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What Are the Benefits of Yoga for Osteoporosis?

By Misty Amber Brighton
Updated Feb 19, 2024
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People who are concerned about bone loss may want to try yoga for osteoporosis. This type of exercise helps to strengthen bones, which can delay the onset of this disease. It might also increase agility and flexibility, making it less likely for an individual to fall. Poses that target the back muscles could help prevent a curvature of the spine, which can sometimes be caused by osteoporosis.

Doctors have long conceded to a connection between osteoporosis and exercise, recognizing that people who stay physically fit develop this disease later in life and suffer fewer fractures as a result. This is especially true for individuals who practice strength-building routines. As a result, yoga for osteoporosis can delay the onset of this disease, especially if the poses are done in conjunction with light weights.

Another benefit of yoga for osteoporosis is that it can help prevent falls that could cause a fracture. This is because yoga tends to increase agility, which can help people move around better as they grow older. Yoga's focus on flexibility can help a person have a wider range of motion so she is able to "catch" herself before she suffers a fall. The hero pose and the wide angle pose are two that increase hip flexibility and, therefore, help prevent falls.

Many yoga poses help strengthen the back, which could prevent a curvature of the spine due to this disease. In fact, the back is often one of the first areas of the body affected by osteoporosis in its early stages. A few of the poses that strengthen the spine include the camel pose, cobra pose, and supported bridge pose. When doing yoga for osteoporosis of the back, people should be careful not to stretch the spine too far, as this could cause an injury to occur.

The connection between doing yoga and bone strength is greater when a person begins exercising at a young age. This is because most people have the greatest bone density while in their 20s, but this tends to decrease after age 30. People who begin exercising while in their 20s will be able to maintain the density of their bones longer and, in some cases, offset bone loss until after age 40. This does not mean that people over 40 who have never exercised before should not begin taking yoga classes, as it can be beneficial for individuals of all ages to do.

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Discussion Comments
By SteamLouis — On Dec 01, 2014

One thing we've all forgotten to mention is that most elderly with osteoporosis cannot engage in any exercise because they are afraid of injuring themselves. We all know how easy it is to break a bone with this condition. Aside from swimming, yoga is probably the only exercise with no risk of injury or broken bones. It's done using body weight and many of the exercises are done sitting down or lying down. So it's perfect for the elderly.

By candyquilt — On Dec 01, 2014

My grandmother had osteoporosis and scoliosis. The scoliosis was probably caused by or worsened by her osteoporosis. Her back had a curve in it so she walked around with a bent back all the time. Having seen her like that before she passed away made me start on yoga. I'm doing beginners yoga right not but concentrating more on back exercises to stretch and align my back. One thing I've noticed about yoga is that it has given me better posture. It's made me aware that I tend to slouch over a lot. And the yoga poses that fix posture are immensely helpful.

I hope that I won't have osteoporosis like my grandmother by continuing my yoga regime. Even if it happens, I'm thinking that it won't be as bad as hers. At least I can maintain my posture and corrects spine alignment.

By ZipLine — On Nov 30, 2014

The cow and cat poses are also great for the back and for people with risk of osteoporosis.

Any exercise is better than nothing when it comes to reducing the risk of osteoporosis or slowing its development. But like the article said, strength building exercises are the best because these keep bones healthy and strong. Along with the right amount of calcium rich foods in one's diet, yoga can really slow down the development of osteoporosis. But it needs to be done regularly.

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