Yoga is a science that has been practiced for thousands of years. It consists of Ancient Theories, observations and principles about the mind and body connection which is now being proven by modern medicine. Yoga is an ancient physical mental and spiritual practice with its roots going back 5,000 years to India. Derived from the Sanskrit root “Yujir Yogey” meaning to unite, to yoke, to join or to put together. Yoga is not about mind over body. On the other hand, Yoga is about developing harmony between them. In Yoga, you use your mind to perceive (diagnose) and guide (heal) your body. Yoga is all about feeling good; feel the blood surging through your veins, the energy pulsating through your nerves. The bliss coursing through your whole being. Best of all, Yoga is apt for all, regardless of age, color, caste, creed or religion. Contrary to popular perception, Yoga positions are not about how far you can reach to touch your toes or how many repetitions you can perform. It is all about paying attention to how your body feels and how it moves without that excruciating pain or agony. Yoga is all about breathing correctly and about integrating that breath into your being. Yoga is highly therapeutic. Some of the ailments proven to be relieved through the practice of Yoga are acidity, allergies, Alzheimer disease, anemia, anger, anxiety, arthritis, asthma, back pain, bronchitis, cancer, carpal tunnel syndrome, common cold, constipation, and even depression. Even ailments such as diabetes, epilepsy, eye problems, facial wrinkles, gastrointestinal disorders, headaches, heartburn, hemorrhoids, hepatitis, high blood pressure, hypertension, immune-deficiency, impotence, menopause, menstrual cramps, migraines, multiple sclerosis, and skin problems can be healed by yoga. However, yoga practitioners believed that yoga is beneficial to a lot of people who are suffering from scoliosis.
Scoliosis is a medical term taken from a Greek word meaning ‘curvature.’ This disease often develops during childhood causing 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 affects a small percentage of the population, approximately 2 percent. However, scoliosis is hereditary. If someone in a family has scoliosis, the likelihood of an incidence 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 is improving the problem of uneven curves and it is considered 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 requires commitment and inner awareness. With scoliosis, it is important not expect perfection but instead accept oneself, and find ones 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 with it’s many twists and turns.