Yoga for Scoliosis
Individuals with scoliosis oftentimes assume compensations throughout the body for the curvature of the spine. With careful instruction, it’s possible to discover a refined sense of alignment and center. I carefully work with my clients’ scoliosis through awareness, elongation, de-rotation, and strength. During each phase, breath is integral.
Awareness – The first step to working with scoliosis is to develop an awareness of your own curves and how they affect you. In addition to impacting the physical body, scoliosis can affect breath, mental state, and emotions. I encourage and help my clients to cultivate a deep, gentle awareness on many levels.
Elongation – I work with my clients to lengthen their spine. Elongation with the assistance of inversions and gravity can help to reduce the curves, release tension in the muscles, and increase space between the vertebrae. I personally find elongation so effective in managing my scoliosis that I use the practice daily.
Inspiring people to live healthier and happier lives
De-rotation – Scoliosis affects more than just one plane of motion. This was the most surprising piece of information I discovered while studying my own scoliosis. The front of our vertebrae (the vertebral bodies) generally rotate in the direction of the curve in our back, causing convexities and concavities in our back body. I teach my clients to de-rotate their spine and bring energy, movement, and breathe to the concavities.
Strength - Once the spine is elongated and de-rotated, I work with clients to build balanced strength through both sides of the body. This work starts from the center and extend out to the limbs. Building strength will help to sustain and support the new pattern developed through elongation and de-rotation of the spine.
“I was fortunate to participate in Jen’s Yoga for Scoliosis Class Series in Manhattan. I had no experience with yoga but was aware that I needed to attend to issues related to my scoliosis. Starting with the first class, I knew that I was in good hands. After Jen examined my back, I learned that I had an S curve, right thoracic and left lumbar. Every class with Jen was productive, fun, and energizing. She is extremely knowledgeable about scoliosis and how to work safely within the confines of anatomy and musculature on any given day. She challenged me, in a compassionate manner, to find new positions, new ways to be within my body. I continued taking Jen's classes until she left for Chicago. I now have a yoga practice that informs my posture and movements 24/7!” - Christine, 70 year old retired physician