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Yoga for Scoliosis

Yoga for ScoliosisYoga is a practice of meditation, spiritualism, and physical disciplines that has quickly become a very popular mainstream alternative for stress reduction, increasing core strength, and correcting posture. The following is a series of simple poses and stretching exercises to help strengthen the back, shoulders, chest, spine and abdomen while focusing on improving and releasing postural discomfort.

Yoga Sit-Ups


Begin by lying down on the mat with the knees bent and the feet closest to the edges of the mat. Recline your shoulders, head and neck down, bringing your hands behind the neck or the head. Then tighten and engage the abdominal wall and muscles, while lifting the shoulders up keeping a safe distance in between the elbows.

As you push down with the low back flex your hips by lifting your feet up. A less intense, less advanced pose would be with the knees closer to the ribs right above the abdomen. A little more intense would be with the knees above the hips. Far more intense would be opening up the knees a little bit more.

Sideways Suspended Plank


Starting on your hands and knees, slide your left foot out to the side while bringing your left hand so it is directly underneath your shoulder, but still in the front or in the same line as your left knee. Then stretch your right leg and press your right heel down on the mat so your wrist, knee and heel follow one straight line.

Push your right hand off the mat and bring it to rest on the top of your hip as you begin to open the hips, chest, and shoulders while looking down or up. Then push your right hand up toward the ceiling, once again developing a straight line from your left wrist all the way out to the tips of your fingers on your right hand.

Then bring your right hand down and switch to the other side.

Extended Table


Staring on your hands and knees, slide your left foot to the back of the mat. Then slide your right hand to the front of the mat, while pressing your abdomen in. Image yourself having a long and straight back, from the tip of your tailbone to the crown of your head.

As you begin to balance with your left hand, right knee and foot, raise your left leg up to the height of your hip, while bringing your right arm up to your shoulder. At any time rest either extremity, and then bring it back up when ready. Then switch to the other side.

Dolphin


Start with the palms of your hands and knees down on the mat. Then spread your fingers and thumbs out, while curling your toes from underneath. Unless otherwise necessary, your feet should be about shoulder width apart. Begin to anchor down your forearms, hands and fingers while pushing the hips up. Lower your neck down or extend your cervical spine by looking forward or up. Bend your knees, pushing your hips up as high as possible, aiming for a nice extension of the lumbar and thoracic spine. Rest your knees when ready.

Downward Facing Dog


From your hands and knees spread your fingers and thumbs out, grounding the palms of your hands, while lowering your head down and pushing your hips up toward the ceiling. In this position relax your head and neck, while keeping your knees bent and soft.

Begin alternating from one leg to the other as you press your right heel towards the mat, making your leg long and straight. You will want to start switching legs as you begin to press on heel into the mat.

When ready, bend both knees coming back to Table pose. Then, draw your left knee forward, while sliding your right foot back. Focus primarily your hips while moving them side-to-side.

Remain as your are or depending on how flexible or willing your left leg is, slide your left foot closer to the alignment of your right, using your hands for support and balance.

When ready, press your hips back into Downward Facing Dog, sliding the left leg next to the right one. Once again alternating from one knee and heel to the other, going back and forth. Continue to lower your ribs and head down closer down to the mat. Then switch to the other side.

After completing the second side, move back into Downward Facing Dog, alternating from one heel to the other. Then bring both legs and knees to neutral, bending the knees and coming back down to your hands and your knees, while resting the front of your feet down.

Mountain


From standing, begin to ground your feet as if you had just stepped on a pair of skis, spreading the toes out. Pressing down on the four points of your feet begin to lift the arches of our feet up as if we are cupping our feet on the surface. Engaging the upper muscles of your legs just above your kneecaps lift your kneecaps up. Press your abdomen in as your bring your hips directly above the ankles.

Continue lifting your belly button up into your rib cage, while lifting your shoulders towards your neck as if you were squeezing them in. Then rolling them back, relax your arms moving them into a straight or a natural bend. Lift your neck and head up as if a golden thread was pulling you.

Relax your eyes. Press your tongue toward the roof of your mouth to assist you with your relaxation. Bring your shoulders and hips directly above your ankles or above your heels, as you focus on the four points of the feet, and on the tips of your toes to assist you with balance.

From here slide your hands behind your back, along side your sacrum, so your fingertips are pointing down. Hands can be made into fists so the knuckles outline the edges of your sacrum or your fingertips can point up. Press your abdomen in, rolling your shoulders back and pressing them down, and begin to arch your back extending your lumbar and thoracic spine. Then slowly go back and forth between Mountain and extension. When ready, come back to Mountain.

Standing Forward Fold


Begin by bending your knees, and sliding your hands to the front of your knees. Lower your abdomen, ribs, chest and shoulders down, using your arms and hands for support. Squeeze your abdomen in, tightening the abdominal muscles, and then bring your hands down to the mat.

With the tips of your fingers or the palms of your hands down, let go of your head and neck. Stay either with your knees bent, or slowly continue to fall forward slightly lifting your. Relax your neck and shoulders, allowing for a natural decompression of the cervical spine.

Then walk your feet away from each other and begin to come down into a squat. Using your hands for support, let your heels come up if they have or lower your heels into the mat by bringing your hands out in front.

Bring your arms to the inside of your legs, leaning forward if it is more comfortable, while using the muscles of your arms to assist you in balance or relying primarily on the hips and the legs. Press the palms of your hands together, drawing the thumbs to the chest, as you press your arms to the inside of the knees opening up the back of the hips, and lowering your neck and head. If it is more comfortable, fold your arms. Then let the weight of your arms fold you forward. At all times, press your abdominal muscles in.

Yoga Program

Yoga Sit-Ups

Begin by lying down on the mat with the knees bent and the feet closest to the edges of the mat.

Watch The Video >>

Sideways Suspended Plank

Starting on your hands and knees, slide your left foot out to the side while bringing your left hand so it is directly underneath your shoulder, but still in the front or in the same line as your left knee.

Watch The Video >>

Extended Table

Staring on your hands and knees, slide your left foot to the back of the mat.

Watch The Video >>

Dolphin

Start with the palms of your hands and knees down on the mat.

Watch The Video >>

Downward Facing Dog

From your hands and knees spread your fingers and thumbs out, grounding the palms of your hands, while lowering your head down and pushing your hips up toward the ceiling.

Watch The Video >>

Mountain

From standing, begin to ground your feet as if you had just stepped on a pair of skis, spreading the toes out.

Watch The Video >>

Standing Forward Fold

Begin by bending your knees, and sliding your hands to the front of your knees.

Watch The Video >>

The materials on this Web site are for your general educational information only. Information you read on this Web site cannot replace the relationship that you have with your health care professional. We do not practice medicine or provide medical services or advice as a part of this Web site. You should always talk to your health care professional for diagnosis and treatment.

  • Published: March 26, 2003
  • Updated: July 22, 2008