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Welcome to lesson six of your email course, Exercise Recommendations for Osteoporosis.
Today’s lesson is on yoga and osteoporosis, specifically how to practice safe yoga for bone health.
The exercise is a 20-minute Hatha Yoga routine you can follow. It is a sample from my Hatha Yoga for Osteoporosis video series.
Yoga and Osteoporosis
More and more people are practicing yoga because of its health benefits. I became a Certified Yoga Instructor in 2011. Over the past two decades, I have attended many yoga classes across Canada and the United States.
Unfortunately, my experience has been that many yoga instructors (and practitioners) are not familiar with the challenges presented by osteoporosis, osteopenia, and low bone density.
As a result, practitioners put themselves at an elevated risk of a fracture during their practice. Instructors mean well, but most need to learn better.
My Yoga Journey
Over the years, I have noticed that there are as many different styles of yoga as there are styles of yoga teachers.
As a young physical therapist, I didn’t think about the poses presented during a class. But once I considered yoga classes for people with osteoporosis or low bone density, my life changed. I knew I had to become a yoga instructor to understand what yoga teachers were learning.
How much knowledge of anatomy and physiology do they receive?
Are they being taught about osteoporosis?
Most of my classmates were falling asleep during the little bit of anatomy that we did have. I did my training through a reputable center in Canada’s capital city. One of the best teachers included nothing about osteoporosis in her Yoga teacher training classes.
When I asked my teacher what she knew about osteoporosis, she and her instructor (a very experienced teacher visiting from New York City) beautifully defined the contraindications for osteoarthritis.
They confused osteoarthritis with osteoporosis. After all, both conditions start with ‘osteo’.
Combined, these two experienced Yoga instructors had taught thousands of older adults. They were kind and caring and knew how to teach every possible pose, but neither understood the forces the yoga poses place on the human body. They unknowingly increased the risk of compression fractures in their class participants.
The fact that these two highly regarded instructors knew nothing about osteoporosis motivated me to write and publish my second book, Yoga for Better Bones.
Yoga for Better Bones
My goal is not to scare people away from yoga but to educate them so that they can practice yoga without the fear of fracture. That is why I wrote Yoga for Better Bones.
Yoga for Better Bones will provide you with the following:
- Education on anatomy and movements related to yoga
- How to use yoga to improve bone health
- How to adjust your poses to stay fracture-free
- Knowing which yoga poses are best avoided
Yoga for Better Bones is available on Amazon in print and Kindle formats.
Five + Tips on Yoga and Osteoporosis
In this video, I cover five tips (plus a bonus one at the end) for you to consider if you practice yoga.
Get all the benefits of a Yoga practice without putting yourself in harm’s way.
Certain Poses Can Increase Your Fracture Risk
As bone density decreases the risk of fracture increases. This fracture risk is increased even further when you practice movements that cause you to go into forward flexion.
Be careful when you are doing your yoga poses and make sure your posture and alignment are kept in good form
Choose a Yoga Instructor Who Knows About Osteoporosis
I encourage you to find an instructor who is familiar with osteoporosis and knows how to monitor you and suggest modifications. Yoga for Better Bones will empower you to understand osteoporosis and filter for yoga teachers who know their stuff.
Engage Your Postural Muscles
Make your deep postural muscles part of your yoga program! I have a free, comprehensive guide to perfect posture.
Today's Yoga Routine
Tomorrow you will receive your final lesson in this course — lesson 7 will cover Core Strength and Osteoporosis.