Full Backcover Description
Yoga For Scoliosis with Elise Browning Miller
Beginner: Just starting out, very overweight or haven't exercised in over six months.
Intermediate: Active in sports, dance or any regular exercise (2 to 3 times per week).
Advanced: Very active in sports or consistently work out four or more times per week.
Instructor: Elise Browning Miller (Instructor Profile)
Runtime: 50 min.
This practice is designed to relieve pain and alleviate imbalances caused by scoliosis, a curvature of the spine. The slow-moving alignment-based instruction helps practitioners quiet the mind by calming the body. ©2003.
Optional equipment: 2 yoga blocks or 2 stacks of books, several firm blankets, a 10’ yoga belt, a second yoga belt or tie, a folding chair, optional balance ball, free wall space
The introduction to this practice includes a helpful overview of the four types of scoliosis by an orthopedic surgeon. Moving images of the spine demonstrate the various ways the spine can rotate and curve. Anyone using this practice would benefit from consulting with a doctor to find out what type of scoliosis they have before using this DVD. The teacher, Elise Browning Miller, gives specific modifications throughout the practice depending on what type of curvature you have.
The first part of the practice includes basic poses to lengthen the spine. Elise gives several customized modifications here for each type of scoliosis. For example, she instructs practitioners to breathe into the more compressed areas where the back feels tight. These modifications are incredibly helpful to create more space in the back. The names of the poses are displayed on the screen in both Sanskrit and English. This improves the instruction and helps practitioners learn more about yoga. In the second part, the teacher uses simple instructions to strongly emphasize alignment in the traditional standing poses. The body awareness the teacher helps practitioners create is excellent. She focuses on the ribs, the spine, the pelvis, and the tailbone, all areas where scoliosis sufferers need help finding balance. A few prone back strengtheners will help yogis develop their back muscles.
The third and final part includes restorative, releasing, and relaxing poses with several props. The poses in this final section help scoliosis sufferers de-rotate the spine and lengthen their hamstrings and back body. It does take time to arrange the props, but the reward is worth it. Elise gives highly detailed and supportive ways to open up the upper back and help compensate for the concavity created by scoliosis on one side of the back. The deep supported backbend is especially helpful if your shoulders round forward and your head sticks out (for example people who sit at a computer for many hours a day).
The sitting chair twist with a block is exceptional for relieving a compressed mid-back and shoulders. The hamstring stretches and core work with the strap are unique and innovative. Six bonus poses using the wall or a chair provide deep back stretches and chest/shoulder openers. Practitioners suffering from scoliosis or anyone with back pain will enjoy these therapeutic poses.
The teacher’s in-depth knowledge about yoga for scoliosis helps those suffering from this condition to find freedom in the back and the entire body. As a scoliosis sufferer and yoga teacher, I feel this practice is excellent – well thought-out and incredibly relaxing for the back. At the end of the practice in svanasana (final relaxation), I felt a deep release in my scoliosis problem area in my back. The stretch using the bolster on the side of your back that protrudes is excellent to relieve pain and pressure. The instruction does not provide for a long hold for the restorative supported poses, but the great part about practicing with a DVD is that you can pause it to hold for as long as you like. The setting is an indoor home environment. Elise Browning Miller guides viewers through the practice as she and 3 students demonstrate the poses. Moves include introductory stretches with emphasis on lengthening the spine, standing poses to strengthen the core and center the body, and restorative supported poses with props to alleviate imbalances caused by scoliosis. Customized instruction based on what type of curvature you have can help alleviate imbalances and relieve pain.
Introduction: 5 minutes
Yoga = 50 minutes
Bonus Segments: 12 minutes (interviews and bonus poses)