View Full Version : Yoga and Scoliosis

12th August 2004, 06:42 PM
Hi Chaps,

Well, I'm into Day Six of my current healthy-eating kick and I feel fantastic. I've just discovered that there's a lovely Yoga studio down the road from me, and am thinking about going along to try it out.....but, I am aware that I won't be able to do all the positions and moves etc that are required! I'm sure it would be beneficial though, even if I am limited in what I can do. Does anyone here do Yoga, and have any advice for me? :D

Toni xxx

12th August 2004, 07:52 PM
Hmmm i think you'll be able to do yoga. If its been a long time after ur sugeory than go for it. Just maybe be careful and take things slowly and i'm sure you'll be fine!

12th August 2004, 08:07 PM
it should be possible I guess. I was thinking of picking it up a while ago but I couldn't find a place in my neighborhood so I forgot about it. Maybe next year when my back is fully recovered.

12th August 2004, 08:18 PM
before my rods were inserted my dad wanted me to get into it so badly since I was so tight and stiff he thought it would help but now with the rods I wouldnt be able todo all those bends :-o

13th August 2004, 04:29 AM
Yeah, I was gonna say that. Doesn't it require a great deal of flexibility?

13th August 2004, 11:14 AM
Yes, that's what I am worried about.....I'll just have to try a session and see what they advise. At the very least, I hope they can teach me some breathing exercises. I'll let you know!

13th August 2004, 11:19 AM
Please do let me know. I'm curious about it now that you've brought it up.

13th August 2004, 01:39 PM
I do yoga, and pilates, and I've been fused and have rods and everything. There's this perception around that you have to be flexible to do yoga .. but I find that a touch strange, as generally people become flexible after they've been doing yoga!

There's a lot of different styles of yoga out there; some require huge flexibility, but they are the higher levels of expertise. My advice to anyone if you want to get into it is to call or see in person the people who run yoga centres in your area. Talk to them beforehand and let them know what exactly has happened/is happening with your body so they can decide if they would be comfortable in teaching you. There are even yoga experts around who have developed lessons specifically for people with scoliosis - those who have had surgery and those who have not. I also think it's a good idea to meet or at least talk to the people beforehand so you can get to know them somewhat .. you want to be comfortable with them and know there can be an element of trust. I think it would also be wise to consult your local gp or spine doctor, so they can give you advice of their own. And, you never know, they may have contacts with instructors who are well educated in yoga for scoliosis - and then your job of finding someone who is comfortable teaching you with your back is made a whole lot easier!!

But, from my own experience, the thing that you need to be comfortable with and trust the foremost when you do yoga is your body. It's the only thing that knows what you can and cannot do in terms of physciality. It's like in everday life situations, y'know .. like when you go to lift something heavy and your body tells you not to do it .. and when you are tired it is telling you to get some sleep. If you're in a yoga class and your body doesen't like what you're doing, just stop. It is meant to be a gentle practice and if you are in a class that is about force and roughness, get out of there quickly because they will not be a genuine yoga instructor and will most likely not know what they are doing!

At the heart and core of yoga is learning to control your breathing and being in touch with your body. With each pose that you do, you are taught to breathe in or out, (according to which pose it is). A lot of early level yoga classes are purely about meditation, eg: om yoga which is a blend of hatha yoga and Buddhist mindfulness. I visited a lot of centres before I found one that I was completely comfortable with, yet in each one the instructors were very adamant that it's a practice of awakening and connecting with all that is, beginning with your body .. hardly anyone is primarily concerned with flexibility.

I think it's definitely worthwhile to give it a go .. just trust yourself in your judgement to find a class that is comfortable and catered for your body and mindset .. and trust and listen to your body once you begin. Good luck!

13th August 2004, 01:55 PM
When I read you message yesterday I didn't thought about this but today I remember there exists a website especially about yoga exercises for scoliosis patients created by someone who has scoliosis herself but hasn't had a surgery.

Yoga for Scoliosis (http://www.yogaforscoliosis.com/index.html)

According to her website these yoga exercises are usefull for all patients fused or not. Quote:

Can I practice yoga with a fused spine?
Yes, you certainly can. Depending on the individual. Many students with fused spines, find that they can because many beginning yoga postures (like standing poses) require you to fold from the hips rather than the waist, the spine stays in a relatively neutral position. This makes it possible to do yoga even with a fused spine. If you do have a fused spine, first consult with your doctor and then find a qualified teacher.

If my curve is severe and I have not had surgery for it, can I do yoga?
Yes, depending on the individual, you will likely find it helpful to modify some of the postures in consultation with your physician, physical therapist or a certified yoga instructor. Two basic principles can help guide your practice. First, work to elongate the spine and stretch muscles that have become imbalanced. Second, practice postures that strengthen the spine and back. I recommend that you work with an Iyengar-trained teacher who understands proper alignment and ways to modify postures for those with spinal imbalances.

An article including photos of some exercises (http://www.yogaforscoliosis.com/yoga_journal2.html)

13th August 2004, 02:02 PM
Oh wow, thanks so much Lucinda and Lieve!!!!! This is absolutely brilliant!!!! I'm really excited now. I'm going to go along on Thursday next week :D

13th August 2004, 02:14 PM
i love doing yoga i brought myself some videos few years ago
i am very flexi i can put both my legs over the top of my head lol

16th August 2004, 03:59 PM
I have done some yoga courses and there was very little that I couldn't do with a fused back. The poses are wonderful stretches and the flow of movements has a wonderful "loosening" effect. :-)

The main thing is to make sure that the class is small and that the instructor is switched on. One course that I did was useless because the instructor didn't know how to adapt the moves to suit me.

17th August 2004, 05:02 AM
My mom does power yoga and sometimes I go along with her. I feel stiff and one side always feels tighter than the other. Some moved you will really have to modify..
But you should do it because i always feel great after it. Let me know how it goes!