Yoga for Osteoporosis

Gentle yoga lack of physical activity bad posture and diet were really affecting my muscle mass I was getting weaker and weaker this can happen to Zoomers too due to a natural loss of muscle mass as we age, if we aren’t careful that can cause a decrease in our bone density and turn into osteoporosis. Because of that experience I’ve chosen a simple yoga series that brings us into better alignment and adds muscles to our bones don’t worry no weights are needed. And you don’t have to be in good shape to do this we’ll start with a simple warm-up that engages the muscles in the lower body. And then we’ll work our way up from the gluts to the spine to the upper body introducing space and breath along the way these poses are so easy that you might wonder how effective they can be. But do the whole series with me or, if you’re busy just do one or two and you’ll be amazed at how much stronger you feel let’s start the healing joining us today Helen and Dori Helen is working with a situation with pre osteoporosis and Dori would like to build some muscle strength and bone density as well. So we’re gonna start with a wonderful warm-up called goddess pose we’ll take the feet a little bit wider than hip-width apart and maybe the toes. And the knees are in the same plane, if turning your toes out does not feel good you can keep your toes turned in. But just keep your knees pointing the same direction as your toes we’ll bring the arms up to about shoulder height and bend the elbows spreading the fingers nice and wide. And then we’re gonna exhale and press the knees down bend the knees down and press down into the feet and we’re gonna inhale and lift the arms up fingers touch at the top.

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And then we exhale here we are gaining some strength in the legs we’re gonna keep on coming down with the out-breath and rising up with the in breath and maybe we’ll bring some awareness to the place between the spine place between the hips. And the bottom of the ribs so as we come down we’re grounding strongly through the legs and as we rise we’re moving the ribs away from the tops of the hips we exhale completely feel the belly come to the front spine. And then inhale fully and let the ribs move out and up exhaling completely maybe pause there and really energize the bottom part of the body inhale and rise reach reach exhaling this is a wonderful way to create some muscle strength in the lower extremities without doing a lot of bouncing without creating any kind of havoc with our joints and our bones, if they’re already sensitive please continue to work with this goddess pose. And we’ll be back in a few moments to work a little bit more strongly with our muscles healing yoga yoga for real people with real problems hi I’m helen and I have pre Austral prosess i’ve been diagnosed about five years ago. And it’s as a result of low bone density and what happened to me was that some of my activities that I used to be able to do like tennis record sports I was not able to do anymore due to high possibility of fracture welcome back today’s practice our focus is osteoporosis preventing and dealing with osteoporosis Helen does osteoporosis run in your family I have two sisters and they both have osteoporosis as well interesting and is there a connection with osteoporosis in the Asian community it’s becoming more and more prevalent now that we know some of the reasons why is more prevalent in Asian culture. Because the dietary history is such that it’s not rich in calcium or rich in dairy products. So It’s now just starting to come to the surface and we’re becoming more educated about you know what the reasons are interesting well I have some fantastic poses that are gonna help us build more strength in the muscles and density in the bone fantastic we’re gonna be taking warrior 2. So we come to Tad Asana.

And then we take the feet wide apart maybe like to lift your arms and spread your fingers. And just have a look down see, if your feet are about wrist width apart. And then you can drop your arms down we’ll take the right foot pointing out to the front. And the back heel is going to turn to the back now we’ll move the right knee over to Ward’s the baby toe side of the foot we’re gonna come to the back leg and ground down. So we’re grounding down and really pressing through the baby toe side of the back foot we’re energizing the whole back leg you can feel things are starting to heat up now come to the sit bones bring the sit bones together and allow the inner legs to blossom open pressing down into the heel of the front foot the baby toe side of the back foot now we’ll be bring our up inhaling exhaling now Dori is dealing with a little challenge in her elbow and she’s not able to straighten her arm out, if you get tired at any time door you just drop your arm and put your hands on your waist on your hips whatever feels good one of the wonderful benefits of a warrior pose is that we’re using muscle resistance in addition to gravitational resistance to build strength in the lower extremities our hips are very vulnerable as we age so hugging in and squeezing the glutes bring the sit bones together and blossoming open the front parts of the legs is. So Important to create strength and stability in the hip joints as well as muscle strength in the gluts warrior pose is a very intense pose you know people think about building strength and they got to lift weights or they got to do leg presses this is a leg press in itself here without you having to go to the gym without you having to buy weights and, if you pressed down into the heel of the front foot. And the baby toe side of the back foot there’s something very magical that happens all of the muscles start to activate and we’re building stronger bones with this pose let’s come into another variation of the warrior exalted warrior. So we’re gonna take the arms out and reach them far Bretting the fingers nice and wide moving the upper arm bones out. And then we’ll take the back hand down turn the palm of the front hand and rise pressing down into the heel the front foot baby toe side of the back foot energizing the legs taking the gluts together really opening up this front part of the ribs now reaching the arms up hug all of the muscles into the bones you could be spreading the fingers nice and wide and activating through the wrist as well then we’ll come back to warrior two. And then we’ll turn the toes forward straightening the front knee. And then we’ll go to the opposite side another wonderful way to build strength in the upper body is to use things that you have at home for instance a couple of bags of rice. And you can just place one in one hand another in the other hand or you can just use one bag. And then you can begin to you can grab onto it with your thumbs here you’re out there we go Helen no worries.

And then we can begin to work the biceps. So you’re bending your elbows coming up. And then exhaling releasing. And then we’ve got some strength that we’re building in the biceps in the shoulders just remembering to keep your shoulder blades back and down towards the waist lifting the heart and exhaling completely grounding through the legs using your arms to extend out hugging muscle into bones we’re gonna go into exalted warrior now so arms are straight the back hand comes back down to the thigh. And the front arm comes up reaching so now we’ve got more muscle strength building more bone density building using something simple like a rice bag please continue to enjoy exalted warrior and warrior two on the other side. And we’ll be back in just a few moments for more strength building healing yoga yoga for real people with real problems I’ve been now practicing yoga for about five years now and what has allowed me to do is to have not only much better posture. But to be able to actually carry on with low-impact type of exercise. And it also helps be rebuilt that bone density back welcome back we’ve been working with osteoporosis and building strength in the first part of the practice we were really working strongly with the lower extremities. And now we’re going to continue that theme we’re gonna work with the glutes we’re gonna be working with the spine we’re gonna continue on with the arms so here we are in dand Asana and while we’re here in just enjoying this wonderful hamstring stretch we are also going to be sitting on the front parts of the sit bones. And then just grounding through the sit bones and lifting through the front part of the heart now Doria I understand that you and Helen have friends for a long time forty seven years Wow first year McMaster Wow 1967 it’s fantastic. And you folks are both enjoying your yoga practice we are I’ve done it for probably eight years and Helen I think probably six yeah five or six yeah amazing that’s great you can enjoy that together you can do it together so working with the legs we’re going to start to hug muscle to bone we’re gonna give the legs a bit of an inner spiral right. And then the feet are engaged dorsiflexion heel strong toes spread wide apart and we’re pressing through the balls of the big toes that’s activating the inner line of energy up the legs bring our hands back either on to a bolster you could be sitting up that will help your low back or you could be flat on the floor, if you bring your hands back and lift through the heart bring the shoulder blades together and drawing them down the back lengthening the back of the neck and drawing the chin down just a little bit yes coming back and down yes.

And then broadening through the collarbones long slow smooth in breaths long slow smooth and complete out-breath. And then you can release all the striving in the effort that’s happening in the pose. And then just take one breath cycle maybe two breath cycles. And then we’ll come back in and get strong again hugging muscles to bone here hugging the legs into the midline pressing through the balls of the big toes. And then trying to bring the femurs down especially the heads of the femurs there’s almost a sensation that the pelvis is coming up and over the heads of the femurs extending the spine bringing breath into each one of the discs and puffing them up in your mind’s eye like marshmallows opening the heart broadening the collarbones strengthen the arms hug muscle to bones. And then release dand Asana is a wonderful pose very intense getting a lot of action in the legs we’re pressing down with the sit bones and we’re using that as a foundation to rise the spine up the muscles on either side of the spine the pair of spinals are getting a wonderful strengthening here we’re using our muscle resistance here to build some tone. And then of course the bones are gonna be responding to that as well broadening through the collarbones is going to stretch out any areas that might be overly tense.

And then using arm strength hugging muscle to bone again really getting a lot of muscle resistance happening here of course being in this position gravity wants to pull us down. But we’re using all of the muscles of the torso the core as as the legs to keep us rising up now we’re going to be coming into shalabh Asana the locust pose we come down on to the belly. And we go to the upper leg bones we rotate the upper leg bones in release on the knees point in the feet point in and we’re up here on our elbows and we’ve got a little bit of a back bend we’re just going to use this opportunity to create some space in the low back. So we bring the bottom of the ribs away from the hips. And then we rest down we rest our heart down the arms can come out to the sides or down to the outside of the thighs the palms are facing in now we’re going to go to the pubic bone. And the hip points. And we’ll press down then we go to the top of the hamstrings where they reach the sit bones. And we press down. And then the next in-breath that comes along we’re going to inhale the legs maybe one at a time see how it goes, if you find yourself in the pain zone come back, if both feet are coming up fantastic spread the toes wide apart you can continue to lift the heart lift the chest pressing down with the gluts pressing down with the pubic bone. And the hip points bring the shoulder blades down the back open the collarbones spread the fingers nice and wide. And then cross the arms release the temple down on to the stacked arms and take a few breaths shav Asana is a wonderful pose again getting those pair of spinals the muscles on either side of the spine everything is contracting and strengthening and building tone on the back line of the body all the way from the heels up to the very top of the spine. And the neck let’s go for round two reset the legs inner spiral come up on your elbows give your low back a little bit more room by moving the ribs away from the hips.

And then rest the heart down arms could be by your sides or they could be out in a tee, if that feels good you could give that a go now get ready for liftoff press down into the pubic bone. And the hip points energize the whole back line of the body squeezing. And then rising on the in-breath here for a couple of breaths when you feel like it’s time to come down calm down, if you’d like to keep going. And this is feeling good continue. And then when you’re ready we cross the arms over in the opposite way and rest the opposite temple down Chalobah sauna is a wonderful way to create openness in the front part of the spine and that’s very important for folks with osteoporosis forward bends are contraindicated, if you’re further along in your diagnosis and shalabh Asana is a wonderful way to keep your back toned. So you’re strong. And you can lift things. And you can enjoy all of your other activities more now please continue to enjoy rounds of shell of Asana. And we’ll be back in a few moments to continue building strength Healing Yoga Yoga for real people with real problems switching out your popcorn or potato chips for kale chips can have a therapeutic effect on osteoporosis. Because kale has been shown to improve bone health welcome back I hope you’ve been enjoying this very challenging yet gentle workout with our yoga poses to help prevent osteoporosis and help build our bone density we’ve worked all of the major muscle groups the legs the glutes the spine the whole back the upper part of the body. And now we’re gonna cool down by taking some very gentle side bends. So you can roll up a blanket or a couple of towels, if you’ve got a yoga bolster that’s convenient too we lay it width wise on the mat. And then we begin to just stretch ourselves over top we’re gonna bring them bolster right up to the bottom of the hip. And then stretch out over now the bottom knee is bent to create a nice foundation. And the bottom arm is bent I have this suggestion for those who are dealing with osteoporosis to keep the head coming toward the back plane of the body to keep a little bit more of a back bend happening then the top leg can come long and we’re gonna let the upper arm come over grabbing on to the upper wrist or the top wrist with the bottom hand engaged dorsiflexion with that top foot the leg out of the hip socket take a long slow smooth in and out breath and feel all kinds of space expanding through the low back this is a wonderful way to get some length. And some spaciousness into the muscles that live on the front of the spine in the low back they go down into the pelvic Bowl. And come out on to the legs so reaching out with the feet and reaching out with the top arm let the out breast be complete feel the belly come to the front spine maybe pause there for just a moment. And enjoy that peace that stillness there then when the in-breath comes it feels so wonderful very nourishing active feet active hands really reaching out every breast cycle is allowing you to stretch a little bit more.

But remember to stay in the comfort / discomfort zone we’re gonna be moving into shav Asana though so hands supporting you as you rise up from the pose. And then we have a couple of options for shav Asana perhaps you’d like to take a bolster or a rolled up blanket underneath your knees or you’d like to use Helens idea using that blanket to support the head. And then we just use our arms to help us come back down. And then we let the lakes come along one at a time. And then we just rest them down perhaps giving the upper legs a bit of an inner spiral will be nice for the SI joints then we just let the legs go shoulders are coming down the back and in behind the heart the upper arms maybe come away from the ribs. So that the ribs can open out and up on the in breaths we lengthen the back of the neck. And we close the eyes we let go of the jaws take a long slow smooth in-breath and feel that breath filling you up with light and spaciousness. And then exhaling tension and gripping holding down into the ground just bring your awareness to the parts of the body that you felt were worked most maybe their the legs. And the glutes maybe the arms. And the shoulders.

And then we’ll bring our breath into those areas breathing in light and spaciousness exhaling tension exhaling holding letting the out-breath be complete thank you so much for joining us on healing yoga. And we’ll see you next time namaste you.

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