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Marcia Monroe Q&A, ‘Yoga and Scoliosis’ Book Giveaway!

in Giveaways!, YD News

Through our odd, yet fortunate adventures in yoga blogging we’ve encountered more than a few ways that yoga has positively affected people’s lives. Yoga is for everyone, and for many it can be a powerful source for healing and relief.

And so we are super excited and honored to share this Q&A with Marcia Monroe and host a giveaway of her book Yoga and Scoliosis, with an introduction by Dr. Loren Fishman and foreward by B.K.S. Iyengar. If you or someone you know has scoliosis, or perhaps you’re a teacher looking to better serve your students, this book may be a helpful resource on your journey to finding further vertebral and cerebral clarity.

It’s opportunities like this that help provide us balance in the midst of redonkulousness!

About Marcia:
Marcia Monroe is certified as a Yoga Teacher by the Iyengar System of Yoga and a continous student of the Science of Yoga. She has also been certified by the somatic methods of Body Mind Centering® and Feldenkrais®, RSMT.

Read on for the Q&A and then enter to win a copy of her new book!

Why is this book important?
It brings concepts of reeducation of the mind and body, by applying the teachings of Patanjali (Yoga Sutras) as the baseline for the practice. I view scoliosis not only as a progressive disease, but as a pattern that needs to be addressed with its multiple dimensions: physical, mental, spiritual, philosophical, and subtle.

This book is also based of my personal experience in searching for treatments to treat an aggressive scoliosis without surgery.  It is about how I found yoga, mainly the Iyengar Yoga system, as a healing and supportive system that focuses on alignment, stability, strength, balance, length, and most important of all on scoliosis. It shows how the practice of modified postures enhances the individual awareness and the three-dimensional aspects of scoliosis.

Why did you feel the need to write it?
I wanted tell others of my own on-going healing experience, to offer hope for those like me who are survivors of scoliosis, and to have faith that Yoga can be healing path that brings empowerment and expansion to new possibilities. I have found through practice and diligent awareness something wakes up that will provide an inner intelligence. This perception of how to feel the body from inside out is sometimes a challenge for us with scoliosis.
Yoga practice is the path for healing (using modified postures).

It is important to note that a qualified teacher is needed on the path to make sure that the actions are leading toward improvement rather than deterioration. Also, the teachers must know that scoliosis is individual, and that the complexities of the curves will require a different modification for each side. And most of all, a medical follow up is to be included.

What role does Iyengar yoga have in helping those students and or teachers with scoliosis?
From my first class, I finally began to feel a connection to scoliosis. Through its geometric and precise methodology new possibilities and hope emerged. The Iyengar yoga system is based on the teachings of Patanjali and focuses on embodiment. This embodiment evolves with practice and will gradually unfold the doors to the inner intelligence. Sometimes this perception of how to feel the body from inside out is a challenge for us with scoliosis.

Amongst the many layers of the various teachings that I received from my studies with Mr. Iyengar is the fundamental relationship of the limbs to the spine, to improve and live with scoliosis. In this system the peripheral body is the first to be addressed to reach different areas of the spine and the results of elongation, stability, self-organization, and breath awareness. It all begins with the studying of the feet, and their relationship to gravity and anti-gravity, as well as their transmission to the neuromuscular system. This proprioceptive learning was like a light switch for postural tone. The connection from the muscles to the skeleton to the nervous system was felt and perceived despite the shape of the spine. The life long processes of embodiment began by breaking down the various parts of the body in order to integrate.

In my opinion, one of the Mr. Iyengar’s many legacies is the vast repertoire and emphasis of the standing postures and the modifications offered by the props. The standing family of postures are medicine for scoliosis as they provide strength and their application can be taken to functional life in the actions of walking, sustaining a standing position without fatigue, feeling grounded as well as lightness.

It all starts in Tadasana, the hardest posture for an asymmetric body, how to stand in one’s two feet and distribute the weight evenly between both sides, from the alignment of the feet, the legs are activated and the spine is addressed. I have been practicing standing asanas since that first class and they are my medicine to elongate, stabilize and strengthen the spine.

WIN: A copy of Yoga and Scoliosis by Marcia Monroe. We’re giving away 2 copies! Courtesy of Demos Health Publishing.

TO ENTER: In yoga we become all too aware of our spines. And that’s good! Spines are generally useful things after all. We’re going full dork on this one. Share with us in the comments one fun fact about the spine, or a bit of trivia on the vast world of vertebrates (it’s ok to look it up) or perhaps something interesting you’ve learned about your own spine. That’s it!

Entries open until 11:59pm Saturday, March 17th. Two winners will be chosen at random and announced soon after! Good luck!

AND THE WINNERS ARE…Kirsten and Shannon! Congrats! Thanks to all who entered and shared your fun fact or your personal story. Wishing everyone the best in your continued journeys of exploration.

——

Earlier

55 comments… add one

  • I already have a copy of this! I am rich all thanks to my husband!

  • David Higley

    Yoga is the first thing I turn to when my scoliosis acts up.

  • Pam

    Oh I hope I win. Every woman in my family has scoliosis. I don’t have any interesting story, but I did learn over the years to draw strength from my spine because of yoga. I used to feel fragile because of my back, but years of doing yoga has made me stronger.

  • Deanne Criste

    People shrink between an quarter of an inch up to 5 inches every decade after 40 years of age due to disc compression. Plus every morning we are taller than in the evening due to slight disc compression.

  • I learned in my YTT that while most people have five sacral vertebral segments, there is variation amongst individuals. There can be as few as four or as many as six. I thought that was pretty fascinating.

  • Kat

    From http://www.apparelyzed.com/spinalcord.html – “The anatomy of the spinal cord itself, consists of millions of nerve fibres which transmit electrical information to and from the limbs, trunk and organs of the body, back to and from the brain. The nerves which exit the spinal cord in the upper section, the neck, control breathing and the arms. The nerves which exit the spinal cord in the mid and lower section of the back, control the trunk and legs, as well as bladder, bowel and sexual function.”
    Whenever I practice cat and cow, I love to think my spine is waking up the rest of my body for the day. : )

  • As an adult, I learned that I have a birth defect in my sacrum–lumbarization. Very simply, at birth, our sacrum is in five parts, which eventually fuse together. The top part of my sacrum never fused and now behaves like an extra vertebrae. Not only that, it also grew a process, in order to be like all the other vertebrae. You’d think this would be great for backbending, but it’s totally not. My body having compensated for this lumbarization thing makes my posture funky. Sometimes, it gets so inflamed that I become totally imobile. Needless to say, yoga is tricky.
    Voilà, that’s my interesting fact about the spine. I want to win this book because I have a student with scoliosis!
    ~Mira

  • Awesome!!

    I have truly fallen in love with my spine as a result of my yoga practice. In 2005 I started having massively chronic, day-to-day back pain, and couldn’t figure out what to do about it. I was really worried about my spine.

    It wasn’t until 2009 when I finally committed to a serious practice that I realized the relationship our “core” muscles have with our lower back. Once I strengthened my abdominals and obliques, etc, I finally woke up one day and felt something was missing. I realized that what was missing was my back pain. It was truly an empowering experience.

    Recently (6 months ago) I was hit by a car while riding my bicycle, and have suffered pretty extensive trauma in my cervical vertebrae since. Lots of physical therapy, massage, and a simple home practice have helped me recuperate. I never knew how much work my neck does to keep me going, every day, until I got hit!

    Gentle cat-cow & twists are some of my best friends! I love my spine!

    Many blessings,
    Bryan

  • Jane C.

    Wonderful book, I’d love to win a copy. The sacrum is secret and sacred – there’s a fun fact.

  • Flexibility of the spine is longevity of life :)

  • As a yoga instructor with scoliosis, I’m always interested in learning more about how my experience of asana differs from my students due to my spinal curvatures. And did you know we are taller in the morning than at night due to temporary, daily compression of the cartilage disks in the spine?
    [fact source: http://www.prevea.com/spinefacts.nws

  • I have my scoliosis to thank for my yoga practice. So, although it has taken, it has also given.

    One fun spine fact – we’re taller in the morning than in the evening.

    http://www.prevea.com/spinefacts.nws

    And I know I’m taller after a yoga class too!

  • Stacy Joyce

    The top vertebrae of the cervical spine is called the Atlas, from Greek mythology, because it supports the globe of the head.

  • Patricia Juarez

    In India, spine health determines age vs. actual years of age(birthdate).

  • Kat

    Fun fact: There’s more pressure on the discs of the lumbar spine when you are sitting than when you are standing. Leaning forward (like slouching over your computer) further increases that level of pressure.

  • Joan M. Brenner

    I found out from my Chiropractor that I was born without a vertebra at the base of my spine. Hasn’t had a big effect on me or maybe it’s the reason I’m so bendie!

  • Kirsten Palmer

    C2 is called the axis. I have scoliosis so I hope I win!

  • Patricia C

    The spine contains over 120 individual muscles, 220 specialized ligaments and over 100 joints!

  • Lindsey @ Lindsey Living

    In my second day of labor I was finally admitted to the hospital. When the nurse blessed me with my epidural, she also informed me that I had scoliosis. As if I didn’t have enough on my mind! :)
    Would love to share this book with the instructors at my yoga studio if I win. Thanks for the chance!

  • Ami

    I’m a relatively new reader to Yoga Dork. Love the site!

    And I would love a copy of the book. :-)

  • Emily

    When I think of scoliosis and yoga, I always think of Leslie Kaminoff and his Yoga Anatomy book. He is a truly knowledgeable and experienced practitioner with scoliosis, and the illustrations of him in headstand really show how much we can all do with our perfectly-imperfect bodies!

  • Elynor

    I work with so many folks who have back/spine issues in yoga class–and this book could also really help my husband, who has chronic back problems/scoliosis.

    In my yoga training, it was taught that the spine is a central focus in the asana and sequences we do–with the goal of stretching the spine in all different directions (forward, back, side, and twist). One doesn’t feel old until the back hurts, and a back injury can be extremely debilitating.

  • Marisa

    I have slight scoliosis, and I have found that yoga is one of the best things to lengthen my spine and equalize my shoulders/hips. I think one of the coolest things about the spine is how much it moves and rotates, both as a whole and as individual vertebrae. It’s fascinating to do yoga and move from having limited spinal mobility to twisting and bending and folding. It’s so exciting and liberating.

  • Vandana

    You will not feel pain from a bulging disc until the jelly stuff in the middle has protruded right to the outer layer of the disc — so we might all have bulging discs and not even be aware of it!!
    This means that you should not twist your lower back (to avoid disc protrusion), but focus the twist starting on the mid-back to the upper back.
    I learned this in an awesome workshop on Yoga and the Lower Back :)

  • DebW.

    … and forward bending is not a good idea if there is a ruptured/bulging disc … gentle backbends can be of some help and “push” the bulge forward and away from the nerve impingement – which is what causes the pain/debilitation … – just thought I’d throw that in)….

    Interesting fact about the spine: it is the first thing that develops, (snakelike, in my opinion) in the developing embryo: “A man’s sperm joins with a woman’s egg, creating a one-celled zygote. That one cell divides into two, which divide into four, over and over until there are about 100 cells. At this point, a few days after conception, the zygote becomes a blastocyst, and that’s when the earliest beginnings of spinal development start to happen.
    A blastocyst starts off as a collection of similar cells, but it doesn’t stay that way for long. It develops three cell layers, called germ layers, in a process called gastrulation. The layers are the ectoderm, mesoderm and endoderm. Most of the body’s innermost organs are formed from the endoderm, while most of the external features, like skin and hair, come from the ectoderm. The spine, part of the middle of the body, comes from the mesoderm. These layers are distinct within 12 days of the egg’s fertilization”.

    Fast Forward to infancy — and “baby carriers” :
    As we are finally realizing the benefits of “wearing” our infants while we perform our daily activities, we must be careful not to compromise the integrity of our child’s spine through the use of improper carriers. Spondylolisthesis (specifically, Type II/isthmic) is a condition that can result from excessive stress in the low back, such as a baby’s spine might experience in certain carriers on the market today. It is relatively uncommon, but when aggravated is extremely painful. This article explains which styles of baby carriers promote healthy spine development in an infant and describes the unnecessary stress and resulting spinal condition that can result from using certain carriers.
    A healthy adult spine has four curves when viewed from the side, located in the neck (cervical spine), mid-back (thoracic), low back (lumbar) and base of the spine (sacrum). Upon entering the world, a newborn has only two curves in her spine: the mid-back and the base of the spine. These two curves are called the primary or kyphotic curves. They have an apex or “hump” at the back of the body. The curves in the neck and low back develop later and are termed secondary or lordotic curves. The curve in the cervical spine develops as the child begins to lift his head and the neck muscles are strengthened. The curve in the lumbar spine results as the child starts to crawl. The lordotic curves have an apex at the front of the body. These four curves — two primary and two secondary — are extremely important in the spine (both adult and child), for this is how the body handles the stress of gravity. If these curves do not exist, the body’s center of balance is shifted, causing undue stress on the spinal column and spinal cord.
    Read more: http://www.continuum-concept.org/reading/spinalStress.html

    Regarding scoliosis.
    I have scoliosis. I am hyper-flexible. I have numerous students that have scoliosis – they are all hyper-flexible. My daughter, 14, is hyper flexible and I can see the growth spurt of last year, combined with hyper-flexibility, resulted in an instability of the supporting structure – center channel –(the spine). My theory: hyper-flexible people are prone to scoliosis – the laxity of their joints is more prone to gravity – like a wet noodle – and the “S-curve” results. Therapeutics involves intense hugging of the periphery to the core in order to lengthen … as well as inversion therapy.

    Sure would love a copy of that book. ;)

  • DebW.

    feeling compelled to share a little somthing that scoliosis students LOVE, which I learned from Cora Wen: that’s us in the picture below – and me “hanging out”:
    http://a8.sphotos.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-snc7/2661_85081450608_680365608_2697387_4018736_n.jpg
    Buy some solid 1.5″dowlings, about 3.5-4 feet long and have your students hang off them as shown … I like to focus on internal rotation of thighs, buttocks relaxed, collar bones wide, external rotation of upper arm and then a “release” of the “heart center” into gravity …. (okay – call it melting your heart if you need to) … gentle draw back of the hyoid bone to deepen the back bend. Partners “lift” the bar up and “away” so the spine lengthens – to the comfort of the participant. Those with scoliosis: gently “twist” the bar in the directino of the “curve” (not against) while gently “lifting” against gravity in order to lengthen spine — brings incredible relief and I LOVE IT. Have yet to meet anyone with scoliosis that doesn’t ask for this in class repeatedly. Fanstastic stuff and thanks CORA WEN for sharing it with me.

  • PhillipR

    My favorite fun fact is about the cervical spine, or neck. You have 7 vertebrae in your neck just like your dog or cat, a whale, and even a giraffe. Hopefully it’s a lucky 7 for all of us!

  • HM

    It took about 5 years of regularly practicing yoga to realize my spine was totally twisted! Now I can’t believe I never noticed before that how when my hips face forward, my torso faces several degrees to the left. Thank goodness for yoga for letting me access this body awareness, for now helping me to heal this pattern in my spine, and for reminding me not to judge my body and seeing the Divine in my body!

  • this yoga book is very good i have learned yoga from this book . I would recommend this book to all new learners

  • Justine

    I too live with the scoliosis/hyper flexibility combo. I love that yoga helps me balance the left side of my body with my right…if that makes any sense. I’d love to create that dowel prop DebW mentioned…looks delish!

  • Patty

    I have very mild scoliosis, and my practice of yoga has helped bring me into balance. You never realize how different the two halves of your body are until you start doing yoga!

  • RvnJade

    The spine is technically supposed to be an S curve of sorts. For many of us suffering with scoliosis, the S is warped, twisted, or reversed. In my particular case, I am muscle heavy on one side, and underdeveloped on the other. This is all due to a curvature so minute…you’d never know it to look at me. You’d never know that I suffer from neck kinks, mid back pain, right sacroiliac pain. Daily. Surgery or pills are offered, and declined.

    My mat is where I work out those kinks, release those knots, breathe openness into those areas of tightness. My husband now comments on the changes of my spinal musculature. Not only am I finding emotional balance, but physical balance as well. I am putting this book on my wish list. Thanks!

  • DebW.

    i get that RvnJade. you’d never know it to look at me – but “straight” feels so crooked, and crooked feels so “straight” …
    I have a rib that perennially pops out (usu. at the beginning of garden season when I’m shovelling and twisting simultaneously) I get left SI and right psoas … and now, with age, starting to see mild kyphosis in upper back so focusing more on backbending.
    As my practice has matured over the years, the degree of rotation has been reduced (according to Chiro) from the baseline taken in 1992 and I attribute that to a very deep internal awareness and really paying attention to how my body “receives” my breath. Imbalance from left to right is ‘subtle’ but can be adjusted and tweaked when we listen so carefully and mindfully from the inside out. Scoliosis has been an incredible gift in a way as it has taught me to be a better teacher and to experience the practice as something internally referenced vs. externally determined or “mimicked” …. :) Blessings.

  • Mary

    The spine is fine
    without it we’d whine
    for all time
    until some kind
    maker rebuilt us
    from twine, and then
    we’d be bendy like sine
    and cosine, no more
    stiff lines, just
    undulating wine,
    but no real support
    for our hinds or
    our minds, so let’s
    take good care of
    our winding pines,
    keep them long and
    lithe, so they shine.

    :-)

  • DebW.

    I love this thread.
    I could not, not share this:
    http://youtu.be/1gd7FWYp-jQ

    from fluidity into form and back again, form into fluidity.
    As eternal as the full circle … ;)

  • Julie Turner

    Through yoga, I’ve learned that I have a mildly lordotic spine, as well as mild scoliosis and that it is a very common occurance in many adults. I’ve also learned that it’s not good to force the lumbar area to be flat on the floor when in supine poses such as supta padagustasana.

    Alignment of the spine is very important – whether standing, lying on the floor or seated in a chair. It supports us and our good health.

  • My scoliosis is what brought me to yoga. I’ve always known I had a lower left lumbar curve, but I didn’t have problems until I got older. I began practicing yoga to help manage the pain and to balance me out. Little did I know how life changing yoga would be! Now I’m a yoga teacher and studio owner who strives to show people their yoga for their unique needs!
    Fun fact: humans & giraffes have the same number of bones in their necks! Giraffes’ neck vertebrae are just much, much longer!

  • Danielle Fisher Carlson

    I have noticed that nothing makes my back feel better than upward dog, cobra and wide legged forward fold. Headstand is sometimes a great feeling as well-I use this pose sparingly :)

  • Shannon

    I’ve learned that my own scoliosis responds well to yoga, and I’d love to have another resource to turn to. Because of my curvature, one side of my low back has greater muscle mass than the other (my spine shoved the muscle over to one side), so that tends to knot up easily. Cat-Cow is great for it, but I’m sure there’s more I could be doing.

  • awakening the spine by vanda scaravelli

    A MUST READ!
    our spine is so incredible… it has the ability to grow in BOTH directions.. my favorite quote from this book :
    “Above the surface of the earth the tree, mostly through its leaves, receives air, sun and rain water enabling it to develop its sap. Below the surface of the earth, by absorbing water and minerals through its rots, the tree receives nourishment and strength.

    This central point of the tree, where it touches the earth’s surface, corresponds in our body to the waist at the level of the fifth lumbar vertebra, where the human spine moves in both directions.”

    if we hold ourselves in the same esteem; we see too, like trees how important our spine and back truly are.. our cord connecting us to all our nourishment and growth… INCREDIBLE!

  • Frances

    “Surprisingly, even with its long neck, the giraffe has the same number of vertebrae in its neck as humans do. Giraffe have seven cervical vertebrae, but each one can be about 10 inches long.”

    http://www.giraffeconservation.org/giraffe_facts.php?pgid=2

  • AlanJHorton

    “If you don’t take care of your spine, where else you gonna live!?”

  • Lavon

    I discovered I had an s-shaped curvature of my spine after college during at a chiropractor appointment for back pain. I had started a job which required sitting and the change must have aggravated my condition. I had always been active and was unaware of the curvature except for a slight hip asymmetry I assumed was due to one leg slightly longer than another. My twin sister noticed some asymmetry but never any noticeable deformity. The chiropractor did x-rays and I was astonished at the shape of my spine-it was s shaped with a lateral twist which seemed to indicate my spine compensated for some type of injury or congenital defect during my growth. I do recall in 7th grade being uncomfortable sitting in class an found relief by leaning to one side but no real pain. I can now see the curve by the small rib hump when bending over. I understand that they now screen young girls for this condition and can support the spine during the growth period. I do yoga and am mindful of the asymmetry and use my breathe to expand into the concave area that exists on my left side. My practice has made my back stronger and my sister says the asymmetry is less noticeable now. I am sure yoga has contributed to improving the alignment of my spine with the rest of my body but the curvature will always be with me. I would like to read more on practices which incorporate poses which are beneficial to scoliosis especially for an athletic practice.

  • Aviv

    I do not know anything about my spine or yoga but I would really like this book kay thanks bye

  • Martha

    Mnemonic to remember the number of vertebrae – breakfast, lunch, and dinner. 7 (a.m. – breakfast) cervical vertebrae, 12 (noon) thoracic vertebrate, and 5 (early bird special!) lumbar vetebrae. I was diagnosed with scoliosis as a child, reminded of it when I was pregnant and was x-rayed prior to a c-section, and yet it never occurred to me until I read this post that this is why I have such a hard time in tadasana! I would love to read this book. Thanks.

  • Paula McCormick

    I have rotational scoliosis of the lumbar region of the spine. I have always had back pain, since I was a child. As an adult in my 40s , I started seeing a very competent chiropractor, who was also a massage therapist. Our first session involved xrays of my spine. I found that my right hip was about an inch higher than my left, as a result of the scoliosis and my body’s attempt to compensate. We tried heel lifts in my shoes, and various forms of orthotics. I saw him on almost a weekly basis for many years, and he helped me significantly. Then, I got involved in yoga. I loved yoga so much that I went through teacher training, and my yoga practice consisted of about an hour a day, more during weekend training sessions. I had been seeing my chiropractor less and less through these years, and I did away with the heel lift. After completing yoga teacher training (and the hours of practice that went with it), I went to see my chiropractor in his new office, mainly because I wanted to treat myself to a deep tissue massage. He took new xrays, and could not believe what he saw. He had my old xrays hanging next to my new xrays, and he measured them over and over, and exclaimed, “I’ve never seen anything like this. Your hips are almost level.” He just kept looking and looking at them. I had been telling him he should get to know about yoga! These xrays are empirical data showing that yoga can help heal the body. Yoga helped me develop a mind-body connection so that I can correct my posture. Regular practice, especially twists, takes away my back pain.

  • JJ

    The person who taught me anatomy in my teacher training used a variation of the mneumonic above: Denny’s is open 24 (total number of vertebrae) hours a day and senior citizens eat there. They eat breakfast at 7 (cervical), lunch at 12 (thoracic), and dinner at 5 (lumbar).
    I, too, came to yoga for relief from back pain cause by spinal curvature. I am now a full-time instructor.
    That same anatomy teacher propounded the idea that scoliosis could be the result of trauma-not just physical trauma, but spiritual or emotional trauma as well. This means that healing scoliosis may require a holistic approach. Like…um…yoga!

  • DebW.

    quote: “…. scoliosis could be the result of trauma-not just physical trauma, but spiritual or emotional trauma as well …”
    Totally agree.
    Very spiritual chiro said to me that he finds people with scoliosis tend to “take the easy way out”. I was (my ego was) somewhat offended at the time (20 years ago). But I have to say I am guilty as charged …. and … along with noticing hyper-mobility in many students that have scoliosis I also notice 2 other things: big time rib-poppers which is “giving power away” and a tendency towards being very free spirited and giving OUT alot of energy. I work alot with svadistana and manipura and taking our power “back”– instead of spilling everything out , take it back home and hug the outer form to the inner , the periphery to the core, in order to stand tall ! Almost always a psycho-spiritual connection to physical deficits/challenges. There is a strong component of speaking our truth as well – its almost like the “energy” between the root and the throat gets “bunged up” and twisted (sort of like a twisted or knotted colon/bowel would when we are not “eliminating properly” —- the spine is the life force — If we are not truly expressing our fullest potentials or they somehow get stifled during a develpmental growth stage the “core” does not root to rise in a way that creates dynamic stability …….hmmmm….. see where I am going with this?

  • bhaktigirl

    never could figure out why I had repeated SI pain in triangle…after the joint was put back in place…until after I took a good look at a spine/pelvis model…now moving the pelvis and sacrum so the SI joint moves together rather than away-viola! no pain :)

  • 25% of the spine’s length is made up of cartilage–which expands in the absence of gravity. Basically, if we all lived in space we’d be taller (although grounding poses might be more challenging.)

  • Hannah Engelke

    Fun fact about scoliosis: There are chiropractors who will treat any size curve, and actually treat it as a neurological condition. Retrain the brain, retrain the body. Go to http://www.clearinstitute.org to learn more.

    For me, I started at clear institute, and then later found yoga. Treating scoliosis is a ifetime commitment, so now why not help your mental health in yoga too. I am an advocate for both, and will be part of both my whole life.

    I am at 28 degrees and still determined to improve…pretty impressive for someone whose curve was at 53 degrees!

  • Gordon

    Hi Hannah,

    I’m a year late on this, but was curious to hear more about your improvement. Was a majority of your reduction from CLEAR or yoga, or do you still do both actively?

  • Cristina

    I have scoliosis, and spent 2 years in one of those god-awful Milwaukee braces as a teenager. I then spent most of my 20s, 30s, and 40s completely oblivious of the degree to which the scoliosis was continuing me (my first career was as a violinist, and I struggled constantly with physical pain in my neck, arms, back, before quitting). FINALLY, in my mid-40s, I have begun to practice yoga and, as a result, to experience a kind of physical freedom I’d never even realized I was missing. (If that makes sense; I was just so used to the dull pain/sort of wobbly feeling I’d always lived with.) So, yay yoga, and I can’t wait to read this book!

  • Cristina

    should read: “continuing TO AFFECT me”

  • Scoliosis bracing and surgery aren’t always the best options. It’s important for scoliosis patients to know what the alternatives are, which includes exercise. Yoga can be therapeutic and help ease pain associated with scoliosis.

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