5. Bridge Pose (Setu Bandha Sarvangasana)
By stretching your muscles and limbs, this exercise strengthens the bones in the chest, thighs and hips, and promotes the growth of new cells. It also strengthens the backbone.
As this yoga exercise is great for building bone endurance, it may be effective in reversing primary osteoporosis in the long run by fighting bone weakness.
- Lie flat on your back and align your feet 10 to 12 inches away from your hips and put your arms at your sides with your palms down.
- Inhale, exert pressure on your feet and gently lift your lower back, middle back and upper back.
- Taut your thighs, making sure they are parallel to the ground, and align your knees to your ankles.
- Roll your arms under your lifted back, clasping your hands together.
- Pushing your hands on the floor, try to lift yourself further up, bringing your shoulder blades closer together.
- Maintain this position for 30 to 60 seconds and keep breathing easily.
- Unclasp your hands, roll them out and gently bring your upper body back to the ground with an exhale.
Ask someone to place soft pillows under your lifted back for support.
Note: Do not perform this pose if you have a neck or shoulder injury.
6. Extended Triangle Pose (Utthita Trikonasana)
This is an excellent exercise for relief from osteoporosis hands and leg cramps. It exerts pressure on the calves, thighs, ankles, knees and arms, and strengthens the bones in these areas.
It also provides flexibility to flat feet that, due to inactivity, may become painfully rigid. If practiced regularly, this exercise can also stretch out the ankles and feet to create an arch.
- Stand upright, place your hands on your hips and place your feet 4 feet apart from each other.
- Point your right foot outward 90 degrees, and turn your left foot inward so that your heels align with each other.
- Firm your thighs, and with your hands still on your hip bones, exhale and slowly bend your torso to the right so that your right hip bone is above your right thigh bone.
- Reach down to your right shin or ankle with your right hand, straighten your tailbone and breathe deeply.
- Slowly lift your left arm toward the ceiling and stretch your collarbones.
- Maintain this position for 30 to 60 seconds.
- To release, inhale and press firmly through your left heel as you lift your torso and slowly lower your arms.
- Repeat on the opposite side.
Practice this exercise against the wall for support if you feel unsteady.
Note: Do not do this yoga exercise if you have low blood pressure or are experiencing headaches or diarrhea.
7. Locust Pose (Salabhasana)
When done on a regular basis, Locust Pose can improve spine flexibility and strengthen the thigh bones. This pose stimulates the backbone and strengthens the bones in the arms and legs by exerting weight in these areas.
- Lie flat on your stomach, your arms by your sides with palms facing outward, and your feet apart with the toes pressing downward.
- Keeping your lower body firm, inhale and lightly lift your shoulders by exerting pressure on your palms and then lift your head keeping your neck long (do not arch the neck back).
- On your exhale, lift your chest and arms, keeping them parallel to the ground and bring your shoulder blades slightly closer together.
- Exert a little pressure on your knees and lift them up slightly. This will exert pressure and tilt the pelvis while drawing the navel in.
- Maintain this position for 15 to 30 seconds, keeping your breath smooth and even.
- On an exhalation, slowly release your upper body to the ground and your arms back down in resting position.
- Rest for a minute and repeat the exercise a few times.
Keep a rolled up blanket under your abdomen and thighs for support.
Note: Do not practice this pose if you have a headache, neck injury or chronic back pain.