Osteoporosis is a disease of bone loss. The name means “porous bone” and is a worldwide menace. People with this disease either lose bone, or their body doesn’t support bone formation. The bone mineral density is very minimal and causes the body structure to turn brittle. Yoga for osteoporosis has proven itself to be effective. It helps to increase bone density and sometimes to reverse bone loss. Yoga improves balance. Thus, the stability of the body’s bone structure follows.
Low bone density is not just limited to the bones. It makes your whole body fragile. Deficiency of Vitamin D and Calcium are also factors that encourage low bone mineral density.
The National Osteoporosis Foundation says that it does not only affect the senior rather children are affected too. Even minor falls or sneezing can cause the bone to break in serious cases.
For someone with bone diseases like osteoporosis, practicing yoga improves the health of the bone structure and this article will tell you how.
- Yoga For Osteoporosis: 8 Known Benefits
- 12-minute Yoga Sequence: The 9 Yoga Poses To Boost Bone Health
- Tree Pose or Vrksasana
- Extended Triangle Pose or Utthita Trikonasana
- Warrior II or Virabhadrasana II
- Extended Side Angle Pose or Utthita Parsvakonasana
- Locust Pose or Salabhasana
- Bridge Pose or Setu Bandha Sarvangasana
- Reclining Hand-to-Big-Toe Pose I or Supta Padangusthasana I
- Reclining Hand-to-Big-Toe Pose II or Supta Padangusthasana II
- Corpse Pose or Savasana
- Which Yoga Is Best For Bone Density Or Bone Mineral Density?
- Are There Any Precautions To Follow?
- Is yoga good for someone with osteoporosis?
Yoga For Osteoporosis: 8 Known Benefits
Yoga practice has many benefits for osteoporotic bone loss. Yoga teachers try to learn one’s stage of this condition and then plan the most beneficial yoga training.
Not even osteoporosis, but rheumatoid arthritis can see some improvement too. Yoga postures designed for such health conditions take note of osteoporosis fractures and help to improve the current state.
The widely-known benefits of yoga for osteoporosis are-
- Yoga is a low-impact physical activity, and it is not stressful on the bones.
- It improves flexibility and stability.
- Fixes balance, bone quality and bone strength.
- It corrects body alignment.
- Improves bone health by working on the body’s chakras.
- Targets both the upper body and lower body.
- It helps with the recovery from hip fracture, vertebral fractures, rheumatoid arthritis, thoracic spine surgery, etc.
- It helps postmenopausal women with osteoporosis.
Some of the main aspects of performing power yoga or any kind of yoga poses are focused on bone growth, bone quality, uneven body alignment, low bone mass, and motor control systems. To build bone stronger is to prepare the mind and soul for fast recovery and lower the increased risk of fragility. Moreover, yoga is the best alternative to weight bearing exercises to prevent osteoporosis.
12-minute Yoga Sequence: The 9 Yoga Poses To Boost Bone Health
Exercising seems like a distant goal for people with osteoporosis as it can alleviate pain in the bone.
And often, the allopathy doctors suggest not to go to the gym to prevent fractures due to extreme twists or bearing weight. This is when yoga for osteoporosis jumps in. Reversing bone loss is not impossible.
There are many programs like the gentle Iyengar yoga program that includes a 12-minute yoga sequence to increase bone density and lessen the chances of geriatric rehabilitation. It consists of standing poses as well as sitting and laying down ones.
You receive a dual energy boost. All the chakras are targeted to provide the energy needed for the recovery or reversing of osteoporosis.
The following 9 poses are included in the 12-minute yoga sequence-
Tree Pose or Vrksasana
Start with tadasana by standing straight. Bend your right knee inwards and lift your right leg towards the pelvis. Place your right foot on the left thigh. Get a comfortable grip above the left knee or higher. Bring your hands forward and join the palms in a “namaste” while you take the shoulder blades back and the chest outwards.
Extended Triangle Pose or Utthita Trikonasana
Extend your legs wide. Rotate your right knee and leg outwards. Straighten your arms sideways and then bend your torso towards the right without any twists.
Your right arm will come behind the right leg, and your left arm will be straight upwards to the sky. Look at your left palm and maintain the position. Return to neutral position and repeat on the other side. The triangle pose is very effective.
Warrior II or Virabhadrasana II
Extend your legs to gain a wide stance. Start leaning towards the left side and make a bent knee twist outwards. The movement might seem more of a single straight legged twist.
Extend your arms on either side with palms facing downwards. Maintain this position and repeat Warrior II on the right side.
Extended Side Angle Pose or Utthita Parsvakonasana
Start from your warrior II position. If you are on your left, lengthen the torso on the same side with your left elbow resting over your left knee and your palm facing upward. The right arm will be extended straight above while making contact with your face. Feel the stretch in your legs and sides.
Locust Pose or Salabhasana
Lie on your stomach over a yoga mat. Extend both of your arms on the sides with palms faced down. Now lift your chest, arms, and legs like the “superman” exercise. Stretch as much you can to stay up. Locust pose is a type of yoga pose that is included in power yoga sessions.
Bridge Pose or Setu Bandha Sarvangasana
This is another one of those yoga poses in cardio yoga and power yoga. It is the best for hips. Lie on your back over a yoga mat with the arms extended on the sides. Bend your knees. Lift your buttocks and imitate a bridge. And lastly, lace the fingers of both hands together under the buttocks.
Reclining Hand-to-Big-Toe Pose I or Supta Padangusthasana I
You would require a strap for this yoga position. Lie on the mat and face upward. Strap one of the legs around the foot’s balls by holding each end of the strap by either hand. Now extend the leg up and stretch. Repeat this with the other side.
Reclining Hand-to-Big-Toe Pose II or Supta Padangusthasana II
This starts with the Supta Padangusthasana I yoga position. Keep yourself grounded while you hold the foot by the strap. Tighten your grip, and now pull the leg down on the ground sideways. Place the leg perpendicular to your body.
Corpse Pose or Savasana
Lie on your back over a mat with your legs extended straight hip-width apart. The arms should be placed lightly on the ground on either side of your body with palms facing the sky. Push your shoulder blades into the ground and close your eyes. Stay still and find peace of mind.
Iyengar yoga focuses on the same sequence for preventing osteoporotic fractures and improving bone health. The difference is that in the gentle Iyengar yoga program, standing poses fall in the majority. Perform this sequence regularly and you will notice the changes soon.
Which Yoga Is Best For Bone Density Or Bone Mineral Density?
In osteoporosis, bone density or bone mineral density is a vital factor to keep track of. If it reduces, the bones become fragile. But performing yoga prevents the decrease in density.
Certain yoga poses are made to fight the same including tree pose, warrior II, and triangle pose. Other than these three poses’ motor control systems demonstrated above, here are the other two following poses to try-
Get on a mat facing to the ground with your knees, feet, and hands touching it. Lift your legs with the arms straight under the shoulders and get into a plank. This version of the plank pose is highly effective when performed three times each with a 60 seconds hold.
Downward facing dog
This yoga asana is the opposite of the upward facing dog that is a part of sun salutations. Get into a high plank pose. Push your hips back and outward as you move your upper body inwards. Your head should be in between your elbows. Return to the neutral position. repeat this three times with one minute hold each. It is good for improving balance and body alignment.
Are There Any Precautions To Follow?
The average age of getting osteoporosis is 35 years. Women fall prey to this disease more than men. Osteoporosis study participants have marked that 80% of the population of women including postmenopausal women are currently suffering from it.
And today, even younger women are getting affected. Hence, the comparative effectiveness of yoga varies between men and women accordingly.
Yoga practitioners say that precautionary measures ensure that you practice yoga without any negative effect on bone loss.
Performing yoga poses that require spinal flexion movement or other movements; precautions can prevent fractures in lumbar vertebrae, cortical bone, thoracic spine, and more.
Joining yoga classes at an early stage of life is good for improving low bone density. It will prevent any unnecessary geriatric rehabilitation in the future. Avoiding certain yoga poses and movements also acts as a precautionary measure to not alleviate pain.
But, it is always important to follow up with your doctor regarding any kind of physical activity that you must prevent, including yoga.
Is yoga good for someone with osteoporosis?
Yes, yoga is helpful for people to increase bone mass. Performing physical activities like walking, exercising, and more is an essential part of the treatment plan. If you are following a yoga regime- nothing can be better.
Yoga poses like chair pose, warrior pose, upward facing dog, downward facing dog, and such are widely known for their positive effect on bone health.
Nobody has to become a professional in one go. It was always wiser to start slow and climb the stairs of increasing bone health.
- Start with easy yoga poses.
- Gradually increase the duration and difficulty.
- Begin implementing poses for leg strength.
- Remember to always keep the spine in a neutral position unless a position asks for a mild bend for an affected-spinal zone.
- Start to practice yoga known for improving balance, such as tree pose.
- Take support when needed.
- Switch positions swiftly.
- Find your mental peace.
- Follow the instructions of the yoga teacher.
What exercises should be avoided with osteoporosis?
There are numerous exercises available in the fitness niche. But many can cause bone fractures as they are stressful to the bone structure of the body. Mainly there are four types of exercises to avoid-
- High impact exercise
- Excessive bending or twisting
- Pilates and some yoga pose
Running, jumping, sit-ups, toe touches, spine twists, pilates, advanced yoga, HIIT, aerobics, and such activities must be avoided at any cost. Other than this, sports should be avoided too.
Are there any poses or movements one should avoid?
- Avoiding the poses that require spinal flexion movements as it requires the spine to bend. It can cause spinal bone fractures.
- Avoid complete back-bending positions.
- Avoid extreme twists and weight bearing movements.
- Complete forward bending movements like crunches and sit-ups should be avoided.
Can Everyone With Osteoporosis Do Yoga?
Definitely yes. It is indeed an excellent idea to incorporate yoga practice in life if you have osteoporosis. It improves bone quality.
Moreover, performing yoga poses under the sun early morning fights Vitamin D deficiency which is an essential mineral for bone formation. Unless your case is severe and requires full bed rest with zero physical activity, yoga is good for everyone.
Can yoga reverse osteoporosis?
Yoga can indeed reverse osteoporosis. But, the stage of disease matters too. In the early stages, yoga becomes a preventive method to reverse the condition. While in the middle stages, restorative yoga becomes the savior.
But, in the severe case of osteoporosis and similar bone diseases, yoga, or a matter of fact, any kind of physical activity might not be helpful.
You can still try to restore your bone mineral density and prevent osteoporosis to worsen with medications and activities recommended by the doctor. Moreover, yoga is the best-known cure for every illness in this world.
How does yoga increase bone density?
Yoga is a form of physical activity that lets the bone experience greater forces. Hence, when one group of muscles is targeted against another group, the bone mineral density increases.
Which yoga is best for bones?
Chair pose, cobra pose, tree pose, bridge pose, and even surya namaskar are best for bones. Your bone health will significantly improve with these yoga poses.
It is difficult to alter your life according to special requirements of bone diseases like osteoporosis. But there are ways to overcome such diseases. Yoga for osteoporosis is one of those ways. First of all, the mind should be taught and made strong to follow a regime. Consultations with the doctor are very important and should be a priority. They perform a systematic review to keep the condition in check. After which comes the diet to fight nutritional deficiencies of Vitamin D or calcium. Always remember to not get into nutrient-deficient levels with the minerals and nutrients that build bone.
Yoga comes into play. It is perfect to stabilize your body and mind altogether. Fighting a disease needs a positive mind, and yoga provides it. Perform yoga poses like chair pose, tree pose, downward facing dog, and so on for improved bone health. Regular sessions with yoga practitioners also add benefits to your lifestyle. Osteoporosis may affect a person’s health suddenly but it is never too late to reverse the condition.