Osteoporosis is nothing but weakening of the bones, which worsens as an individual ages. With the abundant benefits that yoga provides, does it also help osteoporosis? Yes, it does. This HealthHearty article enlists some of the most effective yoga poses for osteoporosis, along with their benefits.
For those wounded by civilization, yoga is the most healing salve.
Osteoporosis is the loss of bone density, which happens when the levels of calcium and minerals deplete in the bones, and they start becoming weak. Bone density generally starts declining in our thirties.
Common treatments for osteoporosis include, medications like calcium and mineral supplements, and light exercise. Yoga has specific poses or ‘asanas’ that focus on increasing bone strength. They help reduce aches and pain that follow in osteoporosis. Besides, one can continue conventional treatment and still follow yoga regularly.
According to research by Dr. Loren Fisherman, Medical Director of Manhattan Physical Medicine, a group of people aged 68 years on an average, were scanned for bone density. After the scan, half of them were taught yoga poses. After two years, again a scan was conducted on the same group of people. The conclusions were stunning, as people who practiced yoga showed healthier bone density. In fact, they gained bone density. The other half who did not practice yoga, lost a considerable amount of bone density.
Yoga Poses for Osteoporosis and Bone Health
Extended Triangle Pose ‘Utthita Trikonasana’
The three angles that are formed in this pose represent the three facets of yoga; mind, body, and spirit. This pose gives the entire body a good stretch, wherein, the lower body is strengthened.
Half Moon Pose ‘Ardha Chandrasana’
This pose is very beneficial for providing relief from pain experienced due to osteoporosis. The pose focuses on strengthening the spine and abdomen. It also stretches the legs and glutes.
Bridge Pose ‘Setu Bandha Sarvangasana’
This pose is therapeutic to osteoporosis, and gives a relaxing stretch to the spine, neck, chest, and back. It strengthens the back, pelvis, and spine.
Twisted Triangle Pose ‘Parivrtta Trikonasana’
This pose gives the spine a gentle twist, which puts pressure on the bones, and the body responds to it by building more bone for strength. This pose also supports the spine and builds strength.
Tree Pose ‘Vrikshasana’
The tree pose is excellent for improving body posture. It stretches the spinal cord in great alignment with the body. It strengthens the back, shoulders, and hip muscles, and assists the body in achieving stability and balance in the hip muscles.
Wide-Legged Standing Forward Bend ‘Prasarita Padottanasana’
This pose puts weight on the hips and legs, and strengthens the lower body. It is beneficial, as the weight-bearing act strengthens the large bones of the hips and legs. It also improves posture and flexibility. The pose also lends concavity and flexibility to the spine.
Seated Twisting Pose ‘Ardha Matsyendrasana’
In this pose more pressure is put on the spine. The spine gets a gentle twist and stretch, which, in turn, puts pressure on the bones, but not the vertebrae. The body responds to this pressure in a way that it builds more bones.
Cobra Pose ‘Bhujangasana’
This pose gives the spine a stretch with a gentle back bend. It strengthens the spine and upper back muscles. The pose is excellent for improving the posture of the spine. Poses that focus on the spine are very beneficial for preventing a hunchback, which is a common sign in osteoporosis.
Chair Pose ‘Utkatasana’
In this pose, the muscles around the hips are strengthened. These are most susceptible to injury, and the most common site for osteoporosis. It aligns the body with great balance, which in turn, also improves posture.
Remember, as we age, our bones become weaker. When we are young, sudden body movements do not create complications, in most cases. But, the body cannot take sudden and extreme body movements when we are older. In osteoporosis, especially, there is a risk of harm to the bones with uncontrolled and extreme movements. So, always be gentle when performing any yoga pose. Take your time, and slowly move in and out of the pose. Always warm up, first and stretch your body well.
Disclaimer: This HealthHearty article is for informative purposes only. Consult your doctor before starting any exercise, and make sure it is done under the guidance of a professional.