Yoga is a form of exercise that has become increasingly popular in a number of communities. One of these communities is the scoliosis community.
Since yoga is not a “vigorous” way of exercising and maintaining health, it is often the preferred method for those with health problems.
However, if you have scoliosis, is yoga something that you should pursue? The answer is yes!
If you have scoliosis and are interested in learning more about the benefits of enjoying yoga, simply keep reading. We will go through everything you need to know.
Is Yoga Good For Scoliosis?
Yes! Yoga can be very beneficial for individuals who have scoliosis. The combination of core stabilization and flexibility are two of the major areas that are helpful.
In order for yoga to be done properly, the person must have flexibility but also a stable core, which is something that someone with scoliosis may initially struggle with.
As such, practicing yoga poses and stretching can improve the symptoms of scoliosis.
How Yoga Helps With Scoliosis
There are three primary benefits of practicing yoga for anyone with scoliosis. These benefits can be felt by anyone, but they can be incredibly helpful for someone with the health condition.
This is because this form of exercise isn’t too hard on people’s bodies.
Maintains Or Improves The Spinal Position
According to a study published in 2014, the side plank pose is one position in particular that is helpful to those with scoliosis.
The study, which involved 25 individuals with scoliosis, found that participants who performed this pose experienced an improvement in the primary scoliotic curve of the spine. This was measured as the Cobb angle.
In order for the study to show these improvements, the participants participated for over six months.
During this time, they practiced the side plank pose for 90 seconds, roughly six days every week. By the end of the six months, the results were documented and noted the improvement to the participants’ spines.
Decreases Stiffness And Pain
There are two primary concepts that are taken into account when looking at the stability of the spine, according to professionals.
These two key concepts are force closure and form. The force closure, which is made of connective tissues and muscles that keep the spine aligned properly, is worked during yoga.
When the force closure is strengthened, individuals with scoliosis are likely to experience an overall improvement in function and also decreased pain.
Any kind of physical activity that helps foster the maintenance or improve the alignment will be of great benefit.
Yoga is one of these exercises, and it’s probably better than many others because it isn’t too strenuous.
Stretches And Strengthens The Sides Of The Body
Yoga is also good for scoliosis because it helps to strengthen and stretch the sides of the body. All the movements that contribute to the yoga poses help to increase the mobility of the thoracic spine.
Not only that, but as the muscles are forced to stretch and contract with different movements, they get trained to hold positions.
What To Know Before Starting Yoga
Start With Conscious Breathing
Pairing conscious breathing with very simple and easy yoga poses can help those with scoliosis bring their breath into areas that are compressed.
These are the areas where breathing would be compromised, and can lead to tightness. This discomfort can be relieved through stretches and practicing proper breathing.
This process focuses on reducing pain and correcting scoliosis where possible. The most important thing is to prevent the curve from getting worse and therefore preventing further pain and discomfort.
Know What Type Of Scoliosis You Have
Before diving into yoga, knowing the type of scoliosis you have is crucial. In order to correct the curve, you need to understand which way it goes, and the impact it has on you.
Be Aware That Moves Can Differ From Left To Right
Because of the curvature of the spine, it’s important to understand that movement will be impacted.
There will be different distributions of tension in the tissues surrounding the spine, which can inhibit flexibility.
Any tissues that are on the side of the spine that is concave will be shorter and tighter.
On the other hand, the tissues on the convex side are in a lengthened position continuously. As such, these tissues are likely to be weaker.
Knowing how your condition can impact your movements will help you be more forgiving of yourself when you find you cannot always stretch to the same extent as others may be able to.
Strengthen And Stretch Where Needed
The ultimate goal of practicing yoga is to re-establish not only balance, but also symmetry with the spine. This can be bullet-pointed into two primary things that we hope to achieve:
- The shortened or concave side must be stretched
- The lengthened or convex side must be strengthened
Don’t Be Shy To Skip A Pose
Because scoliosis often results in severe limitations with motion and flexibility, you should always feel comfortable enough to skip poses.
This can be the case if you feel a pose isn’t productive or feasible for you, and it should always be up to you. You need to work in your own capacity, and feel comfortable during sessions.
Let Your Instructor Know
In yoga classes, it is common for instructors to adjust poses to help their attendees. You should always let your instructor know if you are comfortable with this or not, and let them know.
Once again, you should feel comfortable in classes, and your instructor should be aware of the situation, so they know how to help you best.
Yoga is an excellent form of exercise for people who have scoliosis. Not only because it isn’t too demanding, but because it has been proven to help improve the spine’s curvature.
This form of exercise will help strengthen the necessary body parts to improve the spine and also relieve pain.
So, if you’re thinking of taking up yoga, there’s no reason not to!