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Yoga may help build bones, prevent osteoporosis

Yoga for bone health
Yoga is a low-impact weight-bearing activity that can help build bones.

“Yoga is a low-impact weight bearing activity, and weight-bearing helps us build bones. Therefore, yoga can be a great therapy for osteoporosis,” said Ashley Detterbeck, physical therapist.

A pilot study

A recent yoga study took 741 worldwide volunteers to test the correlation of yoga and bone health. Of those volunteers, 227 people did 12 assigned yoga poses daily or every other day.

At the beginning of the study, researchers collected data on participant’s bone density measurements, blood and urine chemistry and X-rays of their spines and hips.

After 10 years of practicing yoga for the study, all 227 participants showed improved bone density in the spine and femur.

The process of bone building

Osteoporosis can cause broken bones in as many as half of all women and a quarter of men older than 50.

“As we age, our bones don’t produce the amount of cells needed to be strong,” Detterbeck said.

Osteocytes are our bone-making cells.

“Any low-impact weight-bearing activities can help stimulate osteocytes, whereas high-impact weight bearing increases the risk of fracture as we age,” she said.

Yoga can be especially beneficial for those who have trouble running or riding bike.

Try these 12 yoga poses

Study participants practiced these 12 yoga poses to increase their bone density or counteract development of osteoporosis.



Related Shine365 yoga and wellness stories:

Vide: Yoga for athletes: 3 beginner poses (VIDEO)

Yoga relieves cancer therapy side effects: A survivor story (VIDEO)

Build bones with simple weight-bearing exercise

12 yoga poses for bone health - illustration

6 responses to “Yoga may help build bones, prevent osteoporosis”

  1. Alethia Sandra Helpsmeet

    It is great to see yoga given the attention and credit it deserves for helping create bone density. However the poses suggested in the article are difficult to access for a beginner or someone who is not used to moving much, and how one does the poses is important to how much the pose helps build bone density. Alignment Yoga and other styles of yoga that emphasize action and resistance in a pose can help students access the bone building benefits.

    1. Kirsten Shakal, Shine365 Editor

      Thank you for your feedback, Alethia. We appreciate it.

      We do share some beginner yoga poses here, https://shine365.marshfieldclinic.org/bone-joint/yoga-athletes/, and readers are welcome to browse our other yoga stories and poses here: https://shine365.marshfieldclinic.org/tag/yoga/. Perhaps some of these might better fit a beginner.

      Thank you for reading Shine365. -Kirstie

  2. Patty Bakken

    Yoga classes are taught at the Marshfield Clinic Woodruff Center. Call or look on line for the class schedule.

    1. Kirsten Shakal, Shine365 Editor

      Thanks for sharing with our readers, Patty!

      Readers can call 1-715-358-0610 for more information.


  3. Carol Hannah

    I was going to be accepted into this study. Loren said I was the only person taking prednisone he would consider accepting into the study, doing so because I am a disciplined exerciser. I had already had all the required tests except one. Marshfield endocrinologist (no longer with Marshfield, thank heaven) refused to authorize this test.No amount of explaining about this study would help. He just wanted to push pills as the solution. Am still very bitter about this. Wish doctors would listen to patients and try to understand our concerns and needs.

    1. Kirsten Shakal, Shine365 Editor

      Hi, Carol. I'm sorry you had a poor experience. Though it occurred a while back, we do appreciate your feedback as it helps us improve as an organization.

      Thank you for reading Shine365. -Kirstie

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