In their book called Yoga for Osteoporosis, Loren Fishman MD and Ellen Saltonstall MD, identify and name 13 yoga poses that are effective in preventing and reversing bone loss. I read about this in an article in The New York Times. The poses were listed as follows:
tree, triangle, warrior II, side-angle, twisted triangle, locust, bridge, supine hand-to-foot I, supine hand-to-foot II, straight-legged twist, bent-knee twist and corpse pose
As a full time yoga teacher for the past 18 years, and one whose students are mostly above the age of 50, I looked at this list and thought that most of my students would need to do a few warm-ups and a bit of rearranging in the sequencing to make the poses doable and enjoyable and non-injurious. So I created the following practice sequence which includes the 13 poses they identified.
According to the article, these poses proved beneficial in building bone if they were held for 30 seconds on each side. But I personally feel that staring at my watch or setting a timer when I practice is not conducive to a state of yoga, or union, of mind, body, and spirit. It pulls me out of myself and yoga is supposed to foster a sense of inner awareness. So Instead of being a slave to watching the clock or listening for a timer to go off, I suggest first setting a stopwatch for 30 seconds and then counting the number of long yogic breaths you take before your stopwatch reaches the 30-second mark. Then, all you have to do in each pose is count the number of breaths you identified to know you’ve held the pose for at least the recommended time.
Yoga pose names are sometimes hard to translate, so if you don’t recognize the name, do an internet search to see what the pose looks like and go from there. You can draw a little stick figure so you’ll remember what it means. I hope you enjoy the practice and knowing that you are doing something proactive for your health! Let me know your feedback or questions by commenting on this post!
Wind-relieving pose > Reclining tree vinyasa > Supta Pada II - 3x on each leg
Wind-relieving > Supta Pada 1 vinyasa - 3x on each leg
Urdhva Hastasana and Crescent stretches
Warrior 2 - Right and left
Side Angle Pose - right and left
Dancing Warrior Vinyasa > Triangle pose
Seated preparation for Tree pose
Wide leg forward bend
Prasarita Twist - Peace sign pose
Reclining bent-knee twist
Reclining straight-legged twist