A DEXA scan (the measure of bone density) is an important part of post-menopausal women’s health care. We lose bone mineral density as we age, making us vulnerable to broken hips or spinal injuries due to bone loss/strength. When I started taking yoga classes and heard that alignment based yoga could help strengthen bones, I thought that might be a stretch – – it seemed too simple! Before I started studying with Dina 2 – 1/2 years ago, my hip and spine bone loss progression had been consistent at 5% + every other year. This year, for the first time in 10 years of DEXA scans, my bone loss measured -0-% in my spine and less than 1% in my hips! My diet, medication intake and day to day exercise regimen is the same. The ONLY thing different between the past two years and previous years is my alignment-based yoga practice with Dina. Not only does yoga enrich my life mentally, physically and emotionally, I now feel certain that an alignment based practice can help us age in health and strength. Dina, thank you for sharing your knowledge and teaching gifts with us!
A regular practice of Alignment Based Yoga can lessen bone density loss. When the bones are more in alignment the force of gravity is stronger, thus directing that force onto the bones rather than the joints. This takes the skill of a teacher who knows how to direct the students, with specific queuing, to achieve aligning the bones over steady practice and time. Our bones do not align naturally and over time gravity pulls the body asymmetrically causing less alignment. General yoga classes do not focus on detailed alignment but rather just doing the pose. It’s great to see medical tests proving what the Iyengar Yoga community has known all along. Yes, practicing alignment based yoga will strengthen the bones in your body!