St. Mark's Hospital - July 08, 2019

Yoga is generally considered to be a gentle exercise that can be done by almost anyone. However, some types of yoga and some yoga poses are not be appro¬priate for those with osteoporosis. Whether new to yoga or a longtime practitioner, individuals with bone loss should take precautions to prevent injury or fractures.

If you’ve recently been diagnosed with osteoporosis, ask your doctor if it’s safe for you to practice yoga and what precautions you should take. Seek out an experienced, certi¬fied yoga instructor who knows how to modify poses to protect your bones.

Though individual needs will vary, in general, osteoporosis sufferers should focus on slow, deliberate movements that encourage bone growth and restore balance.

Poses You May Need to Avoid

Big back bends

Poses like upward facing dog, wheel and camel can compress the spine, risking injury and overextension. Instead, stick to gentle back bends like bridge, baby cobra and sphinx to strengthen and elongate your spine. Use a rolled-up towel or cushion for support, if needed.

Extreme twists or side bends

Spinal movement is impor¬tant in preserving flexibility, but extreme side bends and twists can go too far. Try gentle reclining twists like reverse warrior or windshield wiping your legs from side to side. Above all, be slow and deliberate, and ask an instructor for help maintaining a neutral spine.

Rounded back poses

Steer clear of forward folds, as well as sit-ups and crunches. These stress your lower back. Instead, work core muscles by lifting and lowering the legs slowly while lying with your back on the ground.

Jumping poses

Certain poses like a standing forward fold, eagle or even a light jump during a flow sequence can com¬press the spine, resulting in pain or fractures. Speak to your instructor to discuss possible alternatives or rest in a seated posture during these segments.