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Scoliosis. . . help?

CherryRed2010-07-05 04:43:43 +0000 #1
I have a mild form of scoliosis which has never really bothered me until recently.

It's an S-curve, meaning my lower spine bends slightly to the left and the top of my spine compensates by bending slightly right. The degree of curvature is low and I do not have a habit of leaning toward one side or the other. In the years since it was diagnosed I can't remember ever having felt inconvenienced by it.

However, I recently noticed that I have trouble doing some of the standing balances on my right leg. Even in the most basic asanas, it feels as though I'll fall over any second. On my left leg I feel stable and secure in most of the more challenging postures I've worked with. I've also been noticing that the left side of my lower back seems to have more pronounced muscle definition.

Is there any specific thing I can do to build strength on the right side? I really want to be able to move forward in my practice, not keep getting stuck because of my skeletal structure.
InnerAthlete2010-07-05 04:51:41 +0000 #2
What is it that makes you believe the "slight" spinal curvature is related directly to the balance and strength differences you outline?
CherryRed2010-07-05 05:24:04 +0000 #3
It's the only thing that makes sense. I've also discussed this with my yoga instructor and a friend's dad who happens to be a doctor, and they both agree that it's most likely due to my spinal curvature.
CherryRed2010-07-05 05:56:58 +0000 #4
So no one has an answer to this?
Mirjana2010-07-05 06:31:17 +0000 #5
Hi Cherry,

I can just tell you that I have the same just the opposite around. I will write down a text for you - it is from the book The Key Muscles of Hatha Yoga:

".... Scoliosis also affect the pelvic and shoulder girdles (photos in a book). For example, titling the pelvic girdle creates a perception of limb lenght discrepancy (one leg shorter than the other). Similarly, one arm may appear shorter than the other.

Scoliosis affects the bone, cartilage and muscles of the spine. Muscles on the convex side of a curve become chronically shortened when compared with those on the concave side. Yoga postures aid to counteract this process by stretching the shortened muscles.

And than it continues:

Yoga as therapy

These images of a twist (Salabhasana and Triang mukhaikapada paschimottanasana - in the book are photos), back bend and forward bend demonstrate how yoga postures contract and stretch the back muscles. This lengthens chronically shortened muscles on the concave side of the scoliotic curve while strengthening them on the convex side. This assist in balancing perceived discrepancies in limb length and may also improve nerve conduction."

So all I do is practising every day, including those two suggested poses.

Maybe you can visit the Mukunda's Yoga therapy center? I'm located in Amsterdam what makes it a bit difficult for me.

I want to tell you also that I started to meditate and I try to practise Yama and Niyama in every day life. That gives me strenght to realise more and more that I don't need a perfect body for a quality life until it is healthy and it functions well

Love, Mirjana
CherryRed2010-07-05 06:48:13 +0000 #6
Thanks Mirjana. I've been practicing frequently, so I will continue to do that. It's just gotten increasingly difficult to deal with because now the left side of my back is stronger than the right. Instead of being able to isolate the muscles on the right side and work on them specifically, I struggle with trying to keep the muscles on the left from working harder to compensate for the relative weakness on the right. Stressful!
Mirjana2010-07-05 06:33:43 +0000 #7
I've just typed in google/scoliosis and yoga

Lot's of information! Book, DVDs, excersises on line... Have you tried?
InnerAthlete2010-07-05 08:02:50 +0000 #8
I'll merely answer the question asked.

Specifically you can hold your poses longer on the side (right) deemed to be the ones needing to be strengthened. Do three breaths on the left and 6 on the right.

There is a much larger answer to a question you have not asked


Originally Posted by CherryRed

...Is there any specific thing I can do to build strength on the right side? I really want to be able to move forward in my practice, not keep getting stuck because of my skeletal structure.



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