Yoga for Scoliosis: Finding Flexibility and Support Through Yoga

Yoga for Scoliosis: Finding Flexibility and Support Through Yoga

Many scoliosis patients have started practicing Yoga as a complementary treatment. Studies suggest that these yoga exercises can help reduce spinal curvature, although they cannot replace treatments prescribed by doctors. However, yoga poses are a good way to alleviate pain and improve a patient's quality of life. They can help correct curvature and reduce muscle weakness, but it's important to practice them correctly and preferably under the guidance of a professional.

What Is Scoliosis?

Scoliosis refers to a lateral deviation of the spine that can be C- or S-shaped. Typically, it occurs during the growth process during puberty. It affects about 3% of adolescents.

To date, the exact cause of this condition is unknown. However, it can result from congenital anomalies, neuromuscular diseases, spinal injuries, and infections. Besides the curvature of the spine, other symptoms may appear, such as:

  • Shoulders that seem misaligned
  • One shoulder blade is more prominent than the other
  • One side of the hip appears higher than the other
  • Unequal size
  • Ribs that stand out more on one side than the other

In some patients, scoliosis goes unnoticed and is asymptomatic. However, many cases evolve and become noticeable. Once the diagnosis is confirmed, the doctor may suggest various treatments, such as:

  • Immobilizers
  • Surgery (in severe cases)
  • Physiotherapy
  • Chiropractic manipulation

Scoliosis can have many causes, but the end result is always spinal deformity.

What Are The Benefits Of Yoga For Scoliosis?

Yoga exercises are one of many treatment options for scoliosis. However, they are not a first-choice option but a complement. Their practice appears to be beneficial in correcting abnormal curvature of the spine and muscular weakness in the area.

Scoliosis patients who practiced a single yoga pose for one or two minutes daily, 6 days per week, significantly reduced spinal deviation. Over 6-8 months.

More specifically, by performing the side plank posture, patients were able to strengthen the quadratus lumborum, transverse abdominis, obliques, and other muscle groups, reducing the curvature of the spine by 32%.

4 Yoga Poses For Scoliosis

Recommended yoga exercises for scoliosis include postures that do not overload the spine, ideally practiced on a supportive yoga mat. Although it is generally possible to practice them at home with the aid of a yoga mat and a yoga bolster, it is best to start under the supervision of a professional.

Mountain Pose

  • To begin, stand on a Yoga mat with your big toes touching and the outsides of your feet parallel.
  • Relax the arms and hands on both sides of the body, with the palms facing up.
  • Keep your neck stretched and your chin raised.
  • Then, do a deep breathing exercise. Your chest will expand, and your shoulders will open. This breathing will provide a feeling of fullness.
  • Finally, close your eyes, then hold Mountain pose for 10 deep, slow breaths.

Tree Pose

The tree pose is one of the most recommended for people who suffer from scoliosis.

  • From mountain pose, bring your gaze to a fixed point to seek balance.
  • Next, lift your left foot toward your right inner thigh so your toes point toward the floor.
  • Hold the Tree pose for 20 to 30 seconds, then switch feet.

Side Plank Pose

  • First, come into the plank position. In other words, your toes and hands are placed on the meditation mat, and the rest of your body is straight.
  • Then, shift your weight to your left hand and the tip of your left foot so the right foot is on top of the left.
  • Finally, raise your right arm towards the ceiling, then lift your hips off the ground. 
  • Hold this position for 15 to 20 seconds, take a deep breath, and switch to the other side.

Cat Pose

  • Get on all fours facing the floor, with your spine in a neutral position.
  • Be sure to place your hands just below the shoulders, with your fingers pointing forward.
  • Legs should remain parallel, and toes turned backward.
  • From this posture, exhale slowly and then simultaneously direct the coccyx downwards. Move the navel towards the spine, tucking the chin and pointing your gaze towards the knees. If you have any knee history, avoid the pose or try to practice the cat pose by placing a yoga bolster or meditation cushion under your knee.
  • Now inhale by moving your tailbone downward and arching your back towards your stomach. Raise your head and look forward.
  • Perform between 8 and 10 repetitions.


These postures are sufficient to start practicing Yoga. However, there are many others. To discover them, it is best to turn to a professional. Likewise, to enjoy more relaxing sessions, it is wise to do them in a quiet space, away from noise and distractions.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can Children With Scoliosis Practice Yoga?

Yes, Yoga can benefit children with scoliosis, but choosing age-appropriate poses is essential and ensures proper supervision and guidance from a qualified instructor. Yoga can help kids develop body awareness, improve body posture, and build strength and flexibility in a safe and supportive environment.

Can Yoga Help With Scoliosis-Related Pain?

Yes, Yoga can help alleviate scoliosis-related pain by improving flexibility, strengthening supportive muscles, and promoting better posture and body awareness. However, practicing mindfully and avoiding overexertion is essential, as pushing too hard can exacerbate discomfort. Additionally, individuals experiencing chronic or severe pain should consult with a healthcare for personalized guidance.