12 | 06 | 2020

The Ultimate Guide to Yoga for Osteoporosis (+ 3 Free Classes!)

If you’ve broken a bone or you have low bone density, you may not think yoga is for you… well, think again!

Yoga does three things to your body no other exercise does — and that makes it the perfect exercise for low bone density. (More on this in a moment!)

In fact, leading yoga for osteoporosis expert, Dr. Loren Fishman, has spent years perfecting a method to safely improve bone health through yoga. It’s a method he’s put to the test in two exciting clinical studies. Both of which showed that you can get great results by practicing 12 simple yoga poses a day…

And now, you can try these 12 yoga poses from the comfort of your own home! Yes, I’ve put together three new videos demonstrating all 12 poses. Each video showcases a different variation of the pose, so folks of all physical ability can benefit.

But first, let’s take a look at how yoga can help you stay strong, flexible, and pain-free…

Why Yoga is the Ideal Form of Exercise for Older Adults

When you apply force to bones, it stimulates them to grow stronger — a premise known as Wolff’s law.

So it’s clear why experts recommend high-impact, weight-bearing exercise to stave off bone loss. Simple enough, right? Unfortunately, it’s a little more complicated than that. You need to consider your joints, and the length of time you’re activating your muscles for too…

So high-impact exercise can do more harm than good by aggravating your joints and causing inflammation. But yoga provides a solution.

According to Dr. Fishman, yoga’s gentle, low-impact movements are ideal for those with osteoporosis and osteoarthritis. These movements help distribute synovial fluid, which lubricates the joints and keeps them moving smoothly. (Synovial fluid is a thick liquid found in all your joints.)

And in terms of your bone health, there are three main reasons yoga is an excellent choice… (Yes, the length of time you hold poses for is one!)

The Fishman Method: 12 Yoga Poses for Stronger Bones

From years of research and experience in the field, Dr. Fishman developed a method for improving bone health through yoga.

Recently, I had the pleasure of learning this method directly from Dr. Fishman! I completed his Yoga vs. Osteoporosis training this past November. I’m also a Registered Yoga Teacher (RYT) and one of AlgaeCal’s Community Managers. All this to say, I’m well-versed in the intricacies of bone health and the importance of a safe practice.

So today, I’ll be demonstrating 12 yoga poses for osteoporosis. These are the same poses practiced in both Dr. Fishman’s studies — where participants improved their bone health.

Watch the full yoga regimen by clicking on the video below! You’ll see there are three videos with different variations of the poses:

1: “Osteoporosis Variation” – This class provides the easiest variation of the poses. It’s the orange thumbnail below.

2. “Osteopenia Variation” – This class provides intermediate variations of the poses. It’s the dark green thumbnail below.

3. “Prevention Variation” – This class provides the more challenging variations of the poses. It’s the light green thumbnail below.

You can click on the thumbnail of each video to skip between them. (Note you’ll also find detailed written instructions for each pose next!)

12 Yoga Poses: Step-by-Step Instructions and Tips

Now, there are three variations for most of these yoga poses: Osteoporosis, osteopenia, and prevention. Prevention is the regular version of the pose, commonly performed by those with normal bone density. But don’t take these labels as law!

In other words, just because you have osteoporosis, doesn’t mean you should do the osteoporosis version, and so on. I say this because the more challenging the pose, the more you stand to gain from it. So if you can do the osteopenia version, or even, the prevention version, go for it!

That said, it may be a good idea to work your way up depending on your skill level. You may also need to experiment a little to discover what’s right for you. Just remember to start slow, listen to your body, and give each pose your best effort.