Ashtanga Yoga and Scoliosis
Can scoliosis be healed with Ashtanga Yoga?
The answer would be both yes and no depending on what type of scoliosis we are talking about and what we mean by healing. There are generally two types of scoliosis: Functional scoliosis which is a structural normal spine with a lateral curve often caused by muscular spasm or a difference in leg length. If the curve is caused by muscular spasm this type could be entirely corrected by yoga. Structural scoliosis involves a lateral curve with a rotation and it is irreversible. This type of scoliosis might need surgical correction as it starts in the teens and get worse by age. The cause seems to be related to several things one of them being genetics. In these cases yoga can help to remove some of the blocks, pains and tensions and be a valuable guide for cooping with daily life.
We have had the privilege of meeting Jessica Walker from Puerto Rico, a recent graduate with It’s Yoga Nica that can assure Ashtanag yoga indeed is healing for a structural scoliosis. This is an interview with her after she had finished her 200 hour Ashtanga Yoga Teacher Training. Her yoga journey as a teacher begins and she is determined to share her experiences and help and support others. She believe in yoga as a successful method to heal pains and discomfort caused by scoliosis.
Can you tell us a little bit about your background?
I’m your average person who has struggled with scoliosios since I was a little girl. When I was 20 years old I underwent surgery to have it corrected, it was crucial, or else it would have affected other areas of my life later on. However, after surgery I still lived with strange pains, tensions and pinching all throughout my back and surrounding areas.
What took you to yoga?
My bets friend Christine had tried to get me to go to yoga. I would think to myself ” How am I going to do yoga with two titanium rods in my back?” She said it doesn’t matter – do what you can. Finally I caved and went. After one class I felt relief and was hooked.
Why did you choose Ashtanga Yoga?
I like the way it just flows and focuses on other areas not just the physical body.
How has yoga helped you?
It has helped me release tensions and stress, physical and mental. I am more flexible, relaxed and overall I just feel great!
Why did you decide to become a yoga teacher?
I decided to become a yoga teacher so that I can spread the love and teach others how to feel great. Hopefully just being able to relate to them (knowing how it feels, to walk in their shoes) will help inspire them to try yoga. Just seeing the progress I made in a short time inspire me to want to show others how yoga can change their lives, as it has mine.
Hopefully one day I will have a yoga studio on my own that specializes in helping people with surgeries and other conditions to cope and hopefully recuperate faster.
What is your advice to anyone with a physical challenge in their life, such as yours?
Just try yoga once at least. It is not going to happen over night but I promise if you keep at it will help your life for the better. Namste