Osteoporosis is a degenerative disease leading to weak bones, with a constant risk of fracture.
The highest bone density is achieved in the early 20s. As we age, the bone mass reduces due to various reasons. When there is too much breakdown of the bones and too little is built back, the bones tend to get brittle, resulting in fractures.
Exercise that causes stress on the body, is a good thing as our skeletal system needs this stress to help remodel and grow new bone. This keeps our bones from becoming brittle and maintains their integrity.
Below are 5 yoga poses that will help enhance your bone strength.
1. Uttanasana: Stand straight while and place your palms on your hips. Breathe in and bend your hips as you breathe out. Place the palms next to your feet on the floor. Place the feet parallel to each other. Push the torso forward and extend your spine while lifting the tailbone. Hold the pose for a few seconds, and release.
2. Virabhadrasana II: Widen your legs, placing them hip-width apart. Twist the right heel, pointing the toes outwards. Pivot with the left foot. Ensure that the arch of your left foot is in line with the right foot. Lower your hips and radiate all your energy out as you stretch out your arms. The arms must be in line with the shoulders. Turn your gaze to the front, and take long, deep breaths. Hold the pose. Release, and repeat on the other side.
3. Utthita Parsvakonasana: Place your legs hip-width apart and twist the right foot such that the toes point outwards. Ground yourself using your left heel. Make sure that the arch of the left heel is in line with the right foot. Lower the hips and stretch out your arms. Now, slowly bend your body such that the right arm touches the right foot. Extend your left arm upwards. Look at your left arm and breathe. Release after a few seconds and repeat on the other side.
4. Ardha Pincha Mayurasana: Come onto your fours, and gently lift your knees off the floor, straightening them. Ideally your feet should be flat on the ground, but in case you cannot, it is ok to lift on your heels. Take two steps backward, and once you are comfortable, work on the arms. Fold your arms at the elbows and place your forearms flat on the ground clasping your palms. Lower your head to the ground, fitting your crown in your clasped palms. Your shoulders should come close to your ears. At this point, your body should resemble an inverted ‘V.’ Hold the pose and breathe long and deep for a few seconds before you release.
5. Setu Bandhasana: Lie on your back and fold your legs at the knees. Lift your back and hips off the floor. Ensure that your shoulders are straight. Place your arms on the floor and stretch them out such that they reach your feet. Take three long breaths, and then release.
Before starting off, always consult your doctor. You should also speak to your yoga instructor about your condition before you start practicing.