Scoliosis, a curvature of the spine, can be helped with yoga. I was 21 when I found out that I had scoliosis. Today, there are screenings in the schools for it. However, I think that everyone should go see a chiropractor for a more accurate screening (many abnormal curvatures are missed until it’s too late).
My diagnosis was a bit late for me, but also helped to form who I am today. When I was called into the doctor’s office to look at an xray, I didn’t understand when he said “look at this”. What?
Then he used the pencil and showed me the “S” shaped curve in my thoracic spine. Oh! Is this bad? I said. No, not if you take care of yourself by staying in good physical condition.
Interesting…I recall being about 7 years old when I made the decision to stay in shape for my entire life, so I wasn’t learning anything there. I was a bit worried and back then, there wasn’t google or yoga studios everywhere. So I exercised about the same as I had always been doing.
This wasn’t enough, however. My diet was poor, I was rather wild at age 21. It wasn’t until several years later, when I picked up the Richard Hittleman book about yoga, that I began to explore yoga on my own.
The years have flown by and the progression has been slow, I now manage my scoliosis with a combination of yoga, walking, chiropractic care, massage and a good diet. Sometimes the curvature seems worse and at other times, it is better. In the meantime, it is my teacher, this “S” curve in my thoracic spine.
Just last weekend, I was practicing ashtanga yoga and had a thought. (Finally, connecting some dots). I always wondered why I am constantly fluctuating in my mind with questions “should I”? “shouldn’t I”? I also experience moments of extreme strength and confidence, then the next second, moments of exhaustion, weakness and wanting to lie down and quit.
I realized, during my yoga practice that day, that these messages, flowing on a windy curvy pathway (spinal cord) have some ‘interference’ This realization somehow empowered me to see things more clearly. I realize the truth of who I am – unlimited in everyway – and anything else…well… it is just not true. So… if I am experiencing limitation, doubt, unhappiness, it is simply not the truth and I can ignore that.
My “test” for truth/not truth is simple. Does this idea fit within the true nature of my soul? Joy? Beauty? Love? If not, ignore it. If so, smile and carry on. I am grateful to my teacher, scoliosis.