Yoga For Better Bones Classes.
(Even If You’re Doing Pilates Darwin NT Or Whatever).
Chris Lalor, the founder of Flametree Darwin yoga studios, says yoga students sometimes say that, for family history reasons, they are worried about bone health and bone density. Therefore, they say they will try Pilates Darwin NT options, or Pilates classes Darwin. It’s one reason why I (Kim), with Chris, have developed special yoga for better bones classes. For the reasons I outline below, you don’t need to look further than Flametree Yoga Studio Darwin for bone density yoga classes, as well as for many top other options. Or if you do Pilates classes (Darwin or wherever), then please also consider yoga for better bones, as well as the other benefits outlined. For the same reasons, these classes provide the best yoga poses for osteoporosis and many other conditions.
Below, I’ve included a list of initial yoga for better bones postures. If you can’t make our online or in-studio classes, even for your FREE first class, consider building them into your own yoga practice.
Overview of the difference between yoga & Pilates classes (Darwin or wherever)
In short, yoga works very well for your bones, via both weight bearing and muscle development.
In addition, as discussed below, yoga is best for your glands, hormones, and stress reduction. All of these issues are central to yoga for better bones, and any concerns you may have around bone density, osteoporosis, and similar issues.
From a common sense point of view, you probably already know that bones get stronger if they are “forced” to do more weight bearing than average.
In this regard, good quality yoga does a lot of standing poses. For such yoga classes, you’re deliberately spending time bearing all of your weight on your legs, and correctly developing muscles to do so.
In addition, yoga has a range of other poses where you bear all of your weight on your arms (like in this Handstand video), or all of your weight on one leg (like in this YouTube Shorts video), or on one leg and one arm (like this Side Plank video). These poses also work especially well for your bones and associated muscles.
As you may know, any of the activities like gym or Pilates classes Darwin (or wherever), spend a lot of time lifting weight. It’s considered a big deal to lift a weight equal to your own weight, with special machines, or otherwise.
But, in yoga, we deliberately focus on correctly lifting our own weight, (and mostly our full weight), for the entire time.
As well as that, yoga has a focus on alignment of the skeleton so as to best lift your weight, and correctly develop your muscles in the process.
My story of the pros and cons of a heavy gym program
As a child and teenager, I (Kim) did gymnastics. But it was a double-edged sword.
On the one hand, I’ve spent a lot of time upside down (such as in handstands). So, I am very comfortable being on my upper body, and knowing that it can support me, as well as lifting my own entire weight. (You can see this in the full yoga handstand picture below, at Fannie Bay, Darwin NT).
I’ve also spent time doing exercises in which the muscles exert pressure on the bones, and thereby straighten them in an appropriate way.
The childhood gymnastics also provided impact through the bones. That is also good, as is the extra weight bearing.
However, in gymnastics, I was exercising up to 25 hours per week, for 8 years. It was an excessive amount of exercise, which in turn can lead to a loss of bone density.
So as a teacher at Flametree Darwin yoga studios, given my history, I’m now very happy to now have the balanced yoga for better bones program that it provides.
(This tiny video has more about how I, Kim, got into yoga, including the strength, flexibility, and balance it gave me.)
Hormones & yoga for better bones
So, in my view, you don’t need to look further than Flametree Darwin yoga studios, and their yoga for better bones, and other classes.
Alternatively, if you’re doing other activities, such as Pilates (Darwin or wherever), then here are some more detailed reasons to include yoga in your fitness regime.
In particular, I’ll outline how and why yoga for better bones works, and works better than Pilates in Darwin, or wherever.
First, bone density is directly related to hormone regulation. Some key hormones are estrogen and progesterone, but other hormones that also regulate your metabolism will contribute to your bone health.
One example is the activity of the thyroid gland, and the hormones it produces. Yoga, and all the stretching and tucking we do in your neck area, is a key part of how yoga is especially good for your thyroid gland functions.
(For an example of tucking the thyroid, see Flametree Darwin yoga studios video on shoulder stand, and for an example of extending the thyroid gland, see the Flametree Yoga Studio Darwin video on Hero pose.)
In addition, progesterone stimulates osteoblasts. They are the cells that build new bones.
Estrogen also stimulates your bones to retain calcium. So, hormone regulation and stimulation is vital in having strong bones.
So, yoga is excellent for your glands and hormones, and has a very strong reputation for such functions. In addition, Flametree Darwin Yoga studios has a special Women Only workshop that has a major focus on hormones like estrogen and progesterone.
Bone density loss from your 30s
Generally, we stop increasing our bone density around the late 30’s. In addition, menopause means we lose bone mass at an accelerated rate.
In particular, the greatest bone density loss is the 5-10 years after menopause. After that, it levels off.
So, the greater the bone mass that women have as they enter menopause, the better.
Obviously, it’s also another good reason for starting or re-starting yoga during or after menopause.
Lifestyle factors including too much exercise, or stress
Lifestyle factors can also have a huge impact on bone heath. Such lifestyle factors include too much alcohol, red meat, and caffeine.
Other lifestyle factors can be excessive exercise, or no exercise. As I mentioned, as a gym student, I (Kim) did too much exercise, and it would not have been good for my bone density.
Stress also affects hormone balance, and that can affect bone health. (I’ve mentioned stress further below, and it has also been extensively discussed in the Flametree Darwin yoga studios blog.)
Sometimes, bone health can also be a family history issue, or issues around some medical conditions or their medications.
A balanced diet, with adequate calcium, plus a good weight bearing exercise program and lifestyle, means that you can deal with stressors. In other words, they will contribute to supporting good bone health.
But you may also already know that restorative yoga is especially good for stress, as well as the other weight bearing aspects of yoga that I talk about next.
Yoga standing poses for weight bearing & bones
Weight bearing exercise, which can be very effectively done with yoga, stimulates bone remodeling and improves absorption of calcium into your bones.
In addition, weight bearing exercise, and exercise that exerts pressure on the bones though muscle contraction, stimulates your bones to retain calcium.
For example, weight bearing through the legs in yoga standing poses, places weight downward through the bones of your legs.
By the way, in at least our special yoga for better bones classes, we won’t have time to look at even introductory versions of poses like Side Plank. However, this pose is yet another example of an excellent yoga for better bones pose. The reason is that it puts all of your weight on just one arm and one leg.
In this Flametree Yoga Studio Darwin video, Christine Lalor demonstrates Side Plank variations.
Alignment via yoga is also excellent for bones
As well as helping your skeleton, the correct muscles used in the standing poses will exert pressure on the bones, and position them in correct alignment.
Correct posture, and alignment of your bones, is critical to keeping your spine vertebrae healthy. (In this regard, Flametree Darwin yoga studios teaches Iyengar yoga, which has a major focus on alignment issues.)
If your posture is poor, the weight is not evenly distributed along your spine.
So, for instance, standing straight and aligned in Mountain Pose, (called “Tadasana” in Sanskrit), and other standing poses, strengthens back muscles and improves posture.
Flexibility helps, because otherwise your spine can gets stuck in one position. In particular, you will have noticed some middle aged and older people with semi-permanent stoops and hunches.
So, building flexibility creates space in the vertebrae. It thereby gives space for the bones to move and not put pressure on each other.
Yoga is obviously famous for improving flexibility. In the process, it obviously puts the body through its full range of motion.
Pilates Darwin NT is one option, but also consider yoga
By the way, I have nothing against Pilates Darwin NT options, or whatever Pilates in Darwin, or wherever, that you may be doing. But for reasons I have outlined, I think that Flametree Darwin yoga studios, yoga for better bones, and yoga in general, should also be an activity you use for your fitness program.
In passing, we know of course that Pilates classes Darwin (or wherever), which are on a mat, have quite a lot of similarities with some types of yoga poses. However, the drawback of such Pilates classes Darwin (or elsewhere), is that the postures are often not done with a degree of precision that maximises the benefits you get.
In addition, I’ve mentioned how important it is to manage and minimise stress. Yoga is uniquely good at this because it works more evenly with both major parts of your nervous system.
These are the so-called sympathetic (“flight and fight”) and parasympathic (“rest and digest”) nervous systems. See our blog for our further discussions of them.
Without yoga, most of us spend too much time just in our sympathetic nervous system. There is more about other Pilates Darwin NT, or Darwin Pilates matters, below.
Best yoga poses for osteoporosis & better bones
In the list of yoga poses below, I’ve briefly outlined a selection of yoga poses that I (Kim) teach in yoga for better bones periodic workshops. Many of these yoga for better bones poses are done in regular Flametree Yoga Studio classes in Darwin, Casuarina, and Palmerston.
You can also do these yoga postures in your yoga at home, or in your online yoga classes at Flametree Darwin yoga studios.
In Flametree Yoga Studio Darwin classes you’ll also get commentary on how and why these poses work for you. I personally find that knowing this helps me keep more motivated about doing the poses, and doing them correctly and fully.
In particular, its common sense that if you are not in a pose, or not in it correctly, then it can’t deliver you the benefits that it is designed to create for you.
Yoga For Better Bones Class One
My first yoga for better bones periodic workshop has a special focus on yoga standing poses. I cover these poses. Whether or not you can get to our classes, online, or in-studio, consider including these postures in your home practice.
- Tadasana; correct posture via this Mountain Pose
- Utthita Hasta Padangusthasana 1 and 2
- Uttanasana (Standing Forward Bend) – spine lengthening and flexibility
- Vrksasana (Tree Pose)
- Adho mukha Savasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose). Hands raised up on blocks or chair
- Trikonasana (Triangle Pose)
- Warrior 2
- Prasaritta Padottanasana (Wide Legged Standing Pose)
- Standing Marichyasana (Twist)
- Half Moon yoga pose (Ardha Chandrasana)
- Gomukasana arms (Cow Faced Arms)
- Ustrasana (Camel Pose)
- Viparita Karani (Legs Up The Wall)
- Corpse yoga pose (Relaxation).
Yoga For Better Bones Class Two
My second yoga for better bones periodic workshop has a special focus on yoga for inversions and yoga for upper body. I include these poses too.
Again, if you can’t make our online classes, even for your FREE first class, consider building them into your own yoga practice.
- Tadasana (Mountain yoga pose)
- Downward dog, forward Virasana (Hero pose)
- Straight arm Chaturanga (Plank Pose)
- Up dog yoga pose – chair and floor
- Handstand preparatory poses, such as Half Angle yoga pose
- Handstands (or continue with Introductory handstand poses)
- Headstand and headstand preparations such as walking feet up wall
- Downward dog
- Forward Virasana
- Shoulder stand with leg variations
- Supported forward Virasana
Flametree’s small group classes for any fitness level
By the way, Flametree Yoga does a lot of mat work, just like the Pilates way in any Pilates studio in the Northern Territory.
If you’ve done a Pilates practice before, then you’ll adapt easily to a Flametree class.
Flametree Yoga teachers also work in similar ways to a Pilates Instructor or personal trainer.
If you never done Pilates, then you’ll still get all the many benefits of yoga that I’ve outlined.
Check out the Flametree class schedules to get started with one of Flametree’s skilled Instructors.
Free first class, & top in-studio deals
If the various outcomes I’ve discussed are important to you, I suggest the first thing to do is to put a Flametree yoga class on your to-do list.
If you’ve in the Darwin region, once you’ve reserved your class just turn up at in-studio classes at Woolner, Palmerston, or Casuarina. (You can just show up, without reservation. But if you want your first class to be FREE, then we do require a reservation is made first. The reservation, via the link, will only take you a minute or two).