In preparation for the “Yoga and Scoliosis” workshop that will be offered later this month at the Circle Yoga Shala, Samantha Cavagnaro (PT, DPT and Yoga Therapist in training) and Stela Balaban (Yoga Therapist in training) met with Pam, who graciously offered her time to become a case study for the workshop. During the time spent together, Sam and Stela assessed Pam both biomechanically and Ayurvedically and then applied a scoliosis-specific strategy. By the end of the corrective session, we were able to note significant improvements in both Pam’s posture and breath (see posture photo of before and after). This is particularly exciting because the elements involved in her correction are in every yoga teacher and yoga therapist’s tool bag! These tools will be the focus of the upcoming workshop that Sam, Stela and Matt will lead at the shala. For more information about the workshop and to register click below!
Scoliosis is a type of structural spine pathology that requires a team of professionals — ranging from a qualified health professional to diagnose the curve pattern, to orthopedic physicians, physical therapists with specialized training in the Schroth method, nutritionists, and, yes, even yoga therapists.
“Yoga therapists are […] poised to enhance a client’s session with strategies that reach beyond biomechanics, while still being informed by the limitations of the physical body. Some of these strategies are unique to yoga, such as pranayama: the yoga therapist may select a pranayama that is a biomechanical match for the client’s scoliosis pattern and while the pranayama continues to aid with the lengthening and expansion of the torso, the technique may also support the client’s concentration and develop the client’s internal awareness.
Yoga therapists are also unique in their ability to leverage Ayurveda to adjust the movement protocol based on the client’s native dosha, as well as exogenous conditions dictated by the weather, season, geographic region etc. Dinacharya (daily ritual) can assist the client with inquiring into daily habits and provide holistic guidance so that the client is empowered with the ability to manage their health and well-being. Yoga therapy may add several other layers to the well-being of the client that include goals of liberation, an understanding of human suffering and strategies for dealing with pain, the development of sensitivity to oneself and one’s actions, restoration of harmony to relationships of all kinds, and an ability to see the nature of one’s mind, etc...Ultimately, the greatest service that yoga can bring is to help clients develop knowledge of themselves and relate to their body in a new way.”
Samantha Cavagnaro, Structural Spine Health and Pathologies, Yoga in Action, March 2019