuring out what helped and what hurt. My ego was probably my biggest enemy during this time; once I got that part under control, everything else fell into place over time. 

My biggest takeaway from the different challenges I’ve had over the last 30 years is that I do not have to stop practicing yoga – or any type of movement – as long as I am willing to acknowledge the injury and adapt my practice accordingly. There are simple and supportive ways to avoid causing more pain and discomfort, especially in a joint that is already under stress or injured.

It’s imperative that I adjust my activities in a way that causes no harm, and in fact helps to heal whatever may be inflamed or causing me pain or discomfort. How we practice is as important if not more important than what we practice! 

Join me, Leigh-Ann, and Rebecca as we dissect how Yoga impacts the joints, and offer some simple yet effective tools & techniques to support happier and healthier joints, both on and off the mat. 

Jay MacDonald

How we practice is as important if not more important than what we practice! 


2. Keep your wrists healthy during yoga asana through warm-up, correct alignment, strengthening, adaptations, and therapeutic exercises. Learn a more in-depth approach to teaching yoga while offering these techniques to your students who have complaints of wrist pain or discomfort.

I’m a yoga teacher, occupational therapist, and certified hand therapist who has been helping people overcome wrist problems for over 22 years. This module will help anyone better understand wrist anatomy, wrist mechanics, and how to improve your yoga practice or classes as it all relates to the wrist.

– Rebecca Mashburn

Learn a more in-depth approach to teaching yoga while offering these techniques to your students who have complaints of wrist pain or discomfort.


yoga for joint health 300 hour yoga teacher training module - knees3. The earliest form of Yoga – thousands of years ago – was joint rolling: moving the major joints of the body through their range of motion in order to stay healthy & agile. Yoga was initially intended to prepare for seated contemplation & meditation, and it’s hard to sit for extended periods of time when your body is stiff, tight, or weak!

What I love in particular about the joints is how fundamental they are to every single action we take in our lives – and how good it feels to move them! When we work with the joints, we access all of the natural elements. The solidity of our bones reflects the element of earth: solidity, form, structure – the building blocks upon which everything else is built (or grown).

The synovial fluid in the joints – and the connective tissue they are comprised of – reflect water: fluidity, movement, change. It’s this movement of fluid through connective tissue and the flow of synovial fluid that keeps our joints supple and allows our body to heal from injury.

Our muscles & the chemical processes of our bodies produce heat, and this heat literally melts open restrictions in our connective tissue & joints! Without this heat, our joints couldn’t function; and we wouldn’t be able to release toxins and metabolic waste. This heat represents fire, and literally runs our bodies.

When you crack your knuckles – or hear other joints crack – this is actually nitrogen bubbles in your joints being pushed out by movement. This reflects the element of air, which helps keep our joints healthy: spaciousness, movement, and flexibility.

Join me, Jay, and Rebecca to learn more about these fascinating and vital parts of our bodies – and how Yoga can keep them healthy & mobile for your lifetime!

Leigh-Ann Renz

When we work with the joints, we access all of the natural elements: earth, water, fire, and air.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  • “One of the things I have loved about the program is that we are not just learning how to teach certain poses; I have been learning things I didn’t even know I could learn about yoga in general, including about the subtle energies, how they tie to both anatomy and the philosophy of yoga.”

    – 2019 YTT Student

  • “Amber, you’re an incredible teacher! You are a natural at creating flows that challenge and inspire your students.”

    – Michelle G.C.

  • “I waited years looking for the right yoga teacher training program and WYC was definitely the reason why. I’m absolutely convinced I could not have found a program that was more creative, inclusive, or supportive. I would definitely attribute that to the meticulous design of the curriculum and incredibly talented teachers you brought in to lead so many cool facets of the course. You drew in some of the most amazing students with all this awesomeness and I’ve been so thrilled to learn alongside them this year so thank you, thank you, thank you for every last delicious bit of it.”

    – CJH

  • “When I first began practicing yoga, it seemed like the more I learned, the more I wanted to know. I bought a few books but still didn’t feel like a real student of the practice of yoga. When the 200 hour YTT was offered, I saw it as the perfect chance to really expand my knowledge. I have come to realize that with this deep dive into the practice of yoga, I have a strong knowledge bank that will allow me to continue to expand my knowledge of yoga for years to come.”

    – Jann F.

  • I signed up for YTT thinking I had time to myself to focus on me, but the world has other plans. It’s still the best decision I’ve made, and I am so grateful that what I have learned has come to me at a time that I can apply it to so much real world trauma. This YTT has been a saving grace!

    – Kim T.

  • “YTT provided me with the tools and knowledge to deepen my own yoga practice and help others with theirs. This program challenged me in unforeseen ways and I am so thankful to have experienced this journey with such incredible teachers and fellow students. It was truly a life-changing experience.”

    – Hayley P.

  • “Jay is a wonderful yoga instructor; has great variety in classes; is always dependable (there and on time); is kind and understanding; and always available to answer questions and give additional instruction if necessary. She is calm and classes are enjoyable no matter the challenge.”

    – Myndie S.

  • “That special moment when your body, mind and spirit blend into a yummy synchronized yogic OHMMMMMMM……..yeah, YTT has given me like a hundred of those so far! You guys are awesome!”

    – 2019 YTT Student

  • “After my first private session with Amber my body felt so good! Because of her guidance and personal assisting I highly recommend working with her.”

    – Barbara B.

  • “My experience during my YTT at WYC has not only increased my confidence on the mat but has opened up endless possibilities and opportunities for a courageous, confident, and grateful life off the mat. “

    – Teresa F.

  • “Jay is an always-patient, highly skilled teacher who makes everyone feel welcome and able to participate. Her class is always a joy and rewarding.”

    – Barbara S.

  • “With all of my health issues, I never would have believed I could ever learn to teach yoga. WYC’s Real Yoga for Real Bodies built my confidence as a leader, reminding me that my journey is my strength, and I will actually be a better teacher because of the challenges I’ve experienced. Thank you so much for creating a program that encouraged us to bring the beauty and the beast through this incredible transformation.”

    – CJH

  • “Since I started taking classes at Waynesville Yoga Center, I can now go down the stairs ‘normally’, instead of one foot at a time. I’m really pleased with how these classes are helping me.”

    – Carol L.

  • “Thank you all so much for offering this. It has truly been a gift in my life and I am very grateful to be part of this class!”

    – Kristen, B

  • “What has set the program apart for me, as well, is the approach to teaching that encourages us not to focus on a “perfect” pose, but rather perfecting a pose within our bodies and the bodies of our students. This means everyone’s expression of a pose will be slightly different, and there is such beauty in that. It runs counter to so much that we are taught elsewhere in life.”

    – Kristen, B

  • “I woke up one morning and realized I was 60 years old, that I could live well into my 80s and that I had to do something to improve my strength and stamina if I wanted a good quality of life. I was caring for small grandchildren periodically, and it exhausted me.

    As soon as I saw Waynesville Yoga Center was opening, I came. I am so thankful to Jay for a place where I feel safe, not self-conscious, and where I can attend classes that benefit me without feeling in competition with anyone else. Restorative and Yin have improved my flexibility and meditation skills; Beginner Flow, Flow Level 1 and Gentle Chair Yoga have increased my strength and balance and also challenged me, as has Barre and Balance!

    I feel better than I ever have – physically, emotionally, and spiritually. I have met so many new friends. All of the instructors I have had are wonderful and willing to share of themselves. Thank you, Jay, your endeavor is making a tremendous difference in so many lives!”

    – Terri M.

  • “Amber is an incredibly gifted instructor, particularly when it comes to yoga. She is calming, thorough, and provides that extra-added touch of essential oils, gentle adjustments, and themed practices. I love that Amber’s yoga classes are dynamic and she’s taught moves in her classes that I’ve never done in 15 years of practicing yoga. She’s a breath of fresh air in the yoga scene. I highly recommend her!”

    – Christine G.

  • “Jay takes time to answer questions, to give help when needed in performing movements and is a gentle, calm person which helps my yoga experience.”

    – Anita S.

  • “Jay met me prior to class to help me polish my yoga teaching skills. I really appreciate her willingness to meet and teach me to make me a better instructor.”

    – Brooke H.

  • “I haven’t felt this good since I got my puppy, ten years ago!…”

    – Steve S.

  • “WYC YTT has given me such tremendous depth in my practice of yoga on and off the mat. I’ve loved seeing my evolution this year as I learned all the ways I can add yoga to my home and work life. I started just expecting to build a stronger personal practice, but now I am so excited to see where this will all take me in the years to come.”

    – 2019 YTT Student

Our mission is to provide a safe and accepting space where students can learn, heal, grow - and have fun! We work to create peace in our world, communities and families by first creating peace within ourselves.

Subscribe to our newsletter!

We'll send special offers, yoga articles, event information, and more - directly to your inbox!

Gift Certificates + Class Passes

Contact Us

Waynesville Yoga Center
274 S Main St
Waynesville, NC 28786