3. Cobra Pose (Bhujangasana)
A part of Sun Salutation, this pose increases your bone strength, enabling better lower-back support and an upright posture.
It also helps those with spine deformities as it strengthens the backbone. Since it exerts weight on the hands, arms and pelvis, Cobra Pose also strengthens the bones of these areas and relieves wrist and finger arthritis.
- Lie flat on your stomach with your legs stretched out, and place your hands lightly underneath your shoulders with your palms down and elbows folded upward.
- Press your thighs, navel and the tops of your feet into the ground.
- Inhaling deeply, slowly raise your upper body (head, chest and abdomen) with the support of your arms, bringing your shoulder blades close together.
- Maintaining that position, further stretch your tailbone and the crown of your head back.
- Hold this pose for 15 to 30 seconds, then exhale, lower your torso back to the ground and put your hands beside you.
- Rest for a minute and repeat the a few more times.
Practice caution with the backbend and refrain from overdoing it. Work with a comfortable position in the beginning, stretching your back further with practice.
4. Downward-Facing Dog Pose (Adho Mukha Svanasana)
This pose stretches the arms, legs, calves and spine, exerting pressure on bones and fighting weakness. By building the muscle strength and density of the upper body, this exercise promotes upper-body bone tissue renewal. This maintains the strength of the bones, preventing diseases like arthritis and osteoporosis.
- Lie flat on your stomach with your face and toes pressed to the floor, your elbows folded and your fingertips placed aligned with the center of your torso.
- Keeping your hands and feet pressed to the ground, exhale and lift yourself on your knees, tuck your toes inward and gently lift your hips up.
- Stretch your thighs, straighten your legs and further arch your hips to form an upside-down V shape.
- Spread your fingers apart, straighten your elbows and maintain this position for 30 to 60 seconds, taking deep breaths.
- To release, exhale and bring your knees to the floor, relax for some time and then stand up slowly.
If you have trouble lifting your hips up while keeping your palms on the floor, use a chair for support.