When looking for ways to manage scoliosis, many people turn to physical activity. One form of movement that’s gained a lot of followers in the scoliosis community is yoga. Scoliosis, which causes a sideways curve of the spine, is often associated with children and adolescents, but people of all ages have this disorder. And the spine, like the rest of our bodies, can change over time. Yoga can be very helpful for those with scoliosis, particularly given the combination of flexibility and core stabilization needed to perform yoga poses properly. Let’s check the poses!
This is a great pose for beginning your yoga practice. It helps with balance and core strength. Stand with your big toes touching and your heels slightly separated (inverted V shape). Relax your shoulders and allow your arms to hang, relaxed, by your sides. Close your eyes, and envision yourself firmly planted in the ground, concentrating on your feet. Lift up on to the balls of your feet, and then your toes, distributing the weight evenly across your feet. Stay in this pose for 30 seconds to 1 minute, then shift your weight to your left foot
Another standing pose, the tree pose, helps with posture, strengthening your core, and improving your overall balance. It is also helpful for stress reduction. With your right hand, reach down and grab your right ankle.
Lift your right foot and place the sole of your foot against your left thigh. If you can’t reach up to your thigh, try putting your foot against your calf instead. Stretch and lengthen your spine. Draw your pelvic bone inward and point your tailbone toward the floor. Stay in this pose on your left leg for 30 seconds, slowly working up to one minute.
This pose opens up the spaces between your vertebrae and stretches the muscles and tendons that support your spine. Begin on all fours with your hands below your shoulders and your knees below your hips (also known as tabletop pose). Look down towards your yoga mat and spread your fingers. Engage your abdominal muscles. As you inhale, lift your head and tailbone, making your lower back concave. As you exhale, tuck your tailbone, release your neck, and gently drop your head while rounding your back and neck. Repeat 5 times and slowly work your way up to 10
This is a relaxing pose and is best to do after the cat/cow pose. Begin seated on your heels. Stretch your arms and hands out in front of you. Bend your upper body forward and lower your chest close to your knees. Continue to stretch your arms forward until you feel a comfortable stretch (and no pain). Take deep breaths and relax as you feel your back and spine muscles lengthening. Relax your entire body.
Passive Backbend Over a Bolster
Roll a firm blanket into a cylinder or use a bolster. Lie back on the folded blanket or bolster so that your shoulder blades are resting on the roll. Your head and shoulders should rest on the floor. Stretch the legs out through the heels to prevent lower back compression, and lift the breastbone. Bring the chin down toward the chest and lengthen the neck. Now extend the arms straight overhead and rest them on the floor, if possible.
A yoga instructor can also help with modifications of different poses if needed. Once you are comfortable moving through different poses, you will be able to take some time anywhere to stretch and relax.