Healthy Bones

I have been interested in bone health since writing my dissertation on osteoporosis. My interest was reignited when I developed osteopaenia following cancer treatment. As osteoporosis/osteopaenia can affect high level athletes as much as post-menopausal women, I know that one particular style doesn’t fit all so I tailor classes and one-to-ones to different levels and interests. I offer a range of different styles with particular attention to bones: Bones for Life (a Feldenkrais-based movement practice specially developed for bones), Pilates for Bones, chair yoga and Bones and Balance Yoga Flow with Weights.

All of these classes focus on improving postural stability, functional alignment and balance and include those exercise practices which have been documented to improve bone density, such as low level resistance and weights(2) as well as gentle vibration(3). Below is a little more detail about each.

Bones and Balance Yoga Flow with weights

Joan Vernikos, who researched bone loss for the American space agency, NASA, for many years rates Yoga highly for bones as Yoga addresses those issues that, according to her, are vital for healthy bones: a good upright posture, alignment of the spine, flexibity, stability, balance and a healthy relationship with gravity.

Bones and Balance Yoga Flow is a safe practice for those with osteopeania as it leaves out those asanas and practices which are contraindicated for those with reduced bone density.

Classes focus on functional alignment of the spine and on improving flexibility, postural stability and balance. We may also use small weights (0.5kg max only), resistance and low level vibration techniques to stimulate bone. Breath work, visualisation and relaxation are also part of this class as medical studies suggest that bone is involved in stress response(4).

To find out more or to book or set up a new class click the link to contact me

Pilates for Bones

These classes are specially designed to avoid those Pilates practices which may be unsuitable for anyone with low bone density and focus on those practices which may benefit bone, such as alignment, flexibity, stability, balance and an improved relationship to gravity.

Pilates has a strong focus on functional alignment of the spine, on flexibity and strength – especially focusing on those muscles which improve stability. As much of Pilates is traditionally taught lying down, the contact with the floor provides wonderful feedback about alignment.

Pilates for Bones includes some standing work to improve balance. We may also use small weights (0.5kg max only), resistance bands and low level vibration techniques to stimulate bone. Breath work, visualisation and relaxation may also be part of this class as medical studies suggest that bone is involved in stress response(4).

To find out more or to book or set up a new class click the link to contact me

Bones for Life

Bones for Life was developed by Ruthy Alon. It is based on the Feldenkrais Method and focuses in particular on those movement teachings that improve body use and functional alignment to protect vulnerable joints, increase postural stability and balance and that may stimulate bone.

Falls prevention is important for anyone with osteoporosis. A study carried out in 2017 found that “Bones for Life increases the stability of organized single-leg stance during movement and successfully carries over into more challenging tasks that require a smaller base of support, like walking, turning, reaching, and climbing”(1).

Bones for Life classes tend to leave you walking out of class with a spring in your step: Learning to walk properly again is an important part of the programme. Ruthy Alon says “When we learn to walk again with a dynamic spring in our step, as humankind has done for centuries, the rhythmic pulsations stimulate growth, fortifying bone tissue in accord with Wolff’s Law”. To re-gain that spring in your step, Bones for Life explores the distribution of pressure in the foot and teaches movement processes that restore springiness in the knees, improve freedom of movement as well as stability of the hip joint and spine.

Exercise processes that may help to stimulate bone include the use of low level resistance and weights (2) as well as gentle vibration exercises(3).

Bones for Life combines perfectly with any of the above exercise disciplines as well as with Chair Yoga.

To find out more or to book or set up a new class click the link to contact me

If you are new to any of my classes, please fill in this health form before joining a class.

References: (1) Carol A Montogomery, Cynthia M Allen, et al (Summer 2017) Functional Neurology, Rehabilitation, and Ergonomics. Vol 7(2), pp47-61; (2) various studies; (3) Clinton Rubin at Stony Brook; (4) Karsenty et al (2019). Cell Metabolism. Mediation of the Acute Stress Response by the Skeleton