Tips for yoga and Scoliosis

This post is written towards those who have scoliosis or know someone with scoliosis.

More and more people are discovering the benefits of practicing yoga to manage the pain that comes with a curved spine. I like to think that scoliosis is like a fingerprint, every scoliosis is unique. It’s an attempt to shed some love on a difficult condition.

Scoliosis can be caused by a whole range of things, but it’s sadly often unknown why people get it. However the symptoms are often the same:

  • Curved spine
  • Uneven height of waist and shoulders
  • Rib-cage is twisting
  • Winging of scapula on one side
  • Pinching of nerve

While doctors are right that there is no cure for scoliosis, that doesn’t mean there aren’t any treatments. Yes, you can build up core strength to prevent pain stiffness and further progression, but did you know that the scoliosis can also be reversed?

 

Lengthen

Whenever you can, lengthen through the spine. Use asanas like tadasana, downward dog, upward dog and puppy pose to stretch the spine as long as possible, and utanasana to decompress the vertebras. Always think about lengthening whenever you can! If your scoliosis is curving in a C shape, collapsing on the right, lengthen towards the left to open up the collapsed side.

 

Strengthen

Sphinx, cobra, upward dog and superman are a few examples of back-strengthening poses, while navasana builds the core and side plank works the obliques.

 

Derotation

Apart from lengthening and strengthening the position of the spine, scoliosis often also needs to derotate. If the curve is rotated towards the right, twist with more effort towards your left. Exampel of useful twisting asanas are Matsyendrasana, Supine Twist and Parivrtta Parsvakonasana. Only twist with about 30% to the rotated side, and 100% to the other side.

 

Finally, it really benefits to find a yoga teacher with knowledge of scoliosis, to make corrections and keep an eye on your progress. While scoliosis can’t be cured, it can definitely be treated.

 

Ana-Marija Spajic

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