Editors Note: Hi Guys! We have an uber amazing Yogi Tega here to help us stretch and loosen all the naughty knots causing pain. Let’s get right into it!
Scoliosis is a condition identified by curvature in the spine. It can occur as a result of hormonal, congenital (usually in childhood) or neuromuscular abnormalities in the body. This spinal curvature also affects the shoulder and pelvic girdles – the curve in the spine can cause one shoulder or hip joint to appear higher or lower than the other.
This often gives an impression of one leg or arm being longer than the other. Due to uneven shoulders, scoliosis can result in one shoulder being more rounded than another, and sometimes a slight hunch may manifest in the lifted shoulder. The muscular strain around the shoulder area can lead to chronic pain/discomfort in the shoulders.
This article focuses on poses that can help ease shoulder pain and tension. Individuals with scoliosis who are interested in using yoga to ease any strain and tension that occurs in the upper body should focus on poses that strengthen the muscles in the core – abdominals, back and side muscles. Poses should be held for longer periods – 3 to 5 breaths – to maximize the strengthening benefits of certain yoga poses.
Yoga for Scoliosis – Poses for Shoulder Pain
Thread the Needle Pose
How To: Begin in tabletop pose. On an inhale, lift your right hand up and on your exhale slide it down on the floor behind your left hand. In the same breath, lean forward until your right shoulder and the right side of your face is resting lightly on the mat. On another inhale, lift your left hand up and behind you, and on the exhale, rest is your left palm softly on your right thigh. To come out, bring your left hand back to the mat and push your upper body up and back to kneeling position. Don’t forget to repeat on the other side!
Benefits: Stretches your shoulders, neck, upper back and core muscles.
Cow Face Pose | Gomukhasana
How To: Begin in a seated position with your legs bent on the left side of your hips. Bring your left leg forward and cross it over the right leg so that your knees are stacked on top of one another, and your left foot is resting by your right hip. On an exhale, bend your left hand behind you so that the back of your hand is resting on your back with your fingers point up towards your neck. The reach your right hand up and bending from your elbow, bring your right palm to connect with your left palm. If comfortable, interlace your fingers here. Ensure that both shoulders are relaxing down your back and away from your ears. To come out, slowly release your hand first, and then stretch your legs out in front of you. Then repeat on the other side
Benefits: Deeply stretchers your shoulders, chest, hips and knees.
Extended Puppy Pose | Uttana Shishosana
How To: Begin in tabletop pose and as you exhale, slowly walk your hands out in front of you. Making sure your hips remain directly above your knees, begin to lower your forehead to the mat. With each exhale, feel your heart sink closer to the mat. To come out, slowly walk your hands back towards your chest and return to tabletop.
Benefits: Stretches the shoulders, chest and spine muscles.
Standing Forward Bend with Yoga Lock | Uttanasana III
How To: Begin in mountain pose. On an inhale, lift your hands up, and on your exhale hinge forward from your hips to bring your upper body towards your legs. Interlace your fingers behind you and let your arms relax over your head and towards the floor. Squeeze your shoulder blades together and let your arms relax towards the mat. To come out slow lift your body back into mountain pose. Remember to keep your belly drawing in towards your spine.
Benefits: Stretches the shoulders, chest, lower back and hamstrings.
How To: Begin seating in a cross legged position. On an inhale, stretch both arms out in front of you, and then cross your right arm above your left arm and wrap your forearms around one another to bring your palms together. Lift your elbows up to shoulder height while pulling your shoulders down and away from your ears. Ensure that your fingers are pointing straight up and that your spine is elongated. To come out, slowly unwrap your arms and then repeat on the other side!
Benefits: Stretches the shoulders and upper back.
So what do you think? Are these poses for shoulder pain going to be helpful for you? Leave a comment below and let me know if you’ll be trying these.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Tega is a National Certified Counselor, PhD student and Yoga Consultant who specializes in helping busy women build their home yoga practice and deepen their relationship with God. She runs a blog called SocialHermit, where she shares her best yoga tips and routine, as well as ways to stay healthy spiritually. Her mission is to teach + inspire other girl bosses to live healthy, holistically with Yoga and God’s Word.
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