The tragedy of broken bones for the elderly is one of my earliest childhood memories.
When I was 6 years old, my grama fell, broke her hip, went to the hospital, and the next thing I knew she died. It seemed so sudden and frightening. That’s how my 6-year-old mind connected breaking hips with death.
Most of us never really think about our skeleton. Do you?
Even after that happened to my grama I grew up without any real concern over the health of my bones until my dad fell and broke his femur when he was 83. He went into the hospital and then passed away just a few months later in a rehab facility. All that fear of fragile bones came rushing back to me.
Falling and breaking a hip seems like an inevitable part of aging.
But, here’s the thing. Low bone density might be a common condition as we age. Fractures, though, are not inevitable.
A few years after my dad passed away, I had my first DXA scan. I was 53.
My journey into the wily and contradictory world of osteoporosis screening protocols and treatment began that day (see more about that in my blog post Doubting Your DXA.)
Being told I already have osteopenia, scared me knowing I have a family history of advanced osteoporosis (it’s 65% genetic!) But I was also grateful to have the information so early on in my life.
Everyone’s journey with bone health is unique.
For me, the bone health path includes working with my doctor on post-menopausal support and addressing other contributing health conditions that I have (it’s never just one thing, right?)
I’m vigilant about my gut health and refining my nutrition, my exercise focus, and my stress management – factors that have a direct effect on our skeleton as we age.
This sounds simple, but I know first-hand it’s not so easy to make changes to your diet & lifestyle. I lean on some other skills to help with that.
Practicing yoga since the early 1990s, and teaching yoga since 2009, I’m certified by Dr. Loren Fishman in Yoga for Osteoporosis, and certified in Accessible Yoga by Jivana Heyman. (More about yoga below.)
I teach a weekly online Yoga for Vital Bones class, designed specifically to benefit our bones.
I’m also a certified nutrition consultant and Functional Medicine and National Board-Certified Health & Wellness coach.
One of my mentors in nutrition instilled in me this mindset:
Since spending the last few years focusing on nourishing myself on all levels, my bones are holding strong. It will be a lifelong journey.
I am passionate about sharing what I’ve learned and helping women understand their bones, nourish their bones, and build stronger bones so they can enjoy a long life of mobility and independence.
I firmly believe that the crux of our health care is self-care enriched with collaboration, support, information, and grit.
For my clients I am 100% their ally supporting them on how to develop effective self-care practices, research solutions, troubleshoot obstacles, and feel fully empowered making their healthiest and safest choices to not fear their bones so they can live their life with confidence and vitality.
I’ve collated 7 tools using the acronym B.R.E.A.T.H.E. as your guide.
It’s for you if you have osteoporosis or osteopenia, or have a family history of low bone density, and you want to quickly learn how to:
The guide breaks down for you the 7 key tools you can use to know your bones, feed your bones, and not fear your bones as you age.
Inhale Inspiration, Exhale Action with my free, easy guide here.
Well, first of all there is indeed magic in the number 3 (I even wrote a blog about it), the color green evokes strength and vitality, and circles indicate totality, wholeness, focus, timelessness, and cyclic movements.
Mary Beth Ray is a certified yoga teacher, holistic nutrition consultant, and Functional Medicine and National Board-Certified Health & Wellness coach. She helps folks understand and nourish their bones, build stronger bones, and, most importantly, not fear their bones so they can enjoy a long life of mobility and independence. MB firmly believes that the crux of our health care is self-care enriched with collaboration, support, information, and grit. Practicing with MB you will hone a more graceful engagement with your everyday life. To learn more, visit 3greencircles.com
After a 30-year career in educational publishing, Mary Beth Ray dove into her encore career helping women to understand their bones, nourish their bones, and build stronger bones so they can enjoy a long life of mobility and independence.
Through a combination of yoga, nutrition, and health coaching techniques, she weaves together empowering nutrition, mindfulness, and movement practices and helps you create practical, functional changes for lasting impact on your wellbeing as you age. She believes health care is self-care enriched with collaboration, support, information, and grit
Studying and practicing yoga since the early 90s, she has been teaching yoga since 2009 and is registered with Yoga Alliance as an E-RYT500 teacher and YACEP, a continuing education provider for other yoga teachers. Mary Beth is a National Board-Certified Health and Wellness coach, a graduate of the Functional Medicine Coaching Academy, and she has a certification in Holistic Nutrition Consulting from Bauman College. She is a member of the National Association of Nutrition Professionals and the International Association of Yoga Therapists, an Accessible Yoga Ambassador, and a peer educator for American Bone Health.
Practicing with Mary Beth you will hone a more graceful engagement with your everyday life. To learn more about MB’s personal journey and how she can help you, visit 3greencircles.com
Mary Beth Ray (MB) has been exploring yoga as a physical practice and philosophy since the early 90s. Over the years, she has studied with wonderful teachers from various styles of Hatha yoga including Iyengar, Ashtanga, Yin, Viniyoga, Anusara, and Vinyasa Flow. She is especially drawn toward the moving meditation of the classic Ashtanga Vinyasa system and since 2006 she has been practicing in the Mysore tradition of Sri. K. Pattabhi Jois. This daily meditative practice grounded in the Yoga Sutras deeply informs the many facets of her life. MB finds that with a consistent yoga practice she sleeps more soundly, her health has improved, and she is genuinely happier with an ability to be more present and move through her life with a bit of grace.
She has been teaching since 2009 and is registered through Yoga Alliance E-RYT 500 and YACEP. As a teacher MB shares yoga as a day-by-day, moment-by-moment practice of tuning your awareness to the presence and quality of your breath. In her classes and workshops, she guides you with subtle alignment cues, gentle hands-on adjustments, and suggested modifications that will help you develop your own inner and outer strength and flexibility.
MB is part of the teacher training faculty at both Barefoot Movement and Square One Yoga in the SF Bay Area teaching foundations of asana, Sanskrit basics, introduction to the Yoga Sutra, and Ethics.
MB is also certified as a Yoga for Osteoporosis teacher by Dr. Loren Fishman, MD and certified in Accessible Yoga by Jivana Heyman. In addition, she is a member of International Association of Yoga Therapists, and a certified holistic Nutrition Consultant and Functional Medicine and National Board-Certified Health & Wellness coach, and a peer educator for American Bone Health .
Practicing with MB you will hone a healthy balance between effort and ease and discover a more graceful engagement with your everyday life.
I deeply appreciate all the time and experience Mary Beth shares with us. Having a class specifically for yoga for osteoporosis along with clear instruction has made me feel safe to engage in daily practice.
Taking this class is the best thing that has happened to me during the pandemic. I’d been unsuccessfully searching for a yoga class for osteoporosis for years. Very enjoyable class! Mary Beth is an excellent teacher. She is thorough and gives good descriptions of the poses. I appreciate all the information she provides on osteoporosis. I highly recommend this class and teacher Mary Beth!
Mary Beth, You really helped me find my way through the confusing world of health. I appreciated you answering all my questions and concerns — researching and helping me decide on supplements, reviewing medical tests and really knowing you cared about me. The meditation was something new to me and I’m happy to report I look forward to it each morning. Right now, I’m on consecutive day 44. I’m feeling like “I’ve got this” thanks to you!
I loved the simple recipes that fit into my life style. Magical quinoa is my favorite and I make it every week. Your suggestions are practical and doable. You started from where I was rather than trying to make me over. You wanted to know what I wanted to work on and listened to my concerns.
Mary Beth is a very calming and supportive person – a good listener and so knowledgeable. I learned a lot! And was so surprised about the positive effect of the dietary changes.
Mary Beth’s services meant so much more to me than just another opportunity to get my diet on track. I came to her with complaints of digestive issues, and left feeling that my soul had been nourished. She is artful in her ability to offer compassionate and informed guidance while holding space for the necessary modifications and changes that inevitably occur along one’s health journey. For those seeking positive holistic growth to their nutritional foundation, I strongly urge you in the direction of Mary Beth.
Mary Beth is an amazing functional nutritionist and healer. She has helped me approach food and nutrition in a very supportive and non-judgmental way. Her integrated coaching style is very concise and filled with great advice, references to timely articles, and helpful sharing of her own extensive knowledge of nutrition and healing therapies such as yoga. With her guidance, I have learned to easily incorporate great menu ideas, sound nutrition, and self-care into my busy schedule
Being around you brings me such joy and calmness. Thank you for your steady, loving, unconditional presence in my life these past five years… How lucky am I. Thank you for being there for me, for pushing me and nurturing me, for showing me the kind of yoga teacher I want to be, for showing me how I want to show up for myself and for my students. You are an absolute gem, MBR. It is an honor to know you and to learn from you.
Mary Beth has a very gentle way of working with each student and an openness to limitations & practice. This I found hugely wonderful and accepting.
I appreciate Mary Beth's calm, model-based instruction.
I have fallen in love with the Saturday yoga class...This class is the perfect way to start your weekend- peaceful, grateful, centered, and loosened up. The instructor Mary Beth is heaven sent! She really has a talent as a yoga instructor. She can get her class focused and in the zone in a matter of seconds, her commentary is uplifting! The class itself is the perfect balance of meditative and challenging. I cannot ask for anything more for this class.
I'm in a mop up phase with the cancer. My last session of radiation is Wed. Yay! I'm experiencing deep empathy for microwaved chicken. All the wonderful care you took in teaching me the series is really paying off. You've given me so much help and so much great food for thought. It has sustained through this summer.
I am grateful to have been able to participate in Mary Beth's Yoga and Nutrition workshop series as well as having individual nutrition counseling. Mary Beth generously shared her deep knowledge of nutrition and yoga. She facilitated a series of lovely workshops that built community through shared food and movement. The consultation was a chance to integrate new practices and foods into my diet with Mary Beth's encouraging and thorough support. I continue to cook many of the recipes she shared and have added more good fats to my diet!