For people with a spinal fusion, a yoga practice can provide a safe and challenging approach to whole body health. Spinal fusion surgery causes rigidity of the spine and altered movement patterns. An understanding of spinal fusions, scoliosis when applicable, and appropriate modifications is especially important to avoid injury.
Spinal fusion surgery generally “corrects” the spinal curvatures of scoliosis. However, a reduced curvature pattern remains along with the same pre-surgery compensation patterns. These compensation patterns are both neurological and muscular in nature.
The yoga with spinal fusions work is approached with respect for each individual client’s fusion, which likely varies in length and type from person to person. I carefully work with my clients to build awareness through the breath. Elongation and expansion of the spine and limbs allows us to discover a refined sense of alignment as well as space in the body. Then we focus on developing balanced stability and strength through the limbs and the core. We allow an ease of movement in areas of the body that are free to move while simultaneously focusing on stability in the segments above and below the fusion itself. Ultimately, we strive to integrate our fusion into our body’s complex systems.
I also work with people who have spinal fusions due to reasons other than scoliosis.
“I just want to say that today’s Yoga for Fusions class was the best yoga class I’ve experienced. I felt so empowered, lengthened and strengthened afterwards.You give such wonderful individual attention and explained what we are doing and why so well. Thank you so much!!”
Watch a recorded livestream conversation with Martha Carter, Jen Gorman, Carlyn Porter, and Julie Wilkins. They discuss spinal fusions, scoliosis, and cultivating a yoga practice. They share their own journey with scoliosis and spinal fusion surgery, personal experience with yoga, how they approach working with others that also have spinal fusions, and guidance on how to live your fullest life with a spinal fusion.