Going Deeper: Scoliosis

The following suggestions come from Amber Burke and Bill Reif. They explain that it’s important to note limitations when practicing:

Does one side of your rib cage have more difficulty expanding—likely the concave side of the curve in the thoracic region, where the ribs are close together? You want to facilitate more expansion in the area that feels restricted on the inhale, and try not to let the restricted space collapse when you exhale.

The concave, or shorter, side of the torso can be stretched through Side Bends and poses called Side Glides. They describe the difference between a Side Bend and a Side Glide this way:

When side bending, you intentionally lengthen one side of the torso and lift one shoulder higher than the other—as you reach back for reverse warrior, for example. But in side gliding, the goal is to try to keep the shoulders—and head—level as you shift the rib cage or the hips to the right and left.

To practice a Side Glide from standing:

  1. Initiate the movement from the middle of the rib cage.
  2. Without disturbing shoulders and head, encourage the rib cage to move side to side, and then the hips to shift from side to side.
  3. Hold each glide for several breaths

Practice Side Lying Savasana:

  1. Lie on convex side with a pillow under the head.
  2. Use a bolster or blanket under the part of the rib-cage that’s rounded out the most. This encourages a passive adjustment.
  3. In the case of 2 curves, roll over to rest on the other side with a blanket under the second smaller curve.