For thousands of years, humanity has reaped the benefits of yoga for physical and spiritual health. In modern times, yoga is used in all different areas of medicine as a complement to traditional forms of therapy. This mind-body practice incorporates posture, breathing, and meditation to improve overall well-being.
There are over 100 forms of yoga that vary by level of intensity. Research has shown that yoga is great to alleviate stress, soreness, and even pain. Many sufferers of scoliosis don’t believe they can practice yoga because of the unique stretches yoga involves; however, studies have shown that yoga can not only alleviate pain, it can even reduce the curvature of your back when you practice 1 pose a day for 1-2 minutes.
There are 5 key beginner yoga poses that work wonders for scoliosis sufferers. These help strengthen and stretch your back muscles.
A great beginner pose, Mountain Pose helps to improve your balance and core strength. Just like its name, it requires you to stand tall and firm, just like a mountain.
With your feet placed parallel to each other and about hip distance apart, relax your shoulders and stand up straight. Tighten your thigh muscles and be sure to keep your feet firmly planted on the floor. Extend your toes upward and downward, and practice balance by shifting your weight between the balls of your feet and the heels.
To achieve Warrior Pose, stand as if in a lunge while raising your arms upward. Relax the muscles in your face and stretch your thighs. Next, move your back leg further back while extending your arms outward. This pose improves balance and enhances stamina, leading to a stronger back.
To start this pose, set your feet widely apart and extend your arms outward. Stretch your back vertically and rotate your arms so the palms are facing the sky. Keeping your arms open, take deep breaths. Turn the toes on your right foot 90 degrees so they are almost perpendicular to your core. Rotate your left hip so your legs are facing the same direction and slowly lean down. This pose stretches your spine to reduce back pain.
This is a good warm-up pose. This pose is performed on all fours with your back arched and your head facing downward. Your shoulders should be placed over your wrists as well as your knees should be right under your hips. On an inhale, gaze upward while arching your back (cow pose). On the exhale, slowly bring your head toward your navel (cat pose.) This motion boosts blood flow and relaxes your mind.
The final pose is a very common yoga pose most people are familiar with. The Downward Dog pose requires you to position your body in a sort of upside-down V. Utilize Cat/Cow Pose as a warm-up for Downward Dog. Begin on all fours and extend your upper body backward as you move your heart closer and closer to the ground while taking deep breaths. This is called “puppy posture.”
Next, slowly bring your knees and slowly engage your core as you stretch your body upward as if you were being lifted by your tail. Pedal the feet to prevent stiffness, and keep the palms of your hands planted on the floor. This pose is a little tricky, especially if you are not particularly flexible at this moment. With practice, you will develop flexibility. It alleviates spinal strain by lengthening your spine and distributing the weight of your body temporarily onto your legs.
For additional pain relief, visit your local New Jersey pain specialists at Garden State Pain Control.