Yoga for Healthy Bones
Yoga has many benefits, including helping to maintain healthy bones. Whilst our ability to build new bone deteriorates with advancing years, I have had clients whose bone density has improved after a year of Pilates and yoga, so it’s worth working at it. These 5 key yoga asana will help build strong bones in the teens/early 20’s; maintain during our 30’s/40’s and certainly help prevent fractures during our 50’s and beyond.
The value of Sunbird pose cannot be underestimated. Often passed off as a simple pose of little value, nothing could be further from the truth. To perform this perfectly with control, correct alignment and balance takes years of practice, but the benefits are enormous: balance to prevent falls, core strength, improved posture, strength for the back, hips and wrists (common areas for fractures) … I could go on: just hold for up to 10 breaths each side keeping the belly lifted and prevent the back from sinking.
The spine is extremely vulnerable to fractures and flexion (forward bending/folding) should be avoided, together with twists, if you have osteoporosis. However, building back strength is crucial for protecting the spine and this asana is ideal. No pain or discomfort; hold for 10 breaths for all following poses.
Navasana (main picture)
Quite simply, core strength will help maintain pelvic stability and balance. Hold for 10 breaths whilst you pull up the pelvic floor and draw back the lower abs.
Fierce pose will strengthen the hips, thighs and entire lower body. The model is slightly too tucked with the tailbone, so try to maintain a comfortable curve in the lower back: neither too concave nor convex.
Tree pose is of course a balance posture so stay close to a wall for support and gradually use less. Excellent for lower body strength too.