Yoga for Scoliosis

Elise Browning Miller
Year Released: 2003

Categories: Yoga

Yoga for Scoliosis features Elise Browning Miller, a yoga instructor who discovered in her 20s that yoga was the only thing which helped to control her scoliosis. Her four background exercisers each have scoliosis as well, and Elise frequently refers to their differing curvatures throughout the practice. I don't have scoliosis myself, but I was interested in trying this video in hopes that it would provide nice stretches for my back.

The main part of the DVD is broken up into three sections. The first is a short introduction (4 minutes) with Elise followed by a brief overview (1 minute) of scoliosis by an orthopedic surgeon. The next section is the 50 minute yoga practice, and the final segment is the bonus materials, including longer interviews with both Elise and the surgeon (4.5 minutes each), and six bonus yoga postures (wall stretch, down dog, shoulder stretch, warrior 1 with wall, chair twist, and 3 part pull) which are performed with props.

The yoga practice itself is broken up into three segments, with Elise providing a short introduction at the start of each segment. The first, Breathing and Spinal Lengthening Poses (16 minutes), focuses on poses to stretch out the spine. It begins with yogic breathing and then moves on to standing side and wall stretches, cat pose, puppy pose, child, down dog, and lunge. The second, Centering and Strengthening Poses (18 minutes), consists mainly of standing postures, including mountain, triangle (performed with a chair), warrior 1 & 2, and wide-legged forward bend. From a face down position, there are also simple back extensions, cobra, and child's pose. The final segment, Restorative, Releasing, and Relaxing Poses (16 minutes), includes a supported back bend (over a ball or bolster), a side stretch, chair twist, reclined hand to foot pose, revolved stomach pose, and relaxation posture.

Although I don't have scoliosis, I found this to be a nice, relaxing basic yoga practice. However, given Elise's frequent reminders about spinal curvature, the video is most ideally suited to those with scoliosis or other back conditions.

Instructor Comments:
Elise instructed well with good cueing; her voice is a bit high-pitched and may annoy some. She talks a lot about scoliosis curves, which is completely appropriate, of course, but may be tedious for those without scoliosis who try this video.

Beth C (aka toaster)