Yoga is a science that has been practiced for thousand of years. It is an ancient physical, mental, and spiritual practice with its roots in India going back 5,000 years. Yoga, is derived from the Sanskrit root word “Yujir Yogey”, meaning yoke or union. It includes the physical postures, breathing techniques, and relaxation that has many physical benefits such as improved posture, increased flexibility, and strength.
By combining the yoga postures with breathing awareness, one can develop symmetrical alignment of the body. This is accomplished by stretching muscles that have tightened and that have become weak from asymmetrical imbalance. With good structural balance, the body will create a more effortless posture using the bone structure, rather than overworking the muscles to hold itself up.
Yoga is highly therapeutic. Some of the ailments that can be relieved through the practice of Yoga include hyper-acidity, allergies, Alzheimer’s disease, anemia, anger, anxiety, arthritis, asthma, back pain, bronchitis, cancer, carpal tunnel syndrome, common cold, constipation, and even depression.
Other ailments that can be relieved by yoga practice inclue:
• Eye problems
• Facial wrinkles
• Gastrointestinal disorders
• High blood pressure
• Weak immune system
• Menstrual cramps
• Multiple sclerosis
• Various skin problems
Yoga practitioners also claim that the practice of the ancient exercise system is a good therapy for scoliosis. Through yoga, one can find that balance point which allows the scoliosis curve to coexist with gravity and activates the body’s natural plumb line. The result for most people is better posture and less pain.
Scoliosis is a medical term taken from a Greek word meaning ‘curvature.’ This disease often develops during childhood and causes the spine to curve laterally (to the side) to the left or right. The spine’s normal curves occur at the cervical (neck), thoracic (chest), and lumbar regions (lower back). These natural curves position the head over the pelvis and work as shock absorbers to distribute mechanical stress during movement.
Scoliosis only affects a small percentage of the population, or approximately two percent of the entire U.S. population. However, it has been found that scoliosis may be hereditary. If someone in the family has scoliosis, the likelihood of an incidence of another case in another family member is approximately 20 percent. The traditional medical management of scoliosis is determined by the severity of the curvature, skeletal maturity, and likelihood of progression. The conventional options are initially through observation, followed by bracing and surgery, and these procedures cost a lot.
Although many exercises help in reducing the scoliosis-related problems, yoga immediately helps improve the problem of uneven curves and is now considered to be the best scoliosis exercise. Yoga postures are helpful for providing relief from scoliosis because they enable us to stretch our body and help regain the normal shape of the spine. The most effective yoga exercises for the treatment of scoliosis-related problems include the Crocodile Twist, the Supine Knee Chest Twist, the Passive Back Arch and the One Leg Up-One Leg Out Posture. These exercises are very helpful in raising one’s lowered shoulder and reducing the back pain.
Psychologically, doing yoga is very empowering. It gives hope that we can do something to improve our condition and our quality of living. Yoga is a way of life. Choosing to do yoga for scoliosis therapy requires commitment and inner awareness. With scoliosis, it is important not expect perfection but instead accept oneself, and find one’s own optimal alignment and center. As there is beauty in the straight alignment of a palm tree, there is also beauty of an oak tree, or human being, with it’s many twists and turns.