Osteoporosis, the process of thinning of the bones can result in painful conditions, can cause severe symptoms or even fractures. There are several deciding factors which are responsible for osteoporosis, such as age, gender, bodyweight, smoking and much more. However, a huge percentage of women have to experience this condition (one in three who are over 50), where the ones who smoke and have low body weight have the highest chance of suffering from osteoporotic fractures and pain.
Yoga – The Perfect Prevention
As with all health conditions, prevention is key. When it comes to osteoporosis, obviously by eliminating those deciding factors (low body weight, smoking) is the most important goal – sadly we still can not stop aging -, therefore, you have one more reason, besides the numerous potential health issues, to get rid of your bad habit of smoking for once and for all. Once you have decided to take preventive measures, you might want to start working yoga into your daily schedule, as it is not only an effective treatment for osteoporosis, but it is also a great method for prevention.
A recent study proved that yoga can positively affect bone density, which can lower the risk of the development of osteoporosis. Even though the study concluded that there might be a more thorough research needed, as the majority of participants have been practicing yoga for at least two years – therefore to prove the detailed benefits of yoga on osteoporosis, a new study should be conducted with participants who have little or no experience with yoga -, still the results were considered to be a sign for a promising start in fighting osteoporosis.
As time is key, we still suggest that with the numerous health benefits that come with regular yoga practices, it should not do any harm. Actually, it should simply give you better chances at fighting osteoporosis and other conditions in the future, so why not start today?
Treating Osteoporosis with Yoga
As mentioned before, yoga does not only provide an alternate, healthy way to prevent osteoporosis in the first place, but it can also have positive effects on bone density – helping you treat and maintain your current condition. Other medical research has proved, that yoga can prevent, slow down, or – in some cases – even reverse the bone loss processes. Therefore we decided to put together the most effective poses for you, which can help your bones to regenerate, and help you improve your overall health condition. By introducing these poses into your daily yoga training – pick as many poses as you can -, you can greatly improve your chances at fighting osteoporosis. So, let’s see the most useful poses that can help you with bone regeneration:
The extended triangle pose while provides you with a full-body stretch, it also helps you strengthen your lower body. It also symbolizes the fundamental idea behind yoga, which emphasizes the harmony between the mind, body, and spirit. For a perfect Trikonasana, do the following:
- While standing back to a wall – in case you need support to keep your balance – separate your feet.
- Move your left foot a couple of inches away and maintain your balance.
- While turning your right foot perpendicular to the left, stretch your arms horizontally.
- Keep your arms outstretched, while slowly and deeply breathing (for at least half a minute).
- Release and repeate with the other side.
2. Setu Bandha
With the bridge pose your back, chest and neck are stretched simultaneously, making this pose an effective stretching exercise, while it can also help fighting osteoporosis. You should be doing this gentle stretch for at least 30-60 seconds for maximum efficiency:
- Lie down, while making sure that you are comfortable.
- Bend your knees and set your feet on the floor, while making sure that your heels are as close to your sitting bone as possible.
- Exhale while pressing your inner feet and arms into the floor.
- Push your tailbone upward, firming your buttocks and lift it off.
- Keep an eye on your thighs and inner feet, as they should be parallel.
- While slightly lifting your chin, firm your shoulder blades against your back.
- Firm your outer arms while broadening your shoulder blades.
- Work hard, and try keeping this pose for at least 30 seconds to strengthen your back, chest, and neck.
The seated twisting pose can help you to put some pressure on the spine. As bones respond to pressure by building more bones, this is essential in fighting osteoporosis. However, keep in mind that too much pressure can be harmful, therefore, you should never push yourself with these exercises. This slight twist applies gentle pressure, strengthening your spine:
- Stand in front of a chair with your hands on your hips.
- Raise your right leg and place your foot on the chair seat (toes facing forward).
- Reach with your left hand over to outside of your right knee.
- Pull your entire left side gently forward and towards your right side.
- Put your right hand on the right side of your hip to keep your balance.
- Make sure that your pelvis remains steady (facing the chair), while you turn your torso to the right side.
- Revolve your entire torso vertically .
- Keep an eye on your shoulders, they should be level.
- Breathe for at least half a minute.
- Slowly release your left hand and bring your right foot down.
- Release and repeat the exercise with your left leg.
4. Parivrtta Trikonasana
Twisting poses in general support the bones, while they also have a great effect on reducing the chances of fractures. The Twisted Triangle Pose is therefore again a great addition to your daily yoga schedule, where a gentle spine twist can also help your body to build more bones, and fight osteoporosis:
- Place your right foot squarely.
- While resting your left hand on the right thigh and your right hand on the right hip, use your left hand to twist your torso.
- Make sure you are aiming to twist your whole body and muscles.
- Touch the floor with your right hand and stretch out your left arm.
- Keep the pose for at least 30 seconds and swap sides.
5. Ardna Chandrasana
The half moon pose is another great exercise that works more than one area of the body. People with osteoporosis also use this pose for pain relief, therefore it is one of the most important poses for osteoporosis prevention and treatment:
- Start with Trikonasana on your right, while placing your left hand on the left hip.
- While inhaling bend your right knee and move your feet forward.
- While moving your feet, place your right hand beyond the toes of your right foot.
- Exhale and place your right hand on the floor while straightening your right leg.
- Raise your left leg and make sure it’s parallel to the floor and maintain your balance.
- Twist your upper torso towards your left, while moving your left hip forward slightly.
- While placing your left hand on your left hip keep your head in a neutral position (gazing forward).
- Make sure that you are placing your body weight on the leg that you are standing on, while also helping yourself balance with your lower hand.
- Hold the pose for at least 10 seconds, release and swap sides.
Hopefully, these top 5 yoga poses will help you in the fight against osteoporosis, where the most important are to rely on these exercises regularly. In case you are after more poses, you will find that there are numerous additional exercises which you can add to your list of yoga poses, that can help you with bone generation while improving your overall health condition. Don’t be afraid to try a few more, to make sure that you don’t get bored of the same poses. Remember, the most important thing is to keep your motivation high, and do these exercises regularly!