Yoga For Scoliosis
The standard treatments for scoliosis depend on the severity of the curve(s). The most basic treatment is physical therapy. This will help strengthen the body but most often therapists don't specialize in scoliosis or spend a lot of time studying it in school.
The next method of treatment is bracing. Physiologically, bracing will affect a person's self esteem. They aren't as bad as they used to be but nothing is worse than being in the awkward pre-teen/teen years and then adding a back brace on top of it. It is a recipe for low self-esteem and social isolation.
Yoga helps address all these issues. Since it is inward focused we learn to first accept all aspects of ourselves. We learn to use the breath to calm the body and mind. The breath can give us a better way to deal with pain and invite relaxation into stressed muscles. It also gives us the space to examine our thoughts in a non-judgmental manner. This is so important when we feel as if something is “wrong” with us.
Practically, yoga gives us the ability to study the balance of the body. We become so in tune with our own shifts and movements that we can re-learn and re-pattern the shape of our spine. We do this through a very simple concept. Lengthen the spinal muscles to create space between the vertebra, ribs and compressed joints. Then, develop strength in the muscles that are under used while retraining the other muscles to let go. And finally, de-rotating the spine makes a difference in the pronounced, “hump” of the curve. All of these practices combine to bring pain relief, improve posture and reduce fatigue.
A typical yoga class will give you basic knowledge of yoga and the postures but won't be able to address the needs of someone with scoliosis. In a yoga for scoliosis class we use blocks, blankets, straps, chairs and bolsters to modify most postures; this allows poses to become accessible. If you are considering taking a yoga class discuss your physical situation with your teacher. Both of you should feel comfortable with the relationship you are about to form. A yoga teacher should be your guide to experiential learning. You should always feel as if you have choices and that you are supported physically as well as emotionally. Yoga teachers aren't your doctors or counselors but they can be your guides to a deeper understanding of yourself and your body.
Ultimately you make the decisions about your health. A Yoga for Scoliosis Trainer can guide you to a healthy, safe practice that you can carry with you throughout the rest of your life. The more you study and practice yoga the more skills you have at your disposal for when your body changes.