By Bhavan Kumar
Some people are under the impression that they cannot practice Yoga if they suffer from scoliosis. However, Yoga can actually improve posture, and many have even chosen Hatha Yoga for scoliosis as opposed to possible surgery or drugs. If this is something you are considering, make sure you consult your doctor before beginning a new regimen as each scoliosis patient and each Yoga student is unique.
What many students experience is that beginning Yoga poses require you to fold from the hips and not the waist. This helps the spine stay in a neutral position. Two basic principles can help you to guide your Yoga practice. First, work on elongating the spine, and stretch the muscles that have been made imbalanced. Second, practice the Yoga poses that help strengthen the spine and back. Proper alignment and modifying your posture can help with spinal imbalances caused by scoliosis.
Therapeutic Hatha Yoga for scoliosis can help address these imbalances because, even though each scoliosis patient is unique, there are common patterns. The spine often moves to the side and rotates. This shift creates a rounded back, the ribs compress toward the front, while the pelvis and lower back rotate toward the back. Yoga can help to relieve the discomfort brought on by the results of the curving spine. For example, compression in the vertebrae can cause one hip to be raised. This imbalance can find balance with the breath awareness and postures that emphasize hip alignment.
Beginners often wonder if practicing Yoga for scoliosis will relieve their pain. While you may feel a small amount of discomfort when you begin, it is only because your body needs time to adjust to the new sense of balance and alignment. Over time, this pain diminishes, and Yoga can be practiced to control the pain you would normally feel.
Yoga poses and breathing techniques help to release painful muscle tension and relax the mind. In addition, as the body is strengthened, extra burden is taken off the muscles throughout the day. As the spine is lengthened, less pain is created. While pain can occur when beginning classes, you should be aware that if it remains over an extended period of time, it is important to make your Yoga instructor and doctor aware of the issue.
While Hatha Yoga can be therapeutic, if you have scoliosis you need to pay extra attention to your unique needs. If you ignore what your body is telling you, there is a chance that the practice could actually be counterproductive. This is why it is vital that you study with an experienced Yoga instructor, who will be able to make the necessary adjustments and modifications. With the right instructor, therapeutic Hatha Yoga can improve your mind and body, while relieving some of the stress associated with scoliosis.
© Copyright 2011 – Aura Wellness Center – Publications Division
Bhavan Kumar is a certified Yoga teacher and an exclusive author for Aura Wellness Center.
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