Yoga for Osteoporosis and Aging

We're always looking for more data to add to our index, so if you know of a yoga research study that you don't see here, pass it along to us. Send relevant scholarly articles to Yoga Alliance® supports the continued research on yoga’s benefits, and we will continue to update the page with more research on more health topics. 

Last updated: July 13, 2017

Yoga Alliance recommends that any individuals with health concerns consult with a qualified health care practitioner to discuss whether yoga is right for them, but we are aware that yoga can be used in the medical treatment context by appropriately qualified and licensed healthcare practitioners. Yoga Alliance credentials do not serve as qualifications for the diagnosis or treatment of health conditions.

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“The results demonstrate that a relatively short-term Bikram yoga practice might significantly improve vascular endothelial function in middle-aged and older adults.”
–Hunter et al (2017), Journal of Bodywork and Movement Therapies


“Eight weeks of regular yoga practice resulted in improved working memory performance that was mediated by an attenuated response to stress as measured by self-report stress and objective salivary cortisol measurements. This trial offers evidence for non-traditional physical activity interventions such as yoga that may be helpful in restoring HPA [hypothalamus–pituitary–adrenal balance in older adults, thereby preventing cognitive decline.”
–Gothe et al (2016), Biological Psychology



“The findings suggest that older adults can make significant improvements in their health and well-being by engaging in low intensity Thai Yoga exercise.”
–Noradechanunt et al (2016), Journal of Science and Medicine in Sport



“Significant improvements in physical function and muscle-specific lower-extremity strength occur with the regular practice of a modified Hatha yoga program designed for seniors.”
–Wang et al (2016), Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine



“The Insomnia Severity Index and diary-reported sleep onset latency, sleep efficiency, and number of nights with insomnia were significantly improved at post-intervention versus pre-intervention (p < .05). . . This study supports the feasibility and acceptability of a standardized evening yoga practice for middle-aged to older women with OA [osteoarthritis].”
– Taibi et al (2011), Sleep Machine



“The results indicate that yoga may be a promising intervention to manage FoF [fear of falling] and improve balance, thereby reducing fall risk for older adults.”
– Schmid et al (2010), Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation



“Yoga appears to be an effective way to build bone mineral density after menopause.”
– Fishman et al (2014), Topics in Geriatric Rehabilitation



“The study measured effects of Sit ‘N’ Fit Chair Yoga on pain and physical and psychological functioning. . . There was greater improvement in depression and life satisfaction in the yoga group than in the control group.”
– Park et al (2014), Holistic Nursing Practice



“Oxidative stress contributes to the process of aging as well as a variety of chronic degenerative diseases. There are indications that psychological stress increases oxidative stress whereas relaxation decreases it. . . The study suggests that a brief low cost lifestyle intervention based on yoga reduces oxidative stress.”
– Yada et al (2005), Indian Journal of Physiology and Pharmacology



“Yoga interventions resulted in small improvements in balance and medium improvements in physical mobility in people aged 60+ years.”
– Youkhana et al (2015), Age and Aging



“Yoga is a potential intervention to reduce fear of falling and improve balance in older adults.“
– Nick et al (2015), PM&R Journal



“[It] can be concluded that combined approach of yoga (Kriya, Suryanamaskara, Asana, Pranayama, and Meditation) significantly increases the basal level of [growth hormone] and [dehydroepiandrosterone sulfate] in the blood, thus contributing in promoting healthy aging.”
– Chatterjee et al (2014), Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine



“Yoga has potential utility as a complementary and alternative therapy for chronic diseases and can help older adults to maintain their health.“– Eda (2014), Journal of Clinical Research & Bioethics



“We found that, among healthy sedentary menopausal women, yoga appears to improve menopausal quality of life.“
– Reed et al (2014), American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology



“Yoga is shown to have a greater effect on range of motion at the shoulder and hip than static stretching in a healthy population. With further positive results, yoga may prove to have an important therapeutic role with joint restrictions.“
– Sager et al (2014), International Journal of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation



“It may be concluded that adoption of yoga on long term basis would bring proper control of blood sugar and lipid profile levels in elderly women.“
– Saha et al (2014), Journal of Yoga & Physical Therapy



“The results of this study establish that trataka [yoga practices] can be used as a technique to enhance cognition in the elderly.“
– Talwadkar (2014), International Journal of Yoga



“Yoga based-intervention appears beneficial to improve several domains of cognitive function in elderly living in residential care homes.”
– Hariprasad et al (2013), Indian Journal of Psychiatry



“Biomechanical profiles [of joint angles, joint movements of force and muscle activities] generated from this investigation can be used to inform experienced instructors in their design of yoga programs for older adults. Using this information, instructors…can select appropriate postures…to create comprehensive programs which affect a variety of joints and muscle groups.”
– Salem et al (2013), Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine



“These results demonstrate the beneficial effects of Iyengar yoga on balance and mobility in older people. High rates of intervention adherence also demonstrate the feasibility and participant enjoyment of the yoga program.”
– Tiedemann et al (2013)The Journal of Gerontology



“These preliminary findings suggest yoga may offer an effective intervention for improving sleep, mood, perceived stress, and blood pressure in older women with [restless leg syndrome].”
– Innes et al (2012), Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine



“This is the first study to quantify the physical demands of yoga pose variations, using biomechanical methodologies. Our findings suggest that common, long-held conceptions about pose modifications can be counter-intuitive.”
– Yu et al (2012), Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine



“…the regular practice of yoga may lead to improved range of motion in the performance of activities of daily living in elderly women.“
– Gonçalves et al (2011), Archives of Gerontology and Geriatrics



“Reduction in State and Trait anxiety score signifies that yoga has both immediate as well as long-term effect on anxiety reduction. Thus yoga helps to improve the mental health in both [young and senior participants].”
– Gururaja et al (2011), International Journal of Yoga



“Our findings showed that Laughter Yoga is at least as effective as group exercise program in improvement of depression and life satisfaction of elderly depressed women.”
–Shahidi et al (2010), International Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry



“After 6 months of silver yoga exercises, the sleep quality, depression, and health status of older adults were all improved.“
– Chen et al (2009), International Journal of Nursing Studies



“At the end of the 24-week period [of the silver yoga exercise programme], the physical fitness of subjects [from senior activity centres]…had significantly improved…had better physical fitness than subjects in the control group.”
–Chen et al (2008), Journal of Clinical Nursing


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