Is it Safe for Seniors with Undiagnosed Osteoporosis to do Forward Bends?

Is it Safe for Seniors with Undiagnosed Osteoporosis to do Forward Bends?

Question

I just finished a module of my 500 hour YTT on Adaptations and we touched on seniors and osteoporosis.  My teachers said that we should assume that most seniors have some form of osteoporosis, and therefore avoid forward bending, focusing more on spinal extension in the upright position.  Taken from my manual: “There are a number of seniors with undiagnosed osteoporosis who should avoid forward bending at all.  Also, the most common area for spinal fracture in seniors is the front of the thoracic spine; rounding over in a forward bend can literally be the ‘straw that breaks their back’.”

Answer from Sherry

I so  love this question, because I have a very strong opinion about this topic.  Which is…. are we saying that our Seniors can no longer bend for fear of fracturing their spines?  How fear-mongering is that attitude?  What about if they dropped something on the floor, or have to feed their pet and bend down?  I find this “no-no-never” attitude about bending unrealistic and even counter-serving for our senior population. What we need to do is teach our Seniors how to bend safely.

Check out the top video below for ways to keep Seniors safe in forward bends.
I believe in education and empowerment of our Seniors. Yes, we must acknowledge that Osteoporosis is very common in this student community and be mindful of movements that can be precarious for this condition.  But, we have seen our share of students improve their bone density scores by practicing Yoga – so sprinkling in encouragement is just as important as offering caution.  It is a delicate balance each Teacher must learn and embrace. And I will end it with Justine’s wise words when asked “Should Seniors not bend?”…”It depends…!”

Here are two more Academy videos that discuss this topic: