Yoga and Scoliosis

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People with scoliosis, a severe curvature of the spine, can do yoga exercises such as shoulder lifts and elbow presses to relieve and re-balance the muscles. Learn these exercises in this free video on yoga therapy.

Part of the Video Series: Yoga Therapy
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Video Transcript

Hi, I'm CarolAnn with, and today I'm going to show you yoga for scoliosis. Now, the issue with scoliosis is that you have, or an individual has, a severe curvature of the spine. So, we have some imbalances in the body. So, we want to do yoga to really balance out those muscles. So, the first exercise that we will do are shoulder lifts. So, gently lift the shoulders up, and then press the shoulders down, away from the ears. So, you're lifting the shoulders up, and then press down. Now, as you press the shoulders down, think about lowering and melting down the shoulder blades down on either side of the spine. So, you always want to think about lowering the shoulders down, away from the ears. And, just release that tension. Inhale as you lift the shoulders, exhale as you press down. Now, you could do anywhere between 10 to 20 reps of the shoulder lifts. The next exercise to release tension in the shoulders, and to create more balance in the body, is an elbow press forward. So, you have your arms at 90 degrees, and you just want to press the elbows forward, opening up the scapular in the back. And then, open up the chest, pressing the elbows back. And, bring those arms forward, and press back. Now, when you're pressing back again, think about lowering those shoulders down, away from the ears, and press. Again, about 10 to 20 reps. Just make sure you're breathing naturally here. Now, the next exercise, we're going to take it down to the floor, and we're going to go into a four point balance. You want to take your right arm out, and your left leg out in opposition. You want to think about keeping your hips parallel to the floor. And, you're lengthening out through the crown of your head. So, reach through your fingertips, reach through your toes, and we're stretching the spine here. And, lower down. And, take the opposite arm, opposite leg up, and you want to find your sense of center here. Balancing, hips parallel to the floor. Draw the abdominals in, inhaling through the nose, exhaling through the nose. And just hold each pose, or each position, for about two breaths to five breaths, and then switch. Another exercise that you can perform for scoliosis is using a chair. So, you're just gently placing your feet on the floor about hip width apart, your knees are at 90 degree, you're sitting up really nice and tall, and you just want to cross over your body, gently place your hand on the back of the chair, and gently twist. And, depending on where your tightness is, one side may be tighter than the other, and just gently work through that. With every exhale, see if you can twist just a little bit more. And, after you hold for about five breaths, simply take it to the other side. So, those are some great yoga poses for scoliosis. I'm CarolAnn for


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