Ground Reaction Forces (GRFs) in 28 Hatha Yoga Poses Google+



Podcast #61 – Ground Reaction Forces in 28 Yoga Poses

Jules and I talk about ground reaction forces (GRFs) in 28 Hatha yoga poses. Why do we need to know about GRFs? Because when we measure those forces it helps us understand how yoga poses impact bones and possibly bone mass.

Jules Mitchell is a yoga teacher and educator who specializes in biomechanics of yoga asana.


  • What is Ground Reaction Force (GRF)? In biomechanics it’s the force exerted from the ground to the body when they make contact.
  • Newton’s 3rd law: for every action there is a reaction.
  • Running is a high impact sport that is good for bone density (2.5-3x bodyweight).
  • When bones are exposed to compressive forces the bones deposit more bone minerals and become denser.
  • Producing muscle force also loads bone.
  • Using a force plate, researchers measured GRFs in the hands and feet during sun salutations, warrior poses and arm balances.
  • The 28 yoga poses produced forces less than 2x body weight which means that yoga can be categorized as a low impact exercise, similar to walking in terms of GRFs. 
  • Read Jules’s full review of the study here on our yoga research site.

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