Strong for Life
Want to ensure a healthy, pain-free yoga practice for years (and years) to come? This fun and simple three-part plan is for you.
Injury-proof your body and ensure a healthy, pain-free practice for years to come with this vital, science-backed plan for boosting bone health.
ASK SEVERAL YOGIS what motivates their practice, and you’re sure to get a range of responses, from “stress relief ” to “spiritual growth.” What you probably
won’t hear: “a strong skeleton.” But new research shows that yoga is surprisingly protective when it comes to staving off fractures and helping to prevent osteoporosis, a bone-thinning disease that will cause approximately half of women age 50 and older to break a bone. (Men get osteoporosis too, but 80 percent of sufferers are female, likely because women typically have smaller, thinner bones and because production of estrogen— a female hormone that protects against bone loss—drops off sharply at menopause.) The hard truth is that by the time you hit the age when your skeleton becomes more brittle, it’s much more challenging (though not impossible) to build protective bone mass. Which is why the best time to focus on increasing your bone mass reservoir is now, says Loren Fishman, MD, a Columbia University physiatrist specializing in rehabilitative medicine who studied under B.K.S. Iyengar.
Ready to be more proactive about protecting your bones? Our three-part plan reveals which yoga poses may be particularly beneficial, regardless of your age, as well as new thinking behind the role of nutrition and highimpact, weight-bearing exercises on bone health. Read on for the latest research-backed ways to strengthen your lovely bones.