Strong bones balance our body and help us maintain correct posture. An upright skeletal structure allows us to move, stand and walk better, making us feel and appear energetic and young.
Most people believe that bone weakening is an inevitable age-related condition. In fact, poor dietary habits, lack of physical exercise, certain medications, excessive smoking and family history of bone disease are some common causes of gradual loss of bone.
Research has shown that bone-weakness and osteoporosis can be prevented with a nutritious diet and physical activity.
Yoga is an excellent activity for people of any age who want to strengthen their bones and improve their overall health.
A 2009 study published in the Topics in Geriatric Rehabilitation shows that yoga is an effective way to build bone mineral density after menopause.
Researchers at Columbia College in New York conducted a 2-year study on patients with bone-weakening diseases, who practiced 10 minutes of yoga daily.
Results showed improvement in spine and hip bone density in some patients, reduction in the severity of bone weakening in a few others, and complete reversal of bone weakening in some.
To keep your bones strong and prevent bone-related problems in the future, incorporate yoga into your daily life.
Here are the best yoga poses for strong bones.
1. Tree Pose (Vrksasana)
As this pose stimulates the spine, hip bones, pelvic bones and shoulder bones, it helps people suffering from spine deformities, rheumatoid arthritis, and leg and shoulder weaknesses. It also promotes better balance by strengthening the bones and arches of the feet.
- Put your feet together and stand upright with your arms at your sides.
- Bending your left knee, hold your left ankle with both hands and raise your foot, placing the sole of your foot firm and flat against your inner right thigh with your toes pointing to the ground.
- Balance yourself and, keeping your right leg straight, slowly put your hands together in salutation seal near your heart.
- Maintain this position for 30 to 60 seconds and concentrate on a fixed point 4 to 5 feet away from you.
- Exhale, slowly return hands to your sides, then lower your right left to the starting position.
- Repeat with your right leg.
Stand against a wall for better balance and place a folded mat between your left foot and right thigh in the second step if needed to prevent your foot from sliding off.
2. Chair Pose (Utkatasana)
This exercise strengthens the bones of the lower body, specifically the thighs, ankles, hips and legs. It stretches the calf muscles and the Achilles tendon, making it especially beneficial for flat feet (lack of an arch in the feet).
Utkatasana also flexes your shoulders and chest, as well as muscles throughout your body, increasing stamina and strengthening bones.
- Stand in an upright position with your big toes touching each other, your heels slightly apart, your hands by your sides and your chest thrust forward.
- Exhale, bend your knees, press your heels into the floor and bring your thighs parallel to the floor (as if sitting on a chair) so that your torso leans slightly forward and forms a right angle over your thighs.
- Keeping your back straight, inhale and raise your arms over your head so that they align with your spine and are perpendicular to the floor.
- Thrust your tailbone down and your shoulders back to keep your lower back straight. Maintain this position for 30 to 60 seconds, taking deep breaths.
- Inhale, straighten your legs and bring your palms back to your sides while exhaling gently. Repeat the exercise 10 to 15 times, once daily.
- Have someone help push your feet into the ground in the second step and straighten your lower back in the third step.
- Perform this exercise near a wall so that when you bend, the tailbone touches the wall for support.