Ashtanga

Ashtanga is a type of vigorous yoga that involves moving quickly between poses.

OK with arthritis? No.

Keep in mind: “Ashtanga probably moves too quickly to be safe for this population, unless it is taught at a very basic level and significantly modified for people with arthritis,” says Moonaz.

Chair Yoga

With chair yoga, gentle yoga poses are primarily performed while seated.

OK with arthritis? Yes.

Keep in mind: Chair yoga is ideal for seniors and those with limited mobility, says Foody. Listen to your body and communicate with your teacher if anything feels uncomfortable, adds Moonaz.

Hatha

A blanket term for poses commonly identified with yoga, Hatha involves balancing and stretching in seated, standing and prone positions. Usually performed slowly, it concentrates on strengthening and reducing stress.

OK with arthritis? In some cases.

Keep in mind: Because class intensity varies widely, “It’s always best to ask the instructor what the class involves,” says Foody.

Iyengar

Props such as blocks and ropes are used to ease into poses without causing strain or injury with Iyengar yoga.

OK with arthritis? Yes.

Keep in mind: “Iyengar is well suited for people with arthritis because there is a lot of attention to individual alignment and limitations,” says Moonaz. “A beginner level class is recommended so that you have the time and attention to properly adapt poses to your needs.”

Key tip: Once you’ve found a class that’s right for you, start slow, do only what feels comfortable, and if you feel any joint pain during a pose, stop doing it.

Try Yoga at Home

Face-to-face yoga instruction is invaluable when you’re starting out. But you can start at home, too, with a yoga DVD. Choose one that includes modified poses and step-by-step instructions, such as  Easing Into Yoga with registered yoga instructor Linda Howard. The program is designed for those who are new to yoga, who want to learn at their own pace, or who live with illness or injury.