Teaching Yoga to Seniors & People with Osteoporosis

yogapicYoga is amazing.

It helps us relax, relieves depression and anxiety, and helps us get back into shape. Sadly, not everyone can practice yoga with the same agility and energy, and for people who already have problems with their bones, back, and neck (usually seniors), yoga can actually make the problem worse, instead of relieving pain.

To make the matter even more complicated, there are huge differences among seniors as well: some are able to run marathons at the age of 80, while some cannot get out of bed in the morning in their 70s.

What should you know about teaching yoga to seniors or those with osteoporosis? Read on to find out more.

How Can Yoga Help People with Osteoporosis?

Osteoporosis is a degenerative bone disease which means that you will experience significant bone loss, which will increase your chances of fractures. Yoga, as a gentle exercise which focuses on strength, alignment, and balance, can help people with osteoporosis to avoid injuries, and there are certain weight-bearing yoga poses which even stimulate bone growth. Yoga is practiced through deliberate, slow, and controlled movements which can help you strengthen your spine and hips.

YogaBalanceStrengthening the Bones

There are exercises which can help strengthen the bones, but if you are not careful or keep pushing yourself even after you feel pain, you will end up hurt. To fully stretch your body, try bridge pose: lying on your back, raise your chest and hips upwards and stay in this position for half a minute or a minute. It will stretch your spine well, and you can add a block under your sacrum in case you need more support.

Another position which will do you good is the half moon pose: stand on your left leg, and try to touch the floor with your left hand while extending your right hand towards the ceiling and your right leg upwards as much as you can. If this is too difficult for you, you can add a block on the floor so you can balance your right hand on it.

Problems with Joints and Bones

If you have osteoporosis, you should be careful about your fragile bones. There are certain yoga poses which you should avoid, such as forward bends, different twists, and abdominal flexing poses. Certain balancing poses can present a problem for people with weakened hips and balance, so using chairs or walls for support can help you exercise and not hurt yourself. In addition, you should take osteoporosis supplements, calcium, and vitamin D to ensure that your bones get everything they need.

Before you decide to take up a yoga class, do ask around to see who the teacher is. It often happens that centers put the least experienced people in charge of senior classes which can result in injuries. The best thing would be if you just watched the first class or two, so you get the impression about the class in general. Eventually, you will be able to practice yoga and will be surprised at how much better you will feel.

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About the Author

Norah Martin is the editor of High Style Life, a website dedicated to life and all the little pleasures it brings. The website encourages you to live your life and commit yourself to living it to the fullest, the style will come as a natural extension of your being.

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