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  • nermeenmah4


Updated: Aug 24, 2023


Thanks to scoliosis that doctors discovered in my thirties after sever pain caused to me during one of yoga classes, i was yoga fan and practitioners following many teachers in different countries, didn’t know that its my path and call in life.

Went to X-rays, MRI and all investigations and finally Doctors told me, you have scoliosis S-shape and that might hinder my flexibility and yoga won’t be easy for me, also it might increase in the future. Stopped yoga, horseback-riding, and got depressed; tried physio-therapy chiropractor and so many different physical treatments approaches.

Nothing was helping, till one of my friends suggested me saying, why don’t you try yoga again, there is something new called yoga therapy, searched and found only one in the city I used to live at that time, 4 sessions only and felt completely different; pain is getting much less, flexibility is back, mood is better and felt I’m capable to practice yoga again in normal classes.

I discovered the holistic and yet extremely tailored approach of yoga that addresses all issues not only scoliosis but also, the Irritable bowel syndrome and sleeping disorder that I used to suffer from as well.

Gratefully and thankfully to yoga teacher and therapist Tiphanie opened the magic cave to me, only 4 classes and found myself asking her to teach me to be able to teach other students and transfer the same magic I experienced; “Ahta yoga annusasanam”, from that moment onward I committed myself to follow my yogam…

Journey has taken different turns, from fan to serious practitioner to a yoga teacher and therapist then complete dedication to spread the authentic yoga tradition of Sri Krishnamacharya where I go and live.

Here is this article I’m trying to capsulate info on scoliosis and how yoga therapy approach, as out of Svadhyaya, I did lot of researches combined with studies and more than 10 years of experience.

You also hear doctors refer to scoliosis based on the direction and location of the irregular spinal curve. The most common ones include:

Thoracic scoliosis: The curve is located in the mid (thoracic) spine. This is the most common location for scoliosis to develop.

Lumbar scoliosis: The curve is located in the lower (lumbar) spine.

Thoracolumbar scoliosis: Vertebrae from both the thoracic and lumbar spinal sections are involved in the curvature.

Levoscoliosis: The spine curves to the left, forming a C shape. This type of curvature most often develops in the lumbar spine.

Dextroscoliosis: The spine curves to the right, forming a backward C shape. This is the most common type of side-to-side spinal curve. Dextroscoliosis usually forms in the thoracic spine, though a second curve in the opposite direction can also develop in the lumbar spine, creating a backward S shape. This is an example of double scoliosis.

Sources: effective integrative Health & Spinal universe

Yoga therapy approach

Yoga therapy first step always “Adyaya” studying the student, observing the student static posture, moving in all direction, understanding the limitation caused by the curvature, studying the history to know more about the possible degrative process and the aggravating factors.

Every student is unique, this how yoga therapy according to Sri Krishnamacharya lineage, I have been studying and sitting next to my teacher Dr. N. Chandrasekaran, Yoga Therapy Founder at Sri Krishnamacharya healing Foundation, during his patients’ investigation process, and working myself for more than 10 years, I never find 2 courses exactly same, in fact from far or for non-specialists can think they look alike, but when you go through details you find many differences.

So you might think, OMG, she is not going to give us a clue ..  in fact I have been in such traps so many times… No I won’t do that to you.

Of course, there is no one-size fits all solution, but there are some guidelines:

- First, we need to know how the degrative happening and work on opposite direction

- Most of thoracic scoliosis patients develops back hump or curvature, affecting their breathing capacity, we need to take immediate care of that development

- Working on the flexibility of the whole body especially spinal will help student maximizing the body physical and physiological functions

- Eliminate effect all the aggravating factors such as obesity and sedentary lifestyle

- Correcting the imbalance that caused by the curvature, here we mostly talking energetical and functional imbalance (strength of back muscles imbalanced due to the curvature)

- Teaching the body good posture that keep or at least minimize curvature development

- Strengthening the back muscles to support the spinal function

- Strengthening the whole structure, physical physiological and more importantly mental or psychological, through accepting our shape, our slight physical limitations and go deeper, loving and approving the self, releasing deep fear, and standing tall and free

Nermeen Mahmoud

Yoga Therapy & Teacher’s Trainer

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