Yoga Osteopenia Osteoporosis

Yoga Osteopenia Osteoporosis. Yoga is an ancient physical-spiritual practice that has become popular in Western societies, especially in activity programs for Seniors. But some ask if yoga a really a good activity for some one diagnosed with Osteopenia or Osteoporosis. Some think that yoga is good because it can build better balance so yoga practitioners are less likely to fall and break a bone. Also some claim that regular yoga practice increases bone density. Others think that yoga is not only not helpful but that it can be dangerous for anyone already diagnosed with Osteoporosis or Osteopenia.   

 I have spent a great deal of time researching the questions surrounding the practice of yoga by persons diagnosed with Osteopenia or Osteoporosis.


If you have been diagnosed with Osteopenia or Osteoporosis, please be sure to read tall the information on this page.. It may not helpful for your to make decisions abput practicing yoga if you have only partial information. You need to both the positive and the negative information about practicing Yoga for Osteoporosis and Osteopenia before making any decisions.

First: the positive effects of Yoga - on bone health and fracture prevention.

1. "Yoga is an ancient practice that provides integral and holistic health benefits to its practitioners." This means it can have positive effects on many aspects of your health:

  • Yoga practice reduces tension.
  • It stretches and strengthens your body.
  • Yoga teachers speak of positive effects on your body chemistry. Yoga practice balances and rejuvenates circulation and the endocrine system.
  • Many of yoga's postures are 'weight bearing' so they stimulate your bone building osteoblasts. This can lead to better bone density.

2. Yoga incorporated tension reducing breathing and practicing yoga can help clear the body of harmful toxins. 

3. Practice of yoga promotes balance and coordination. So yoga practice can help prevent falls and the ensuing fractures can happen in persons with Osteoporosis or Osteopenia.

4. Since yoga is a mind-body practice,  practitioners often develop both alertness and calmness which carry over into every day activities. Practitioners not only  become more effective at work but they often find that  their interpersonal relationships  become more harmonious.  This reduces stress,  stress as you know can cause bone loss.

5. Yoga is a "step by step" practice.  A good yoga teacher guides a student to advance at his or her own pace....thus avoiding  injuries that can happen in other exercise programs.

6. Finally, Yoga can be a life long practice. Age does not matter. Postures can be modified or others can be substituted as your body changes as you age.. Thus, yoga is a practice that can extend over your entire life span.

There are certain cautions for Yoga Osteopenia Osteoporosis

1. Persons with Osteoporosis can experience spontaneous spinal fractures when bending forward or twisting. Such fracture often occur without warning as your body moves back to its original position. So there are some Yoga positions that could cause  spontaneous fractures in someone with low bone density. 

Recent studies show that persons with Osteopenia are at no less risk for fracture than those with Osteoporosis. So, both those with 'bone thinning' as well as those who have 'porous bones' need to be cautious in any  Yoga Osteopenia Osteoporosis practice. Anyone using Yoga Osteopenia Osteoporosis needs guidance as to what postures should be 'off limits' until their bone density increases to the normal range. If your teacher does not know this information or does not advise you, find another teacher. You do not want your yoga practice to cause a fracture.

2. Some Yoga weight bearing positions put too much stress on the bones of those with compromised bone density. Hairline fractures or crush fractures of vertebrae can  occur. This is another reason to find a teacher who is knowledgeable about the special needs of those diagnosed with Osteopenia or Osteoporosis. 

3. Persons with  Osteopenia or Osteoporosis ..or some one whose bone density has not been screened but who has suffered an  fracture as an adult from any cause should do two things before beginning yoga practice:

  1. Before you begin, consult your health care provider about doing Yoga. Will it be a safe practice given your bone density status..
  2. Only study with an experienced, and preferably certified, yoga teacher and be sure to explain to your teacher that your bone density is compromised. That you have either Osteopenia or Osteoporosis. 
  3. Be sure to advance slowly - "listen to your body". Be satisfied with limited practice and do not feel that you must attain weight bearing postures before your bones can sustain them. You do not want to turn your practice of Yoga Osteopenia Osteoporosis into a health disaster!
  4. You will find additional general advice  about Yoga Osteopenia Osteoporosis at Osteoporosis Exercise Warning 

To read more on about yoga go to: Yoga and Kyphosis (Kyphosis is sometimes called dowagers hump, or back hump) Also you might want to check an outline of Jan Madden's book about Yoga and bone loss.                                                    Finally, here is a scientific study about Yoga Osteopenia Osteoporosis

Thanks for reading this page. If you have practiced yoga with Osteopenia or Osteoporosis, do think about sharing your experience with other readers. Your experience could be of real help to someone else.

You can use the form below. Many readers will thank you. NOTE: Be sure to copy
and paste the url from this page onto the first line of your contribution.
Why? This same form is on many pages.  Unless you include the url at the top of this page on your form, I will not know where to place your comment.
(Special note - Please  do not include any urls to other sites. Why? I am responsible for anything on this site and I do not have the time, and in some cases I do not have the expertise, to review/evaluate other web sites.   I really forward to your contribution.