Objective: Assess the effectiveness of selected yoga postures in raising bone mineral density (BMD).
Methods: Ten-year study of 741 Internet-recruited volunteers comparing preyoga BMD changes with postyoga BMD changes.
Outcome Measures: Dual-energy x-ray absorptiometric scans. Optional radiographs of hips and spine and bone quality study (7 Tesla).
Results: Bone mineral density improved in spine, hips, and femur of the 227 moderately and fully compliant patients. Monthly gain in BMD was significant in spine (0.0029 g/cm2, P = .005) and femur (0.00022 g/cm2, P = .053), but in 1 cohort, although mean gain in hip BMD was 50%, large individual differences raised the confidence interval and the gain was not significant for total hip (0.000357 g/cm2). No yoga-related serious injuries were imaged or reported. Bone quality appeared qualitatively improved in yoga practitioners.
Conclusion: Yoga appears to raise BMD in the spine and the femur safely.
The Rockefeller University, New York, New York (Dr Lu); Brigham and Women's Hospital, Cambridge, Massachusetts (Dr Rosner); New York University, New York (Dr Chang); and Columbia University, New York, New York (Dr Fishman).
Correspondence: Loren M. Fishman, MD, B Phil (oxon.), 1009 Park Ave, New York, NY 10028 (Loren@sciatica.org).
Dr Fishman funded the study.
The authors declare no conflicts of interest.
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