Osteoporosis and Yoga

Practicing yoga with osteoporosis can benefit the body if done mindfully. Many postures and practices can help improve strength and balance as well as restore function and relieve pain. The National Osteoporosis Foundation advises against the following movements.

Bending forward from the waist
Twisting or bending the torso to an extreme
Toe touches, abdominal crunches, and sit-ups

In being mindful, it is always important to take the lead during a group yoga class to ensure your own safety. Skip poses that your doctor does not recommend. Most poses can be modified in order to be practiced safely. Particularly helpful for osteoporosis are weight-bearing poses like chair pose, planks, and balancing poses.

Here are a few tips if you have osteoporosis:

Keep the spine long. Avoid rounding the back.
Keep the head on the ground when lying on the back.
Hinge from the hips, not the waist. Tilt the pelvis forward and keep spine long.
Practice with the support of a chair or the wall.
Move relaxed and smoothly. Avoid jerky movements.
Consider lying down rather than sitting to relax the spine.

Uniting the body, mind, and breath in a mindful practice can be a beautiful gift!

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