Assess the effectiveness of selected yoga postures in raising bone mineral density (BMD).
Ten-year study of 741 Internet-recruited volunteers comparing preyoga BMD changes with postyoga BMD changes.
Dual-energy x-ray absorptiometric scans. Optional radiographs of hips and spine and bone quality study (7 Tesla).
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.
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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