Yoga to Strengthen Weak Bones
 

When most of us think of weak bones, we picture our mothers. Or grandmothers. With so many other menopause symptoms on our minds, we’re too young to worry about bone health. But weak bones are less a symptom than a medical condition. And we have to take the important steps right now to ensure healthy bone tissue later in life.

If you’re concerned about---or predisposed to---weak bones, see your physician. You should also think about how yoga can make a difference.

How Can Yoga Help?
A regular yoga routine can promote healthy muscles, bones, and joints on many levels. Weight-bearing yoga poses can stimulate bone development, enhance both your strength and flexibility, and build stronger bones in your upper and lower body. Yoga also helps to balance your hormones, which limits bone loss. Finally, different yoga positions can improve your balance and coordination, helping to prevent falls.

Try the Downward Facing Dog Pose
The Downward-Facing Dog Pose is a weight-bearing pose for the upper body. It helps improve circulation and promotes healthy glands, but also strengthens the bones in your arms, wrists, hands, and shoulders. The right props can also enhance the impact of the Downward-Facing Dog Pose. Placing a wedge under your hands, for example, eases pressure in your wrist joints.

Suggested Props and Equipment
Yoga Mat. Invest in a good quality sticky mat to provide a non-slippery surface for a variety of different yoga routines. Mats come in a handful of shapes, sizes, and colors. A 68” mat is standard and should be fine for nearly all of your yoga needs. Select a thickness---typically either 1/8” or 1/4”--- based on your individual level of comfort.

Bolster. There many different types and shapes of yoga bolsters, but all are designed to provide support and comfort in restorative yoga poses. When placed in line with your spine, a good bolster will help your chest expand and make breathing easier. Choose from among round, standard, or junior bolsters for maximum comfort.

Blankets. Your blanket can be an extremely versatile prop in many yoga poses. Stack two or more for a stable surface in shoulderstands or drape a blanket over your body during final relaxation. And if you’re allergic to wool, try a recycled fiber yoga blanket.