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Yoga Poses That Can Help With Scoliosis and Why

Helpful Yoga Poses

Every body is unique, and so is every scoliosis. There are some general rules on how you can work with your scoliosis, but if you want to know specific poses that could be beneficial for your type of scoliosis, I highly recommend an individual teaching session with a qualified, specialized teacher or yoga therapist.

Poses that Lengthen the Spine

With any pose, focus on lengthening the spine. The following poses can bring relief and space for your back muscles and space within the spine.

  • Cat and Cow Pose will stretch the muscles supporting your spine and open up the spaces between the vertebrae.
  • Child’s Pose relaxes the whole back. By taking your arms on the convex side (the rounded part) you can create more space on the concave side (the more hollow side).

Asymmetrical Poses

With scoliosis, the two sides of the body have very different needs, so it’s beneficial to work with asymmetrical poses. This way, we are better able to isolate the different body parts we want to work on. However, it is still important to work on both sides so that we reinforce a balance.

  • Triangle Pose can bring space and length into the spine. For the concave, hollow side, instead of bringing your lower hand on your shin or onto the floor, use a chair so you can really focus on bringing length to the thoracic spine by stretching forwards. On the convex, rounded side, bring your lower hand on your shin and upper hand to the sacrum instead of towards the ceiling. Focus on opening the shoulders and twisting the upper body.

Twists

Whereas some sources say twists are not beneficial for scoliosis, I have received specific twists as homework from my teacher. Again, be mindful of your situation and seek guidance. Twists can be great in releasing the energy in the spine. You can do twists by sitting on a chair with your side towards the back of the chair. Keep your feet together and use the back of the chair for support to twist deeper.

Scoliosis can be a great teacher of taking things slowly, of getting to know your body, and allowing your body to guide you. As always with yoga, what happens on your yoga mat is for you. You are not practicing for your neighbor, but to find balance and harmony in your own body.

Especially if you have scoliosis, seek guidance as to what would be helpful for you. Inform your teachers and don’t be shy to follow your own rhythm in class.






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