Archive for the ‘yoga for physical health’ Category

Firming Up With Yoga

Monday, March 10th, 2014

power yoga instructorBy Kimaya Singh

Yoga is a fantastic way to tone up your whole body. Many poses are weight bearing, which are extremely effective in firming problem areas. In addition, Pranayama breathing techniques have the ability to burn fat. Therefore, by combining weight-bearing exercises with Pranayama, you have created a vortex of calorie-burning and firming bliss.

Hollywood celebrities such as Jennifer Anniston and Madonna put yoga on the mainstream fitness arena when they began to advocate that their tone and limber bodies were due to their yoga practices. They became the poster children for the yoga fitness renaissance.

Regardless of whether you are looking to target a specific area or your entire body, a yoga regimen can be the perfect path to a fit and firm figure.

Abdomen: The abdomen is the most problematic area for most people. Luckily, there are many effective yoga poses for this area. Try practicing bellow breaths before you begin. Boat pose is by far one of the most efficient asanas for the abdomen. It can be brutal, but beginners can hold on to their thighs or knees. Of course, the Planks are great and Camel and Cobra will give your abdomen a great stretch.

Buttocks: This is our largest muscle group and an easy one to target. The Bridge is a great butt-sculptor. This pose also opens up your lungs, which can aid in that fat-burning deep breathing. Make sure you include Locust and Chair in your sequence to target this area.

Legs: Standing yoga poses are excellent for all your leg muscles. You can expect to improve quadriceps, hamstrings, and calves by practicing all the Warrior poses, Downward Dog, and Triangle Pose. Tree pose gives you double benefits as it strengthens legs as well as improves balance.

Arms: Many of the aforementioned asanas do double-duty with the arms as well, due to the weight- bearing activity. Side Plank, Four-Limbed Staff Pose, and Upward Facing Dog are all going to work wonders on triceps and biceps.

When you are short on time, you can choose to target a specific area, but the best way to get the full effect of firming up with yoga is by engaging in a vigorous fat-burning Vinyasa routine before moving on to isolated body areas.

© Copyright 2014 – Aura Wellness Center – Publications Division

See our testimonials to find out what our graduates have to say about teaching therapeutic yoga sessions and our selection of online yoga instructor intensive courses.

If you are a teacher, yoga school manager, blogger, e-zine, or website publisher, and are in need of quality content, please feel free to use my blog entries (articles). Please be sure to reprint each article, as is. Namaste!

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The Pros and Cons of Yoga Asanas for Elbows

Wednesday, December 11th, 2013

500 hour yoga certification programBy Bhavan Kumar

The romance between yoga and your hinge joints is a bittersweet one. In addition to being very conscious of your knees, it is also imperative to be mindful of your elbows. Either of these complex hinge joints can easily be hyperextended, which can lead to injury and pain. Generally speaking, hyperextensions require rest to heal, which means that holding postures will be better for you than flowing through them. For teachers, this means recommending a student to the restorative class and advising him or her to avoid the vinyasa class. Additionally, postures that stress the elbows will not help the healing process.

Yoga and Your Elbows

Hyper-extended elbows are quite common for active people and this can create problems for the average yoga student. Stretch your arm out in front of you and if it easily twists outward, then you will have to be particularly conscious of your elbows while in weight-bearing postures. Putting weight on a hyperextended joint will wear away the joint tissue and cartilage over time. If a joint is inflamed it requires a healing process that may include a doctor’s visit, hot and cold therapy, rest, or something else.

A good method to correct your elbows during a posture that puts weight on your upper body is to press your weight into your index finger and away from your pinky. This will naturally correct your elbow and you can easily see the adjustment in your socket.

Those suffering from tennis elbow should also be mindful of certain asanas to avoid aggravating the injury. However, by approaching your practice with caution, you can strengthen and improve your elbow joints.

Have your students try the following asanas to strengthen elbows without taxing them:

• Utkatasana – Chair Pose

• Virabhadrasana ll – Warrior ll

• Balasana – Child Pose

These three poses are a gentle way to stretch the tendons and ligaments of your elbows and keep them flexible. In addition, child pose will open your shoulder joints, which lessens the tension on your elbows.

Advice for Students

One pose to be wary of with weak elbows is Chaturanga or plank. You can always start by standing with a modified plank using a wall. Put your forearms against a wall with your feet behind your hips. Concentrate on your abs while slowly bringing the feet away from the wall. This will slowly strengthen your upper body until you can move to a modified, floor plank position with your forearms on the floor.

When you feel you are ready to proceed with Chaturanga without modification, be careful to keep your elbows tucked close to your ribcage. Make sure the crease in your elbow is always facing forward. You will need strength in your triceps to make this work.

By taking a few precautions, you will find that yoga will help heal your elbows and eventually decrease your chance of injury.

Advice for Teachers

Explain to your student that joints do not follow the healing expectations of muscles. It takes much more time to heal and strengthen a joint. Go back yo your anatomy training sources and review them. There are no short cuts to the healing process. Pushing a joint to be strengthened before it is ready may cause setbacks. For this reason, a medical professional should be consulted. 

© Copyright 2013 – Aura Wellness Center – Publications Division

See our testimonials to find out what our graduates have to say about teaching therapeutic yoga sessions and our selection of online yoga instructor training intensive courses.

If you are a teacher, yoga school manager, blogger, e-zine, or website publisher, and are in need of quality content, please feel free to use my blog entries (articles). Please be sure to reprint each article, as is. Namaste!

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Three Yoga Hip Openers for Students

Wednesday, September 25th, 2013

500 hour yoga certificationBy Faye Martins

As a hatha yoga instructor, you might always include hip openers in your classes, and they are needed now, more than ever. The majority of our yoga students spend all day sitting behind a desk and staring at a computer screen. Even those, who don’t have an office job, spend a disproportionate amount of time sitting. All of this sitting leads to some very tight hips. What yoga poses are best for restoring hip health? Take a look at these three hip-opening poses below and modify the directions to accommodate your students. 

1. Pigeon 

Begin in down dog. From there, sweep the right or left knee forward towards the hands. Keeping your back leg and hips square and pointed at the floor, ease your front bent knee onto the mat, laying it down so that the outside of the leg is resting flat on the mat. Then lower your back straight leg down so that your back hip is also flat against the mat. From this point, you can keep your arms straight, supporting your upper body weight, or you can gradually fold your upper body down onto the mat. For a deeper stretch, reach out in front of you with your hands, and inch them forward as far as you can, without bringing your hips up. You can stay in pigeon for a few breaths or for several minutes. 

2. Camel 

Most yoga teachers consider Camel pose only for the back bending benefits or to counter pose for forward bending asanas. Start in the kneeling position at the front of the mat. Your knees should be about hip width apart, with your knees directly underneath your hips. Behind you, your shins, ankles and feet should be in a parallel position. Now, put your hands on your hips and start to gradually arch backward. When you feel stable, reach your hands back towards your feet or use yoga blocks outside your heels. Allow the head to also drop back, so that you are looking at the ceiling. If you are flexible enough, lower your hands until you are holding your ankles. Without allowing the knees to slide out from underneath the hips, press the hips forward. Stay in this position for a few breaths. 

3. Frog 

This yoga pose is a very simple one that’s great for beginners who need to start the process of opening up their hips, but be careful that new students don’t hurt their knees doing this pose. Begin in table pose, with the feet slightly splayed, and pointing outward. Next, lower your upper body onto your forearms and elbows, pressing your open palms flat into the mat. Walk the knees outward, as far as they will allow, without straining the knees, hips or lower back. When the knees are out as far as they will go, allow the hips to float down towards the mat. The most flexible yogis will be able to press their chest and hips flat against the mat. 


Obviously, there are many different types of hip openers, because the hips are ball and socket joints. Therefore, you can give the hips therapeutic work from many different angles. Ask your yoga students to be patient, because some of your students may be very stiff in the hips, while others will be very flexible. In some cases, students become agitated with their progress and this leads to forcing or pushing. The key to progress is patience and the realization that each of us has a unique body.

What other hip openers do you use with your yoga students? Please share them in the comments section. 

© Copyright 2013 – Aura Wellness Center – Publications Division

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If you are a yoga teacher, yoga studio owner, blogger, e-zine, or website publisher, and are in need of quality content, please feel free to use my blog entries (articles). Please be sure to reprint each article, as is, including the resource box above. Namaste!



Yoga Training for Muscular Balance

Wednesday, August 14th, 2013

500 hour hatha yoga teacher training intensiveBy Faye Martins

If you teach or work in a yoga school, it may be hard to believe that some people only want physical benefits from one’s practice. Yet, the public seems to only know that Hatha yoga training is often mentioned as a system to bring one’s physical body into balance. Obviously yoga is much more than a physical exercise, but systems, such as Pilates have sprouted to address the needs of athletes who didn’t have a desire for the mental, spiritual, or emotional benefits of yoga. Competitive athletes are certainly the more likely candidates to injure muscles and joints, but anyone can receive an injury.

Injuries and Muscular Imbalance

Muscle injury, if severe enough, can result in something called muscular imbalance. Muscular imbalance occurs if there is a disruption of the normal amounts of opposing force between muscles. If a muscle is injured, weakened, or over developed, the opposing muscles will try to compensate for different directions of natural movement and tension. Limping is one example of movement that can result in a muscular imbalance. When this happens it can put too much strain on the joint between the opposing muscles, as well as cause the uninjured muscles to overcompensate, causing over development.

Strong muscles are shorter in length. During an imbalance it is important to stretch the strong muscle, to lengthen them, and to carefully strengthen the weaker or injured muscle. A good example of this is bicep curls. The bicep will contract and shorten as the arm is bent at the elbow, bringing the weight towards the chest or facial region. The triceps muscle then will relax. The triceps shortens and contracts as the arm is brought back to a straight position, but for optimal muscular balance, the triceps should also be exercised with weights, with specific exercises for the triceps.

Advice for New Students

Hatha yoga provides movements and postures, also known as asanas, which will not overemphasize one muscle over another. People who practice yoga become aware of their own bodies strengths and weaknesses. This awareness will make it easier to detect injuries before they become severe. People of any age group can take up yoga. There is a focus on multiple muscle groups, improvement in flexibility, and a broader range of motion in joints for practitioners of yoga.

Yoga has various physical styles. Ashtanga vinyasa yoga, for example, can improve muscle tone – while it also strengthens the body and tones the abdominal region. Even though yoga has been practiced for over five thousand years, a doctor should always be consulted before new students begin any type of exercise program. The Hatha yoga method is well known by the general public and will introduce a student to asana practice, while teaching the deeply rewarding techniques for relaxation, meditation, and pranayama.

Whether you are an athlete, an executive, or just an everyday person, yoga training is essential for good posture and a healthy body to keep your muscles balanced and strong. Yoga could be the very thing needed to do just that, and the stress relief from different yogic practices will offer a whole new way of looking at the world around you.

© Copyright 2013 – Aura Wellness Center – Publications Division

See our testimonials to find out what our graduates have to say about teaching yoga sessions and our selection of inexpensive yoga teacher training courses.

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Yoga for Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

Friday, July 13th, 2012

yoga instructor trainingBy Shahid Mishra

As early as 1999, the “Journal of the American Medicine Association” (JAMA) reported that Yoga can have positive effects on carpal tunnel syndrome. A condition that affects people who do jobs requiring continual repetitive movements with their hands, fingers and wrists, carpal tunnel probably results from the compression of nerves in the wrist. Not only is the disorder uncomfortable, but it is also expensive for employers whose workers are unable to perform their duties at work.

In the 1999 study, 25 people who suffered from carpal tunnel syndrome, along with contributing factors like muscle weakness and poor posture, practiced a regimen consisting of 11 postures designed to strengthen and stretch affected joints. Results showed that Yoga was more effective than not treating at all or simply splinting the wrist.

More recent research at the University of Pennsylvania found that Iyengar-type Yoga sessions conducted two times per week for eight weeks strengthened grip strength and reduced pain in carpal tunnel patients. According to “Yoga Journal” magazine, these exercises involved sequences designed to stretch, strengthen, and balance joints in the upper body. Emphasis focused on improving alignment and increasing blood flow to the shoulders, arms and wrists.

Due to the high cost of carpal tunnel in the workplace, employers should be happy find a less expensive to traditional medical treatments like drugs, surgery or injections. The exercises may also help to prevent carpal tunnel in the first place and deter the occurrence of symptoms.

When it comes to counteracting the less serious effects of carpet tunnel syndrome, poses that reverse the repetitive motions are effective. This means opening the nerve channels in the arms by extensive stretching and toning the wrists, arms, hands, neck, shoulders and upper back.

Asanas that Relieve Carpal Tunnel Syndrome Pain

• Namaste Pose, both in front of and behind the torso

• Mountain Pose

• Eagle Pose

• Bow Pose

• Warrior II Pose

• Bharadvaja’s Twist

Asanas that Can Potentially Aggravate Carpal Tunnel Symptoms

• Downward-Facing Dog

• Upward-Facing Dog

• Cobra Pose

• Plank Pose

• Table Pose

• Wheel Pose

When practicing Yoga for therapeutic purposes, it is always best to consult a medical professional and work with experienced instructors who have the time and knowledge to address individual concerns.

© Copyright 2012 – Aura Wellness Center – Publications Division

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Yoga Asanas to Reduce Hip Tension

Monday, June 25th, 2012

yoga teacher trainingBy Sangeetha Saran

Tension in the hips comes from many different sources. Our hips can become tense from holding onto difficult emotions, sitting at a desk for long hours and spending a lot of time driving. The hips can also become tight from an assortment of athletic activities, ranging from running to playing tennis and skiing. When your hips are tight, there is added pressure, strain and pulling on the lower back and sacral areas. Additionally, the life force energy or prana will not be able to flow as freely throughout your body.

There are a wide variety of standing and sitting Yoga poses that help to keep the hips free of unneeded stress and tension. Standing asanas that maintain flexibility in the hips may be incorporated into a vinyasa sequence of Yoga postures that link the standing poses together through Sun Salutations (Surya Namaskars) and the breath. Entering Pigeon Pose from Downward Facing Dog is a wonderful way to deeply stretch out the hip and side torso areas. Standing twisting poses, particularly Twisting Lunge, are also very effective hip openers.

Pigeon Pose

Before practicing Pigeon Pose, it is important to warm up your body thoroughly by practicing three to five Sun Salutations. If you need detailed instructions on how one should practice Surya Namaskars, please refer to a reputable book, website or visit a local Yoga studio. After you have warmed your body up, come to the front of your mat and stand in Samasthiti or Equal Standing Pose. Feel the ground below your mat and distribute your weight evenly between both feet Take a few complete Yogic breaths.

With the next inhale, you should bring the arms over your head and move through the beginning postures of the Sun Salutation. Pause when your are in Downward Facing Dog. Hold Downward Dog for three complete breaths and then raise your right leg in the air behind you. Keep your toes facing the floor and your leg in line with your hip. Slowly and with control bring your right knee to the outside of your right elbow. Repeat this leg lift two more times with control.

After the third leg lift, place your right lower leg on your Yoga mat. The goal is to place your lower leg parallel to the top of your mat. This takes a great deal of flexibility. Position your leg at the angle that is comfortably challenging for you today. Extend your left arm in front of you and to the right side of your bent knee. Place your left hand palm down on the Yoga mat. Feel the deep stretch within your hip and side torso. Hold this position for three to five full breaths. With your next exhale come back to Mountain Pose. Repeat on the left hand side.

© Copyright 2012 – Aura Wellness Center – Publications Division

To see our selection of Yoga teacher training and continuing education courses, please visit the following link.

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If you are a Yoga Teacher, studio owner, blogger, e-zine, or website publisher, and are in need of quality content, please feel free to use my blog entries (articles). Please be sure to reprint each article, as is, including the resource box above. Namaste!


Teaching Yoga for Aerobic Benefits

Saturday, May 19th, 2012

yoga instructor trainingBy Dr. Paul Jerard, E-RYT 500

Although Ashtanga, Power, Vinyasa, and some forms of Hatha Yoga, do offer aerobic benefits and cardiovascular endurance, some Yoga instructors have tried to design it as a high octane workout. Simply put, the physical forms of Yoga were never meant to be a purely physical activity, like running, step aerobics, or weight-lifting tend to be.

The modern health club version of Yoga, that people practice, does tend to emphasize cardiovascular health and endurance-building sessions over the mental and spiritual practices included in traditional Yoga schools. Those, who are interested in practicing a more physically challenging and athletic form, should enroll in Yoga classes at gyms, or they should try Ashtanga, Vinyasa, Flow or Power classes.  These styles work the body with a focus on deriving strength and aerobic benefits from the session.

Tips about Teaching Yoga for Aerobic Benefits

One of the most important aspects about teaching Yoga for aerobic benefits, is a two-fold practice that includes holding challenging poses to build strength, while maintaining a flow from pose to pose, during less challenging postures. To achieve this, your students must be experienced enough to know pose names and positions, as well as to hold the pose with correct technique. Beginners should study forms of Yoga that are slower, and more focused on holding asanas, before moving to the flowing classes, as they will be unable to keep up with the quick flows from pose to pose and will need more in-depth feedback from Yoga teachers. Any slowing down of the series can inhibit aerobic benefits.

Holding asanas for longer time frames will fatigue muscles and make each pose progressively more difficult. As our students will soon discover, the longer a student holds a challenging Yoga posture, combined with a quick flow during a less challenging series, will boost heart activity, and will make it more difficult to breathe correctly. It is especially important that practitioners focus on correct breathing techniques while tired, since the fatigue will make it harder to focus on breath control and synchronization.

Remember that as our students tire out, correct form also tends to become harder to maintain, making this a prime time for injuries. As most Yoga instructors know, we should be especially vigilant about asana technique, as we keep an eye on tired students. If a student needs to stop and catch his or her breath, encourage it. Never sacrifice correct form and alignment for continued aerobic benefit.

When teaching any form of physical Yoga for aerobic benefit, it can be tempting to cut short both the warm-up and the cool down time in order to spend more time on the physically challenging series. However, a Yoga instructor should ensure a proper warm-up series before getting into the more difficult part of the class, and the cool down should be relaxing and invigorating, as tired tension leaves the mind and body.

© Copyright 2012 – Aura Wellness Center – Publications Division

See our testimonials to find out what our graduates have to say about teaching yoga students and our online yoga instructor training school.

If you are a teacher, yoga school manager, blogger, e-zine, or website publisher, and are in need of quality content, please feel free to use my blog entries (articles). Please be sure to reprint each article, as is. Namaste!


Yoga Precautions for Rheumatoid Arthritis

Thursday, September 29th, 2011

yoga teacher trainingBy Faye Martins 

Yoga teachers know that pre-existing physical conditions are important when teaching students. This is covered in a basic 200-hour yoga teacher training. Yet, there are a few new students who may manage to slip by an orientation. Maybe they arrive late, or the staff is helping other new students, but each student should be made aware of precautions for his or her health. Rheumatoid arthritis is one of the many ailments that teachers and students should talk about before practice.

A long-term disease leading to inflammation of the joints and tissues, rheumatoid arthritis (RA) can also affect other organs. Up to 1% of the world’s population is estimated to suffer from rheumatoid arthritis, with women experiencing it three times more often than men. Chronic and debilitating, those with RA may eventually require surgery to maintain movement in fingers, hands and other areas.

Can Yogic techniques help those with RA maintain an active lifestyle? Some studies indicates yes: a study in the United Arab Emirates showed that patients who completed 12 sessions of Raj yoga, with exercise and breathing techniques, showed significant improvements in disease activity scores and health assessments. In 1994, the British Journal of Rheumatology published a study showing arthritis symptoms improving for patients who practiced Yogic techniques and the Rheumatic Diseases Clinics of North America published two studies detailing joint stiffness and pain relief for practitioners in 2002.

Yet, even though Yogic methods may offer significant relief for RA, its practice should be approached with caution. The disease does not follow a steady, progressive course; instead, sufferers experience flare-ups followed by remission. Yoga practice suitable for someone in remission may be different from someone experiencing an active flare-up. RA affects joints symmetrically, in wrists, elbows, hands, shoulders, knees, feet and ankles most frequently. As the disease progresses, joints become more unstable and the patient’s range of motion is restricted.

It is important not to confuse asanas recommended for those with osteoarthritis and those with RA. Multiple joints are not affected in osteoarthritis, nor does it entail ongoing joint damage from inflammatory processes. Holding poses for increased lengths of time to strengthen static muscles is recommended for osteoarthritis but should be avoided for RA. According to a structural Yoga therapy research paper published in 2006, people with moderate to severe RA should avoid “high intensity exercise; prolonged weight-bearing exercise; prolonged immobility in seated or lying positions and stretching past the comfortable endpoint of range of motion,” among other lifestyle triggers.

Asanas involving pressure on the neck should be avoided, while poses like Dandasana or the Butterfly may be beneficial. Pranayama and smooth motions are well suited to Yoga practitioners with RA. Carefully evaluate whether symptoms are in remission or actively inflamed before practice.

© Copyright 2011 – Aura Wellness Center – Publications Division

Do you want to become a yoga teacher? See our selection of online yoga instructor certification courses.


Heart Opening Yoga Poses

Monday, September 26th, 2011

yoga teacher certificationBy Gopi Rao 

The heart area can often become contracted and even caved-in due to difficult and painful life experiences. When the heart area is not expanded, cardiovascular circulation can be compromised, neck and back problems can develop and a sense of lethargy may predominate an individual’s emotional state. Yoga poses that open the heart area are great tools for releasing tension and difficult emotions. Heart-opening Yoga poses also help to lift a Yogi or Yogini’s mood, alleviate depression and bolster energy levels. Two classical heart-opening Yoga poses are Ustrasana or Camel Pose and Dhanurasana or Bow Pose. Before practicing these poses make sure that practicing several Sun Salutations warms up your body.

Ustrasana or Camel Pose 

Camel Pose is one of the most effective Yoga poses for opening up the heart area. Not only does Camel Pose expand the entire front side of the chest cavity, it also stimulates the thyroid and parathyroid glands, which promotes hormonal balance. Camel Pose also improves spinal flexibility.

To practice Camel Pose, start by kneeling on your mat. If your knees are sensitive, place a folded towel or blanket on your mat for added padding. Your knees should be approximately hip-width and your thighs perpendicular to your mat. Do not let your knees splay out, rotate your thighs towards each other and press the backs of your feet firmly against the mat for added support.

Place your hands on your sacrum, fingers pointing down towards your mat. Take one deep, full breath and with your exhale, slowly bend backwards until you reach your edge, which is the point where you feel a deep stretch but not pain. If you have any neck discomfort, keep your chin tucked into your chest. If your neck is not injured, and you are comfortable, you can drop your head back for an added throat and neck stretch. Hold the pose for three to five breaths. Repeat two more times. Release slowly as you come to an upright position. Rest for several minutes in extended Child’s Pose.

Dhanurasana or Bow Pose 

Performing Bow Pose is one of the most effective ways to open and expand the heart-area. In addition, Bow Pose increases spinal flexibility stretches the upper arms, back and neck areas and develops upper-body strength. Bow Poses also stimulates the digestive fire and relieves a variety of intestinal discomforts.

To perform Bow Pose start by resting face down on your Yoga mat with your arms next to your torso, palms facing up. Turn your head and place your chin squarely on your mat. Take one inhale. With your exhale, bend one leg and then the other grasping each ankle with the respective hand. Hold your ankles firmly and press your legs against your hands to come up. Expand your chest like a peacock. Feel full and expanded. Hold for three to five breaths. Repeat two more times and then slowly release and rest in extended Child’s Pose for several minutes to stretch out your lower back.

© Copyright 2011 – Aura Wellness Center – Publications Division

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Yoga for Osteoporosis

Wednesday, September 21st, 2011

yoga teacher trainingBy Faye Martins 

According to the National Osteoporosis Association, the cost of medical care for fractures related to the disease will reach $25 billion by 2005. More prevalent in postmenopausal women and in men over 70, the disorder is associated with the loss of estrogen in females and testosterone in males. Due to the fact that Hatha Yoga is a low-impact exercise that strengthens bones and balances hormones, it is one of many techniques being used in the fight against osteoporosis.

Yogic Prevention for Osteoporosis 

• Weight-bearing asanas build strong bones and strengthen muscles. All poses promote good health.

• Meditation alleviates stress-related and hormonal symptoms before and after menopause, improving mood and strengthening adrenal glands.

• Pranayama complements meditation – boosting the circulatory system, removing toxins, and carrying freshly oxygenated blood to the organs.

Ten Yoga Poses for Osteoporosis 

• Downward-Facing Dog stretches the entire body and refreshes the mind.

• Standing Forward Bend calms the nervous system and lengthens the hamstrings.

• Big Toe Pose stretches and strengthens the hamstrings.

• Bridge Pose revitalizes tired leg muscles and quiets the mind.

• Warrior II increases stamina and promotes good posture.

• Extended Triangle helps to align the body and strengthens ankles, legs, and feet.

• Extended Side Angle Poses elongates the side of the body from the heel to the lifted arm.

• Half Moon Pose strengthens bones, tones muscles, and improves mood. The Half Moon posture can be easily modified for anyone who has difficulty with balance by using a chair, wall, or the corner of a room.

• Extended Hand-to-Big-Toe Pose improves balance and lessens the likelihood of falls.

• Wheel Pose energizes the body and makes the spine, abdomen, arms, and legs stronger and more flexible.

With the use of props and proper adjustments, each of the above-mentioned postures (asanas) can be modified for any Yoga student. All of these poses also help to do the following: tone the body, increase bone density, remove toxins, release negative energy, massage organs, increase circulation, and balance the endocrine system. Maintaining good emotional and physical health helps to improve mood and prevent all kinds of illnesses.

Precautions Regarding Yoga for Osteoporosis 

Anyone with osteoporosis should consult a health care professional and an experienced Yoga instructor in order to prevent the following complications:

• People with low bone density may develop spontaneous fractures to the spine as the body returns to its normal position.

• Backbends may cause stress fractures. A suggested modification is to gently tilt the whole spine without force to avoid pressure that may occur with bending the spine back.

• Some weight bearing exercises can cause hairline fractures of the bones or spine.

For those people who want to prevent osteoporosis and have no other health issues, traditional Yoga is a good option. For anyone with bone-related issues, however, good advice and a slow pace in a gentle Yoga class are the way to go.  Yoga for osteoporosis is a viable solution and a preventative measure.

© Copyright 2011 – Aura Wellness Center – Publications Division

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