What is Osteoporosis?
Osteoporosis is the name given to thinning of bones which can result in painful conditions as well as fractures. The various risk factors for osteoporosis are age, gender, below ideal bodyweight, being menopausal, smoking, etc.
Yoga for Osteoporosis: 10 Best Poses
Given below are a set of Yoga Asanas or poses with the sole intention of preventing and in a way treating this condition. If an individual is already suffering from this condition then these poses go along way in reducing discomfort. These poses have been proven in various studies and trials to help people with osteoporosis. Definitely, people with brittle bones and bones which are less flexible will have to take their physician's advice or consult with a yoga professional before attempting these poses.
Tree Pose or Vrikshasana For Osteoporosis
This asana is the best pose to move from being in a state of inactivity to yoga. It promotes stimulation of hip bones, pelvic bones, bones of spine and shoulder. It also helps in improving balance and helps in preventing falls.
- Need to stand firmly and in a symmetrical fashion.
- Look straight ahead.
- Now, make the thoracic spine straight, pull the shoulder blades back and raise the arms.
- Press the palms together while stretching the arms and elbows up as far as possible.
- Make sure not to slump in front due to the weight of the arms.
Triangle Pose or Trikonasana For Osteoporosis
- In this, stand back to a wall and separate the feet as shown in the picture.
- Now walk the left foot about a couple of inches while maintaining your balance.
- Now, stretch the arms horizontally while turning the right foot perpendicular to the left as shown.
- Maintain the arms in an outstretched position and breathe for about half a minute.
- Straighten up and do the same thing for the opposite side.
Warrior Pose or Veerabhadrasana (Virabhadrasana) For Osteoporosis
- For people with leg weakness or problems with imbalance a chair can be used for doing this pose.
- As shown above, stretch the arms horizontally.
- Now, stretch the left knee to about 90 degree.
- Now, try and stretch the right leg as far as possible keeping it straight.
- The right foot flat should be placed flat on the floor as depicted in the picture.
Side-Angle Pose or Parsvakonasana For Osteoporosis
- Spread the feet apart with the knees pointing in the same direction as the toes.
- Stretch the left leg straight.
- Turn the left foot a bit to the right side while touching it completely to the floor.
- Now, incline the back from hips and support weight of the shoulders on right forearm just below elbow.
- Press backward with right elbow in order to revolve the trunk and left hip in upward direction.
The Revolved Triangle or Parivrtta Trikonasana For Osteoporosis
- Place right foot squarely.
- Rest the left hand on right thigh and right hand on right hip.
- Use the left hand and muscles of the trunk to twist the torso and not just the shoulders towards the right.
- Keep the right hand on back of right hip.
The Camel Pose or Ustrasana For Osteoporosis
- Sit and straighten the back with the help of the chair as shown in the picture.
- Slide forward with shins and knees on floor.
- Press the hands on seat of the chair and lift up. Press gently forward just below the navel with the shoulders way back from the front of the chair.
Downward Facing Dog Pose or Adho Mukha Svanasana For Osteoporosis
This pose is an important transition from back bend to forward bend. It also stimulates posterior vertebral bodies as well as bony elements of many facet joints in spine and putting major stress front-to-back on hips, pelvis, shoulders as well as arms.
- Stand facing a wall about 16 inches from it.
- Taking care to retain slightly arched or neutral spine start moving torso forward bending at the hips but not the waist.
- Just like in case of suspension bridge the shoulder blades, although behind, holds you up.
- Step forward in order to come out of this pose.
Supta Padangusthasana or Reclining Leg Stretch For Osteoporosis
This is one of few forward bend exercises that does not make you to curve your back forward. It is absolutely ideal for osteoporosis patients in the sense that it engages almost every muscle and stresses almost every bone below neck. It is a question of how much you can stretch.
- Lie on the back.
- Stretch back of the body from heels to occiput of skull. Retain natural arch behind waistline but firm with abdominal muscles. The blanket as shown in the picture helps maintaining lumbar arch.
- At first with both knees bent, raise right thigh vertically.
- Have a belt around arch of the right foot as shown.
- Straighten the right leg even if it requires giving up some of the elevation.
- Walk up the belt with the help of fingers until the elbows become straight.
- Then use your shoulders for extra tension on the foot by bringing them together behind you towards the spine.
- One has to be careful not to tense up muscles in perineum area or throat.
- Remain in this pose, breathe smoothly, for about half a minute, then slowly bend the knee, get the thigh down until the foot is on the mat, rest for a moment and then do the same thing with the left leg.
Marichyasana For Osteoporosis
You should choose one of the two poses shown in the picture but whichever you choose, start with the easier one: initially doing the tough one may cause injury to the back.
- Begin this by standing and facing a chair with hands on hips.
- Raise the right leg, placing the foot squarely on chair seat with toes facing forward. Reach your left hand over to outside of right knee.
- Gently pull the entire left side forward and to right side. Place the right hand on right hip for stabilizing it. Now, revolve the torso to the right side around axis of the spine with pelvis remaining steady and facing the chair.
- Revolve the entire torso, remaining vertical, and maintaining both shoulders level.
- With head level and turned as much as the torso, breathe for about half a minute.
- Slowly release the left hand and right thumb, bring the right foot down, and repeat it with the left leg.
Savasana or Corpse Pose For Osteoporosis
When finished with exercises, it is important for the body to rest and to do this one should do the Savasana or Corpse Pose.
- Lie on your back, legs turned out, and palms facing upward.
- Stretch heels away from knees; stretch back of the neck away from shoulders, and stretch the buttocks away from waist.
- Draw shoulder blades close together and relax top of the shoulders.
- Close your eyes.
- Rest in this pose and breathe for about five minutes.