Published in “The Lotus” a monthly publication of the Federation of India Community Associations
Written by Vishali Gupta
Scoliosis is the lateral curvature of the spine that occurs most often during the growth spurt just before puberty. Most cases of scoliosis are mild but some children develop spine deformities that continue to get more severe as they grow. Severe Scoliosis can be disabling. It can reduce the amount of space within the chest, making it difficult for lungs to function properly. Some children will need to wear a brace to stop the curve from worsening. Others may need surgery to keep the scoliosis from worsening.
Signs of Scoliosis
Scoliosis is not only a curve of the spine but also has a rotational element to it. The ribs are connected to the spine and move with it. The spine moves laterally, forming an S curve and rotates at the same time. Some obvious signs of a spine with Scoliosis are:
- One shoulder is higher than the other
- One side of the rib cage appears higher than the other
- One hip appears higher than the other
- The waist appears uneven
- The body tilts to one side
Yoga for Scoliosis
Regular practice of Yoga can offer relief from Scoliosis related discomfort.
First and foremost, it is important to lengthen the spine and create space to decrease the lateral side bending component and bring it back to center. Yoga can help create symmetry in the spine by bringing modifications in asana.
Second, bringing awareness to breathing is the key. Focus on breathing into the concave side of the spine where the ribs are compressed. It will create space into the ribs. Breath will create more energy in compressed ribs.
Tadasana is the mountain pose that will bring axial elongation in the spine. Adding side bending towards the convex side will bring length and space to the concave side of the spine (side opposite to the curve).
Warrior 1 with a modification. This will create power in the legs and lengthen the spine.
Create space in the spine with the bar stretch. Hold the bar and walk backwards so spine is parallel to earth. Hips are in line with the knees and ankles.
Triangle with the wall or bar. Lengthen the concave side more so left hand is on bar if the spine is concave to the left.
Parsvakonasana or Extended Side Angle with the wall. Stand with both shoulders into the wall. Right buttock presses into the wall. Bend the knee over the ankle. Left buttock is slightly away from the wall.
Side bending bolster stretch. Lay sideways on a bolster with knees bent. Place a sandbag on the convex side of the spine so the ribs move in towards the spine.
Rest in Savasana. When the mind becomes quiet, true healing can take place.
Yoga for Scoliosis is very empowering and healing. It requires commitment, consistency, and inner awareness.