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Yoga is a useful addition to your osteoporosis treatment plan. It can help to ease symptoms, improve bone health, and lower your risk of complications. Yoga may also increase bone density after menopause. 

Gentle yoga involving weight-bearing poses can build strength, ease pain, and encourage good posture. It also helps improve flexibility, stability, and agility. These benefits make daily movements easier, improve coordination, and reduce your risk of falling. 

Learn more about the benefits of yoga for osteoporosis, poses to do, and precautions to consider. 

1. High plank pose 

High plank pose strengthens your shoulders, glutes, and hamstrings. It also strengthens your back and core, which improves balance and posture. 

2. Downward-facing dog (adho mukha svanasana)

This classic posture helps to strengthen your arms, back, and legs. It encourages body alignment and promotes good posture. 

3. Tree pose (vrksasana)

Tree pose strengthens your back, core, and leg muscles. It improves balance, posture, and stability. 

For support, rest your hands on a wall or the back of a chair. 

4. Warrior II (virabhadrasana II)

This pose strengthens your chest, shoulders, and legs. It provides a gentle stretch to your chest, hips, and thighs. 

Triangle pose (trikonasana)

Triangle pose strengthens and stretches your chest, core, and leg muscles. 

For support, do this pose with your back against a wall. 

Precautions

It’s important to do weight-bearing yoga poses, but avoid postures that put stress, strain, or pressure on your bones. This can lead to bone fractures and falls.

Gently modify poses and be careful when doing poses targeting your spine, hips, and thighs. 

Avoid or do a gentle version of the following poses: 

  • forward bends
  • side bends
  • backbends
  • twists 
  • deep hip openers 
  • spinal flexion or extension
  • inversions (unless you already have a strong inversion practice) 
  • arm and hand balances 

Benefits of yoga for osteoporosis

Yoga can help to manage osteoporosis in several ways. It encourages muscle and bone strength, which has a positive effect on your balance, posture, and stability. Staying active can help to alleviate pain and reduce your risk of bone fractures. Plus, you can use your yoga practice to develop awareness so you’re more mindful of your movements.

The results of a small 2016 study indicate that yoga has a positive effect on bone mineral density in postmenopausal women with osteoporosis. During the 6-month study, there were no reports of pain or discomfort, which indicates that yoga is a safe way to improve bone mineral density.

The yoga program also involved pranayama, or breathing exercises, which helps promote relaxation of the body and mind, alleviate anxiety, and reduce stress. Larger, in-depth studies are required to expand upon these findings. 

Another 2016 study found that practicing yoga for 12 minutes each day is a safe and effective way to reverse bone loss. The researchers selected 12 yoga poses for their ability to boost the bone mineral density of the spine, hips, and femur. While these results are promising, the study had several limitations. Further research is required. 

Takeaway

Yoga is an excellent way to manage symptoms of osteoporosis. A solid routine can help to strengthen your muscles and bones, which helps lower your risk of injuries and falls.

Choose yoga poses that will develop strength without going beyond your limits. Listen to your body and modify poses as necessary. 

Talk to a doctor before starting a yoga program. They can advise you about the best postures to do and ones to avoid.

Read this article in Spanish.