Bones are weakened to the breaking point by hereditary, hormonal, metabolic and nutritional factors. Exercise plays an inestimably large part in our bones’ strength and even their shape. Although they are sometimes necessary, the medications have serious side-effects. We recommend our yoga program, that can be done safely by even quite debilitated people. The peer-reviewed published results of 741 patients followed over a 10 year period show that it improves bone mineral density in every-two-year follow-up studies.
The 12-minute DVD that now has been proven successful in our trial presents each of the 12 poses for 30 seconds, with instruction. We asked people to also obtain spine and hip X-rays before beginning the study, and after two years doing the yoga. Not everyone did, but in more than 100,000 hours of people doing the DVD, 83% with osteoporosis, there are no detected or reported fractures to date. This program is effective in people of all ages, with or without osteopenia or osteoporosis.
In the two years before starting yoga, patients lost bone mineral density in spine, hip and femur (left oval), but after two years of yoga, they gained in all three categories (right oval).
The study showed significant improvement in bone mineral density in the spine and femur. In 2 out of three measures, the hip was also significantly strengthened. Here are the graphical representations of the improvements on two of the three statistical measures:
Many of these poses are excerpted from our books, Yoga for Arthritis, WW Norton 2008, and Yoga for Osteoporosis W.W. Norton, Published 2009. Many of the poses and adaptations here reflect the work of B.K.S. Iyengar and to a lesser extent John Friend. They would not be here but for the generous and creative work of co-author Ellen Saltonstall, and the yogi-models Sally Hess, Nikki Marshall, and Eric Small.
We compared the change in bone mineral density measured in the two years prior to beginning the yoga on the DVD with the same change in the two years after beginning the DVD. Note that the average values prior to starting the study were all negative, and the average values after two years of yoga were all positive. The DVD may be purchased through PayPal on the bottom of the home page of this website.
The content of the DVD is streaming at You tube.
Detailed comparison: Before starting yoga (dark grey) vs. after two years practicing the 12-minute DVD daily(light grey):
The study shows that the yoga in the DVD, done daily for two years, actually builds bone significantly in the spine and the femur, the two most frequent sites of fracture. We have now begun a second “dose – response” study, matching how often and how vigorously one does the yoga with the amount their bones are strengthened. In this study people will go to a yoga teacher certified in our method at least once each two weeks to grade the quantity and quality of their yoga. After two years we will again compare the amount and quality of yoga with the gains in bone mineral density. We are conducting additional trainings this year, but at present if none of the certified teachers are accessible to you, the study is also feasible through Skyping with any of the teachers. The teachers are listed by state. Only the senior teachers whose names appear in bold are able to teach certifying courses for other teachers, but every certified teacher listed can teach the osteoporosis protocol to students.
At the bottom of the chart, below the list of certified teachers are teachers who have taken the course, passed the tests, but do not have five years of teaching experience at this point. We use the name ‘Registered’ to group them. Their names will be added to the certified teachers’ list once their fifth year of teaching is completed.
1. When does the study start and end?
The study has already begun, with no known closing date.
2. What is required of me to be in the study?
Two DEXA Scans:
- One DEXA scan done within six months of starting the study.
- One or more DEXA scans before that. Usually that means two years earlier, but sometimes it is only one year, and sometimes it is three or four or more years.
Completed Induction Form: http://sciatica.org/?page_id=940
Arrange to meet with certified yoga teacher every other week for two years: The state-by-state listing of certified teachers can be found at:
Track progress online. Email Liza@sciatica.org for details and questions.
3. Do I need to work with a certified teacher every other week? What is the cost?
You can work with a teacher for 30 min or 60min. Yes, please find a list of certified teachers here. You are required to meet with them every other week in person or via Skype. Costs vary per teacher. Please contact the teacher directly to learn about rates and times.
4. Why must participants pay for the sessions in a study?
This is an unfunded study. The certified yoga teachers should be paid for their work. You and the certified teacher can arrange to your liking. You will be getting teaching that is of proven value. If you arrange to have several people form a class, cost will go down accordingly.
5. When does the study officially begin for me? Does it start after my first session with the certified teacher?
6. Do I need both DEXA scans and labs to join the study?
Not necessarily , you do need a DEXA scan from the past 6 months, and another one from earlier in your life, and if you have either osteopenia or osteoporosis, you need the blood and urine tests. If you do not have either osteopenia or osteoporosis, you do not need the blood or urine tests. If any of the tests are abnormal, then you must see the appropriate specialist(s) and correct the value(s) before entering the study. In any event, you need to have a DEXA scan again after 24 months of practicing the Yoga for Osteoporosis poses daily.