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Yoga Poses That Can Help With Scoliosis and Why

I have scoliosis, which was discovered when I was a kid. After my growth spurt, the doctors concluded that I did not have to wear a brace or undergo surgery, which I am grateful for.


I feel fortunate that the scoliosis never really hindered me in life, although I do notice the effects of this misalignment in my body. But it was only after I started yoga that I fully got to understand the ways of my body.

What is scoliosis exactly?

Scoliosis is a lateral curvature of the spine. Whereas normally your spine would be straight when viewed from the back, with scoliosis, the spine forms a curve in a form of an S or a C. This curve can occur in the sacrum, the lumbar, spine or the thoracic spine.

There are two types of scoliosis: structural and functional. Many of us have a mild version of functional scoliosis from repetitive one-sided activity (for instance, carrying your purse always on one side for years and years). This misalignment has more to do with the muscle development rather than the structure of the body.

The structural scoliosis, on the other hand, affects the structure of the body, and it is usually detected in childhood. Although the degree of severity will vary per person, structural scoliosis will result in muscular tightness in one side of the body and can, for example, cause one lung to have less space due to collapsed ribcage.

Most people with scoliosis have undergone treatment or at least regular check-ups as a child. But what can yoga offer us?

Yoga and Scoliosis

Yoga helps to bring back the natural balance of the body and support the body’s structure, no matter how curved. ~Kaisa Kapanen

With yoga, we get to know our bodies on a more detailed level. When practicing yoga poses that can help with scoliosis, the rule of thumb is to try to release the muscles that are contracted and to strengthen the muscles that are weaker.

As always, the key for yoga is in providing understanding and acceptance for how we are built and for who we are. We cannot expect yoga to magically straighten our spines, but it can offer us solutions on how to treat our bodies in order to promote health and balance.


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