Your bones are alive, and they play a key role in your body’s stress response and your survival. 

The bones are a physiological gateway to feeling more grounded, relaxed, and calm. Feeling the bones can heal the effects of anxiety and trauma in the body and brain. 

What Modern Science Says

A new study from Columbia researchers found that bone, NOT adrenaline, initiates the fight or flight response.

According to the research, without our skeleton, our response to danger would be obsolete.

After the brain perceives a threat, it almost immediately instructs the bones of the body to secrete a hormone known as osteocalcin, flooding the bloodstream and initiating the cascade of physiological changes we have come to know as the stress response.

Studies since then have shown that osteocalcin also plays a role in regulating metabolism, improving memory and brain function, and increasing speed and endurance. The bones are much more complex and dynamic than once was believed.

What Ayurveda Says about the Bones

Our bones are often thought of as simple body parts with the role of maintaining our physical structure and protecting our internal organs.

And while the bones do play a huge role in bodily structure and protection, they do much, much more that western studies are only beginning to delve into.

According to Ayurveda, the bones (called Asthi Dhatu) are a psycho-physiological space of stability, steadfastness, and survival. Asthi Dhatu is related to your ability to:

  • Stand up for yourself and your beliefs with conviction
  • Have a solid sense of self
  • Feel confident in your decisions and ideas

From Earth based wisdom traditions, such as yoga and ayurveda, it is said that there is a direct link from our bones to our ancestors. The wisdom and experience from generations past are born engrained in our skeleton.

Due to their close relationship with our nervous system, the bones can be used as a gateway to accessing the rest and digest response.

Your bones are an invaluable resource for:

  • Feeling less anxious and depressed
  • Decreasing hypervigilance
  • Reconciling ancestral trauma
  • Healing PTSD and teaching your body it is safe to relax


Working with the bones is a very simple, yet powerful practice. My favorite bone-based healing technique is called Body Yantra meditation (named by one of my teachers, Katie Silcox).

Body Yantra is the practice of simply feeling where your bones are in relationship with one another, or the space around you.

You can pick any two bony landmarks in your body and notice where they are spatially with awareness to practice Body Yantra.

I have several bone-based meditations available for your practice on my youtube page, you’re welcome to try!

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