Osteoporosis is a challenge that many of us face as we enter our Wisdom Years. There are so many risk factors that could predispose us to fractures of weak and brittle bones, but the good news is that it’s never too late to rebuild our bones and optimize their health.
Although our bones are in a constant state of renewal by the body, as we age, our ability to create new bone is not keeping pace with rate at which our existing bone is being reabsorbed by the body. In general, we reach our peak bone density at 30, and over time, our bones slowly begin to lose minerals and become weaker.
Yoga is a proven method that has helped many people after a diagnosis to help keep them strong in body mind and spirit. Because of the nature of the practice, it is also an excellent prevention tool. It not only helps strengthen our muscles and bones but it also supports us in promoting mobility and flexibility through all of the joints. We are also improving our balance, helping us prevent falls.
Another benefit is improved circulation but most importantly we are reducing stress. High levels of the stress hormone cortisol appear to be a major factor in low bone density.
In our Gentle and Restorative practice, we are moving the body in all directions, nourishing all of the cells of the body with fresh oxygen, fresh lymph, and fresh Prana or life force. Our practice helps balance and optimize all of the bodies functions and makes us feel strong and vital, yet relaxed at the same time.
Yoga Tips for Building Bone Strength
- Start slowly, safely, and work incrementally through your natural range of motion.
- Breathe deeply, fully, and completely throughout the practice to reduce stress hormones
- Find support through the foundation first, and build the pose from the ground up. Press down through your feet and engage your legs and pelvis.
- Lengthen the front of the spine in all poses, especially all standing poses, which will engage all of the muscles supporting the torso.
- Completely avoid forward bends that round the spine. To keep the spinal bones safe, find an experienced teacher who can help you maintain extension of the spine through any forward folds.
- Activate all of the muscles and hug them into the bones while in the poses. This builds body awareness, muscle tone, and activates the bone building processes.
- Cultivate your inner awareness to guide you to come out of the poses when your body has had enough.
- Use your own body weight in the poses, but use your discretion to add weight (rice bag, sandbag, hand weight) to increase the challenge in the pose, when appropriate.
Other Helpful Practices
- Get a good night’s sleep – Bone building is affected by following natural Circadian rhythms.
- Give up soft drinks – Take inventory of your diet with a trusted health practitioner and make appropriate changes to support your bone health.
- Gift yourself with an Abhyanga oil self massage every day
- Give yourself 10 minutes of time to be thankful for your body the way it is.
Osteoporosis is both preventable and manageable. Our Gentle and Restorative yoga practice is a wonderful way to enjoy being in our bodies while we improve our bone density and improve the quality of our lives!
– Deborah Devine
*Healing Yoga provides insight meant to help you in improving your health and overall wellbeing. However, the information presented above is offered for informational and educational purposes and is not intended as a replacement for the judgment of a medical professional, or consultation with qualified practitioners.
Healing Yoga, Deborah Devine, and the Brand New ONE make no warranty or representation regarding the services or products provided through or in connection with the website. Use your own discretion when performing any postures.
The reader and viewer assumes all risks when using the information provided herein. Information provided by this site is not intended to treat or cure any disease or to offer any specific diagnosis to any individual as we do not give medical advice, nor do we provide medical or diagnostic services.
We strongly recommend seeking professional medical advice before performing any techniques, poses, postures or routines presented on this site.