While we all know that the practice of Yoga can benefit us in the following ways:
- Better balance
- More flexibility
- Tougher Muscles
- Increased Circulation
- Mental Relaxation
Did you know that the practice also helps bones become stronger?
Yoga is a well-rounded practice that benefits the body from the inside out, even affecting the most seemingly permanent part of the body – the bones. Here’s how:
Just like muscles, bones are living tissue that can break down or be built up depending on how we treat them, what we eat and how we move. Even the most basic movements help strengthen bones as well as the muscles surrounding them.
According to Yoga Journal:
Yoga is a weight-bearing exercise, meaning you hold the weight of your body up against gravity. Resisting gravity puts a mild stress on the bones. That stress forces bones into laying down new growth. In this way, yoga is no different from jogging, walking, or playing tennis. But unlike some other weight-bearing activities, yoga won’t damage cartilage or stress the joints. Instead, it lengthens muscles and holds them there, creating tension on the bone.
There are a few poses you can incorporate into your practice to help keep your bones strong:
This weight-bearing pose creates a full body stretch and strengthens your legs, hip, back and core. In triangle, you’re activating the muscles around your bones and joints, strengthening as you stretch!
CHAGRIN YOGI TIP: Having a hard time maintaining balance in this pose? Place a block under your weight-bearing hand until you get the hang of it.
Extended Side Angle Pose
This pose builds strong leg muscles all while twisting the upper body, increasing circulation and ultimately benefitting the bones.
CHAGRIN YOGI TIP: Keep your front leg at a 90 degree angle and implement the use of props if you’re alignment isn’t quite right.
Balance, balance, balance! Tree pose may seem easy to some but it’s gently benefiting strength, flexibility, breath and most of all balance. What’s important about balance? More balance means less accidents, trips, slips and injuries that may hurt your precious bones.
CHAGRIN YOGI TIP: Always remember to place your foot above or below the knee to protect your precious joint.
Feel BIG in this pose by stretching your limbs in opposite directions all while maintaining balance and building your core.
CHAGRIN YOGI TIP: Keep a slight bend in the weight-bearing knee, for increased feeling of strength and balance, protecting the joint.
In poses like Side Plank and Wild Thing where you are balancing on one arm, you have a great opportunity to strengthen muscles around some of your most vulnerable joints (wrists and elbows).
CHAGRIN YOGI TIP: Don’t forget your joints! Keep joints protected during yoga classes by implementing the use of props like blocks and blankets.