pages: 1 | 2


Hi my brother has Scoliosis which is above 45 degree, and he doesn't want to go through any operation, can yoga stop the bend in spine, please suggest as to what pose he should do.


I have had scoliosis dx'd when I was 15, I am now 41. AT the time I was advised against operation as I was "fully grown". Would like to get into backward bends - have a double s curve mainly only right - what would you recommend?

Richard G Holden

I believe it's called the Corpse pose where you lie down flat with arms at side the small of the back is pressed into the floor. When I do this pose I feel so relaxed I could stay there a long time. However, when I rise up I begin to feel dizzy and when I stand up I experience vertigo and must sit down. What is it that is doing this and is it safe to proceed? Will the dizziness stop with more practice of this pose?


Actually, a lot of experts say that backbends should be avoided as they may worsen certain types of curves. Twists can also be detrimental - do further research before following this article's instructions.

lakshmi Annavajhala

I have have spinal fusion surgery for my scoliosis in my mid 20's (right side curve). I'm 51yrs now. Other than the usual symptoms of lower back pain when I stand for long while cooking, sitting for long, etc, No major problems at all. I am a Kripalu yoga instructor.
It is interesting that elise talks about headaches as a result of scoliosis. I never thought of that. I have been prone to migraines since my teens and didn't know why. But I also seem to have lot of digestive issues which trigger my headaches.
What I want to know is, are there any specific yoga precautions/modifications for all the above mentioned poses, for people like me with a rod fused. I seem to be extremely limited with my backbends, twists, and inversions.


This article was so helpful. Thank you!


Hi all, according to the literature, yoga doesn't improve the curve. It may relieve the pain, but it doesn't work for everybody, and adolescent rarely experience the pain, anyway. As for twists and head stands, it doesn't really make sense to me. Is there a body of evidence for this? I enjoy doing yoga myself, but I just can't see how it can help my scoliosis.

Dee Knight

I have long considered Ms Miller a mentor in my journey using yoga for scoliosis. Her workshops are always informative, educational, fun, and she is a very personable person. I can't help envy the fact that she could keep her curve at bay at a 30 degree curvature, and possibly reducing that curve( I am not too in to the % of Cobb angle). My curve progressed rapidly( 45% to 73% within 6 months). I finally succombed to scoliosis surgery reconstructing 11 of my vertebrates. I need to let others know to never have the surgery , stick with yoga on a daily basis, and make sure you have a qualified yoga teracher well trained in yoga for scoliosis. i have been recovering for 4 months only to not get better, and not able to walk, or even get out of bed some days. I spoke to Elise on the phone one day (which shows how dedicated she is to her teachings), and she tried to encourage me to continue my practice, but I am so frightened , and of course even the physical therapist says NO Yoga. Well, my prayer is to someday start my practice, but for now scoliosis surgery has basically ruined me. Granted, I am 58 years old, and teenagers, and children can bounce back better with a good neurosurgeon, yet recovery is important also. But, for us older yoginis pick up your yoga pace instead of giving in to the surgery.I would love to hear from anyone that has had spinal fusion with instrumentation surgery, as to the possibility of me ever having any kind of yoga life. Namaste, Dee


I'm confused about inversions. I already have a curve and am doing yoga poses to stretch muscles and lengthen the spine. I assume that in Headstand or Shoulderstand spine is compressed. If I already have a curve around neck and then in the inversion this curve will be even more exaggerated because of weight.

Stacha Bejma-Erb

I have a 25 yeaqr old student with scoliosis and had back surgery when she was about 10 and 2 metal rods were placed in her back to help the spinal curve. She has lived with the condition and has little pain for the past 15 years. Which poses are the "best" for her?

Return to article page

Stay Connected with Us!

Yoga Journal Live events
ep14 YJ LIVE! Colorado
Estes Park, Colorado
Sep 14-21, 2014
florida YJ LIVE! Florida
Hollywood, FL
Nov 13-17, 2014

More Events

Join Yoga Journal's Benefits Plus
Liability insurance and benefits to support
teachers and studios.
Learn More
Get 2 FREE Trial Issues and 4 FREE GIFTS
Your subscription includes
Yoga for Neck & Shoulders • Yoga Remedies
Yoga for Headaches • Calm, Cool, Collected
YES! Please send me my FREE trial issues of Yoga Journal
and my 4 FREE downloadable Yoga Booklets.
Full Name:
Address 1:
Zip Code:
Address 2:
Email (required):
Free trial offer valid for US subscribers only. Canadian subscriptions | International subscriptions